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The cycle routes which allow people to see the best of the north-east – and nearby spots for a snack

Cyclist on the Deeside way near Garthdee in  Aberdeen.
Picture by Paul Glendell.
Cyclist on the Deeside way near Garthdee in Aberdeen. Picture by Paul Glendell.

The north-east boasts an array of stunning cycle routes with endless options for those keen to explore the area on two wheels.

From legendary tracks across Royal Deeside to tough climbs through the Cairngorms National Park, there are plenty to choose from.

As part of VisitAberdeenshire’s Rediscover Your Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire campaign, we have rounded up a selection of the most remarkable routes to try out – as well as nearby food and drink suggestions. But be sure to check for the opening hours of the business ahead of your visit.

The campaign – involving The Press and Journal, Evening Express, Society and Original 106 – also has its own dedicated section on the VisitAberdeenshire website, where people can explore blogs with ideas for things to do.

Cyclists can take in some breathtaking countryside and river views along the 41-mile Deeside Way which weaves its way from the centre of Aberdeen deep into Deeside.

Most of this route is off-road with only slight gradients, which makes it ideal for a comfortable family ride.

Food and drink suggestions for those using the cycle path include The Lodge on the Loch in Aboyne, Buchanan Bistro at Woodend Barn on the Burn O’Bennie Road in Banchory and Finzean Estate Tearoom in the Balnaboth Steading at Finzean.

While leisurely cycling is enjoyable in a number of ways, many thrill-seekers prefer mountain biking.

And they can venture off the beaten track in Aberdeenshire as they take in endless views of rugged coasts and mountainous landscapes.

There’s even the opportunity to follow in the tracks of the racers taking on the “enduro” trails at Hill of Fare, Pitfichie and Drumtochty.

For refreshments, people can try Tor-Na-Coille Hotel on Inchmarlo Road in Banchory, Banchory Lodge Hotel in the town, and the Roaring Stag Coffee Roasters in Ballater Business Park.

Crathes Castle is also just off the Deeside Way, which makes for a fantastic day out for all with its stunning gardens, history and array of wildlife.

Those looking for a family friendly cycling experience with options from beginner to expert level can try out the purpose-built mini bike park in Tarland which provides 3km of routes suitable for all ages.

After working up an appetite, visitors could enjoy a rewarding feed at the Douneside House in Tarland, The Commercial Hotel in The Square, Tarland, or at The Fife Arms, in Braemar.

Near Laurencekirk, cyclists can try out the Cairn O’ Mount pass, where gradients of up to 18% will challenge even the fittest legs.

The Mearns area is also known for holding cycling events across the year including the popular two day Ride the North and the Mid-Summer Beer Happening race tied to the Stonehaven beer festival.

Stonehaven harbour homes a number of fantastic eateries for those who have cycled to the coastal town.

They include the award-winning The Bay chip shop on Beach Road, and The Stack Restaurant and Bar.

Banffshire boasts scenic coastal routes which are perfect for keen cyclists and there are various places to stop off for nourishment for those journeying around the Aberdeenshire countryside.

People can pay a visit to the Coffee Apothecary in The Square in Ellon, the Fife Lodge Hotel on Sandyhill Road in Banff, The Old Kirk Café/Bistro on Church Street in Fordyce, Annie’s Cakery in Macduff and The Knowes Hotel on Market Street, Macduff.

For more information on the walks listed, visit yourabdn.com.

VisitAberdeenshire, The Press and Journal, Evening Express, Society and Original 106 are encouraging people to share an image of their favourite part of the north-east throughout the #RediscoverABDN campaign. To take part, simply follow the steps below:

Take a picture of your favourite north-east attraction, venue, product or landmark
Upload the image to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter including the hashtag #RediscoverABDN and tag @visitabdn

Social Distancing Guidelines
When visiting these locations, it’s important to adhere to the social distancing guidelines currently in place across Scotland – with regards to outdoor activities. These guidelines are below.

People can meet in groups of up to 15 people outdoors, from up to five different households, including your own household. However, children aged 0-11 should not meet in groups larger than 15 people in total at a time.

Keep two metres apart from anyone you meet from outside your household, and don’t share food or utensils.

You should not meet with more than four different households per day, whether indoors or outdoors.

Follow physical distancing guidance and hygiene rules.

There is now no restriction on travel within Scotland as long as individuals are acting in line with all other guidance that supports the route map.

All guidelines can be viewed at www.gov.scot.

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