Upper Deeside has a superb range of routes for both on and off-road cycling to suit all tastes and abilities. The array of minor tarmac roads offer exhilarating cycle touring through hidden glens, pinewoods, along the course of rivers and over mountain passes. For those wanting off-road, a network of partly- surfaced estate tracks provide some of the finest exploration into the heart of the hills and glens of Deeside. Many of the routes through the glens are fairly gentle and can be taken at a leisurely pace. Some of the hilly routes and passes however present serious challenges in stamina and skill, so read the map contours with care!

For both on and off-road cycling please note;

  • Most public roads have little traffic, but avoid the main A93 at peak times which is a busy through route.
  • drivers may not be expecting cyclists - take care particularly of holiday traffic.
  • distances between centres are large, so take food and drink
  • the weather can change dramatically so be prepared, especially in the hills.
  • off-road cycling is usually allowed on landrover tracks but not on hill paths.
  • there may be pedestrians and horses on tracks, so please slow down and warn
  • check access is OK during the stalking season
  • remember the cycling code
  • cycle hire available in Ballater, Braemar, Aberdeen, Stonehaven and Banchory.

Getting your bike to Deeside:
Stagecoach buses between Aberdeen and Braemar (201) will take two bikes in the boot of coach-style buses. Scotrail, Virgin and GNER rail services to Stonehaven and Aberdeen carry bikes, but you should book in advance. Most air services to Aberdeen (Dyce Airport) carry bikes, but you should book, and you may need to wrap your bike and remove pedals. There is a cycle route from Dyce into central Aberdeen.

Recommended cycling routes:
For details and route descriptions of a range of on and off road cycle routes click here.

Further information:
Cyclists Touring Club - Grampian
Cycling Scotland
Forestry Commission
Ecurie Neep Mountain Bike Club

Books and guides:
(Generally available from Tourist Information Centres and Cycle Shops in the area)

  • Cycling in Aberdeenshire - 6 pocket leaflets of on and off road routes, Aberdeenshire Council
  • Cycle routes around Ballater and Braemar, Upper Deeside Access Trust
  • 101 Mountain Bike Routes in Scotland, Harry Henniker
  • The Cairngorm Glens, Peter D Osbourne
  • Cycling in North-East Scotland, Collins, 2001
  • Mountain Bike Guide to Inverness and the Cairngorms, Timothy King
  • Scotland Trail, Tom Woodcock, MBRUK (off-road coast-to-coast route from Montrose to Skye via the Cairngorms)

Upper Deeside Access Trust · Unit 1, Aboyne Castle Business Centre, Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, AB34 5JP
Tel: 013398 87777 · Fax: 013398 87785 · Email:

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