Approximate Duration:

4 Hours 31 Minutes

Approximate Distance:

160 miles (258 km)

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The Deeside Hide

North East Scotland

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Route at a Glance

This route is made up of mountains, curves and a little bit of coast – A glorious ride!
The most famous and very real Balmoral Castle is able to be visited and even if Castles are not your thing – this one is certainly worth it. Further down the road and only a few minutes’ walk from the parking spot and you get to see the BurnO’ Vat – The local who recommended this spot to me said, and I quote “defo worth a looky”. Then you have Stonehaven, regarded as one of Scotland’s prettiest coastal towns. Once out of Stonehaven and only another very short walk you can see and photograph Dunnottar Castle.This is medieval drama at its best – It is visible from the road and parking is available. We have included a very short detour to a small lovely bay/village at Catterline with a quaint shingle bay. The route also includes the famous and dramatic Glamis Castle and the small but very different Miegle Museum (Historic Pictish Sculpted stones).The route is designed to let you ride easily and freely towards the end of the day. You may therefore want to reverse the route and end the day coming through the hills.

Route Notes & Highlights

(Icons on the map)

  • Balmoral CastleIn impressive Castle estate with an imposing central square tower with turrets on each corner and immaculate gardens. Balmoral Castle is and  has been the Scottish home of the Royal Family since it was purchased for Queen Victoria by Prince Albert in 1852. Only open fto the public in the summer months of April through to August. Well worth a visit.
  • Royal Lochnagar Distillery – The home of the of the award-winning Royal Lochnagar 12 Year Old Single Highland Malt, one of Scotland’s most exclusive whiskies. A visitor centre allows you to watch the production of the fine nectar using traditional methods in original copper stills.
  • Burn O’ Vat – A giant pothole carved by a huge melt water stream during the last Ice Age. Facilities include a visitor centre and toilets at Burn O’ Vat, open daily throughout the year.
  • Muir of Dinnet – Muir of Dinnet is one of the nine National Nature Reserves.
  • Slug Road (A957) The name actually comes from the Gaelic derivative of the word sloc which translates to hollow or dell reflecting the roads path through a narrow mountain pass. Some gorgeous scenery to take in.
  • Stonehaven – Regarded as one of Scotland’s Prettiest coastal towns. Also known for it’s fantastic fire festival on new years eve.
  • Dunnottar Castle – A fantastic dramatic castle ruin with some amazing views. Dunnottar nestles on a precipice on the edge of a coastal cliff, in fact it’s names translates from Scottish Gaelic to “fort on the shelving slope”. It’s history boasts such names as William Wallace, Mary Queen of Scots, the Marquis of Montrose and the future King Charles II. Definitely worth a detour, camera at the ready.
  • Glamis Castle – One of those post card perfect grande castle estates, the architecture is something to behold with it’s numerous conical turrets. The castle is famed as being the childhood home of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, birthplace of HRH The Princess Margaret and the setting for Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’. Guided tours and the likes are available.
  • Miegle Museum – The Museum at Meigle permanently displays more than 30 pictish carved stones dating from the late eighth to the late tenth centuries. This is one of the most important collections of early medieval sculpture in Western Europe. These stones are all that is left reflecting the centre of Pictish culture and heritage.


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Filling Stations on Route

Plenty of fuel stations along the way in the major towns.

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