It had been hard work getting to the summit of the ridge, but we had timed it perfectly for the setting sun. We would like to extend our thanks to Will at ‘Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland‘ for his excellent trail chat and help in making this trip possible. The area around Ballater in the Cairngorms National Park is perfect for both mountain biking and walking. Explore Juliana View New. Be warned; you will undoubtedly want to pedal back for another go. Ballater lies just a stone’s throw from some real Scottish classics, Mount Keen, Loch Muick and Cairn Luechan to name but a few, and is also home to passionate teams of local builders handcrafting superb enduro style trails in the forests. From mountain bike trails to on-the-road cycling routes, cycling in Scotland offers you an opportunity to embrace the sights, sounds and smells of this lush landscape. It had already been a long day in Royal Deeside, a day that had shown us just how much trail gold lies in this quiet corner of Scotland. Once, he was in love with competition and raced in the early years of the EWS, but now, at 41-years-old, he no longer has anything to prove. Adam is normally stuck in front of a computer all day so loves getting out to be a classic weekend warrior. It’s easy to forget Royal Deeside when planning a biking break to Scotland. Mountain biking holidays that ride through the most unspoiled scenery in Scotland. Start Here, Broadly speaking, there are three bikepacking genres to choose from – Multi-day Mountain Biking, Ultralight Race & Gravel, and Expedition & Dirt Touring. However, being Scotland, the weather can change in minutes so it’s always important to pack accordingly. There are many great trails and classic loops that start within a half hours drive from Ballater that will take you deep into the Cairngorm mountain ranges, routes such as the Loch Muick circuit which makes a cracking day out on an eMTB if you are frugal on the battery. This weekend route picks out technical and remote singletrack as it takes you through ancient pine forests and the heather and gorse covered hills of the Eastern Cairngorms. This guide covers an area of the Cairngorms National Park, to the south and west of Ballater, as far as Lock Muick and Balmoral. Bankhead Steading Fabulous Family Holiday Home in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire book now Our Cottage Your Scottish Rural Retreat Home from Home. Click the link below to find out how to start. Browse. However, little did we know that we were about to experience some of the best riding we had so far experienced in Scotland. Instead, bike tourists are drawn to the more popularised riding spots like the Tweed Valley, Fort William and Skye, but that would be a mistake. There’s quite a bit of climbing and the odd bit of hike-a-bike, but to counter this, you’re rarely far from re-supply and a bailout route. Now he realizes it’s the perfect way to explore Scotland all year round. At Deeside Inn we are located opposite Cyclehighlands where you can hire bikes from £15 for a half-day. The Deeside Trail follows both banks of the River Dee as it flows from its source high on the sub-arctic Cairngorm plateau to the arable lowlands of Aberdeenshire in Scotland. We welcome all categories of rider from Youth (under 16s) to Veterans and all standards from Novice to Expert. The Tarland Trails are a fun distraction before some serious hike-a-bike puts you on a long ridge high above the Rivers Dee and Don. As a reminder of his new role as a father, the words “Think about Brook." Traditions are strong in the area; especially poetry, music and the Doric language, plus the villages along the Dee still host their annual Highland Games each summer. Our brands Shop Online. Along the route you’ll take on technical descents as you visit Loch Muick, Scolty Hill and Glen Lui. Scotland is internationally recognised as one of the world’s best countries for cycling and mountain biking and Royal Deeside lives up to this accolade. Map 3 – Glen Tanar and The Deeside Way from Aboyne to Dinnet. You cannot go wrong in Ballater; all the cafes we dropped into were welcoming and served up some great food. Trevor loves adventure. The final climb up the Hill of Fare rewards you with an almost full length view of the route you’ve just done, and a final descent down back to the River Dee to finish. Browse Catalogue . This amazing access right also extends to those on bicycles, including eMTBs. Starting on a bridge over the River Dee, the first half of the route picks out singletrack descents on ancient drove roads like the Fungle Trail and through Caledonian pinewood in the National Nature Reserve at Glen Tanar. Fortunately logistics is quite easy with frequent supply stops and bail out routes except for the long section from Braemar back to Ballater. The River Dee is the heart of the area, starting at an altitude of 1,200 meters on the Cairngorms Plateau and giving its character to the land as it flows 90 miles eastwards to meet the North Sea at Aberdeen. Cycling and Mountain Biking. With such a wide variety of trails on offer, you could bring anything from an XC bike to a full-bore enduro rig and still find trails to challenge the bike. You’ll have 24 miles (38.5km) to cover by bike today, which will bring you back to your starting point in Banchory. In this feature story, Ben Page offers a reminder of the value of getting out on shorter, simpler trips, instead of getting wrapped up in planning something big... Adam started mountain biking as something to do in winter when there wasn’t enough snow for skiing. More detail on the route is hosted at Bikepacking.com. Terms of Use: As with each bikepacking route guide published on BIKEPACKING.com, should you choose to cycle this route, do so at your own risk. Clean, comfortable and spacious 6 bed, fully equipped converted steading (barn) Large en-suite family bedroom – a double and 2 single beds Open plan kitchen, diner & lounge King bedroom with … Home Read More » You cross the river 10 miles from its source, travelling back on the other side of the river to where you started. If you have deep pockets, one dining experience that should not be missed is the Clachan Grill Steak House. In spite of the fact that this route, associated GPS track (GPX and maps), and all route guidelines were prepared under diligent research by the specified contributor and/or contributors, the accuracy of such and judgement of the author is not guaranteed. Full of Life. Like the area itself, you have to put a bit of effort in to get there, but the reward is more than worth it. Whisky, riding his bike and everything in between. They’re at their best on days when light and shade contrast sharply and the colours of the land are ever changing. Learn More, We have ~100 routes on our worldwide bikepacking routes map. BIKEPACKING.com is dedicated to exploration by bicycle. Sometimes it follows the banks of the river but is often high above it, traversing a mix of forestry trails, ancient drove roads and technical singletrack. Cick the link to see them plotted or select from the links to the right to filter. All the while, we felt like we were the only ones there, discovering a trail riding nirvana all to ourselves. Mountain Biking in Deeside , MTB in Deeside: Look up for prices, request your estimate and find the best offers in mountain bike hire in Deeside and mountain bike routes in Deeside.Mountain biking in Deeside is the perfect activity for birthday’s parties, corporate entertainment, team building, social events, weddings and original gifts. This weekend route picks out technical and remote singletrack as it takes you through ancient pine forests and the heather and gorse covered hills of the Eastern Cairngorms. Three routes are highlighted on the map and described on the reverse. Lochnagar is magnificent to the west and stands out as THE hill to climb for visitors to Deeside. View The Classics, The Bikepacking Journal is our printed collection of inspiring writing and beautiful photography.Find details here alongside a growing collection of web exclusive features... Have one to share? Time it for sunset and it will be the perfect finish to a great trip. As we excitedly unloaded the test bikes in Ballater for our short-travel group test, we knew we were in for a treat. Simply put, bikepacking is the synthesis of mountain biking and minimalist camping; it evokes the freedom of multi-day backcountry hiking, with the range and thrill of riding a mountain bike. The route follows the Dee westwards from Banchory where the Aberdeenshire hills slowly rise out of the farmland, 25 miles inland from Aberdeen. Digital & free: Santa Cruz Nomad CC 5 2021 in review – 27,5″ ain’t dead! The area is packed full of big mountain riding opportunities in the heather covered hills and ancient pine forests. No matter how you get your smile, north east Scotland has routes to suit everyone. Aberdeenshire's … A race not against a stopwatch or STRAVA, but for a dinner reservation at the ‘Indian on the green’ restaurant. As we dropped in, hooting and hollering in the dying light, little did we know that we were about to experience a trail of such quality that it would be retold many times over beers with friends. Whether you’re looking for a cliff-top challenge or a quiet day out in the countryside, the Cairngorms National Park has a cycle route suitable for everyone. The route is a mix of doubletrack and singletrack with a number of rough, challenging, and technical descents which should be treated carefully when fully loaded. Cycle Highlands and The Bike Station offer hire and advice on where to go. They have a fleet of hire bikes and the local knowledge to ensure you ride the best trails during your stay. We provide inspiration and information through original bikepacking routes, stories, and coverage of gear, news, and events that help our community thrive. Located about 15 minutes drive from the village of Ballater, the working estate has eight bike-friendly luxury cottages that sleep between 2 and 8 people. During our trip, we stayed in the Glen Tanar estate. Bernard and Martyn attempt the Deeside Trail in late summery 2018. Ballater and the Cairngorm would be an ideal location to bring a full-suspension eMTB. Rob joins in for a day and helps keep us moving! BIKEPACKING.com LLC, its partners, associates, and contributors are in no way liable for personal injury, damage to personal property, or any other such situation that might happen to individual riders cycling or following this route. The Deeside Trail follows both banks of the River Dee as it flows from its source high on the sub-arctic Cairngorm plateau to the arable lowlands of Aberdeenshire in Scotland. View The Map, There are some routes that are made classic by their sheer perfection, and others by races. If you enjoy road cycling nothing beats a ride through Royal Deeside to the Cairngorms National Park and take on the challenge of the UK’s highest pass at the Glenshee ski centre, head towards The Lecht and test yourself on what is recognised as one of the toughest, and … As long as you respect the interests of other people, take responsibility for your own actions and care for the environment, you can ride almost anywhere in Scotland. Find Adam on Instagram @adamwwallace. View All Features. Also included is the Mounth Road leading to Mount Keen, and the Firmouth and Fungle Roads. 14.7 km green dirt/gravel road trail. Mountain Biking. Racing men and women from the Club are respected throughout the country and have competed at all levels from Club events to the Commonwealth Games and Olympics. There’s only one small distillery in the area, Royal Lochnagar, but it produces a fine lightly peated single malt. The estate is a haven for Scottish Wildlife with black grouse, pine martens, ospreys and crossbills, but most exciting is a resident pair of majestic Golden Eagles. The ground conditions are dirt and rock, so good all-round tyres with a burly sidewall would be best to avoid pinch flats. Prior to setting out check current local weather, conditions, and land/road closures. The local trail advocacy group, the Aberdeenshire Trail Association, reckons that there are over 400 kilometers of rideable mountain bike trails in Aberdeenshire and some of these are real Scottish classics; day rides and multi-day epics over Munros. Choose from island hopping by bike in the Outer Hebrides, coast to coast Scotland, or MTB tours in Skye and Torridon. Scotland is twice named the World's Best MTB destination and our guided mountain bike trips have 150+ 5 … Aberdeenshire and Moray have so many great spots for mountain biking that there is a problem of knowing where to start. Prices are expensive, but the atmosphere is authentic, and the food is sublime. It’s easy to miss the North East of Scotland when planning a mountain biking trip – the Borders, Lochaber and the North West grab headlines but the hills of the Eastern Cairngorms are tucked away on the other side of the A9. Explore Santa Cruz View New. Perfect for Families. Though he was born in England, he believes he should have been Scottish. Deeside Bike Collective - Banchory MTB CAT 1 message Will Clarke 11 November 2018 at 18:06 To: Cc: Chris Mutc Hi Corrina, I just wanted to send you a brief e-mail to state that Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS) are fully supportive of Deeside Bike Collective and their Banchory MTB project CAT proposal. Its a scenic walkway and cycleway which follows the route of the Deeside Railway line. While riding, obey all public and private land use restrictions and rules, carry proper safety and navigational equipment, and of course, follow the #leavenotrace guidelines. Copyright © 2020 ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine. Ballater and the surrounding area would make a great stop on any Scottish MTB road trip, with enough trails to easily give 4-5 days of varied fun. Hillwalking, Mountain Biking, Skiing, Castles, Distilleries, Highland Games From big Cairngorm classics to full bore white-knuckle enduro trails, we found it all in Royal Deeside It’s easy to forget Royal Deeside when planning a biking break to Scotland. Ballater and the surrounding hills have become a mecca for mountain bikers looking to explore Aberdeenshires growing network. Mount Keen, the most easterly Munro, is only a stones throw away. Deeside Way - Banchory to Aboyne mountain biking trail in Aberdeenshire. For classic adventures, bikepacking and multi-day explorations why try the 140-mile Deeside Trail. Hill of Fare. Scotland's Santa Cruz Superstore. If your budget is more VW than Bentley we would highly recommend the Spider On A Bicycle cafe in Aboyne, the coffee is top-notch, the food is great and the staff are super welcoming. Leisure Cycling The Deeside Way. Mountain Biking. This is the final stage of the Deeside Trail; but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s an easy one! Map 2 – Cairn Leuchan & Mount Keen. The hills themselves are rounded and massive, eroded by glaciers in the last ice age. The route aims to show off some of the best mountain biking and scenery in Aberdeenshire and Royal Deeside. Some folk get that ear to ear smile from riding their mountain bikes cross country or down hill, others from freestyle riding in the woods, others from just being out there in the wilds. It’s not all easy going though, with payback in the form of miles of bog and landrover track before passing Ballater for the second time. We were in a race against time. We based ourselves in the small town of Aboyne, in the heart of Royal Deeside, staying with our friends from Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. (his son) are inscribed on his top tube as a gentle warning against unruly riding. At the heart of Royal Deeside is the village of Ballater, 69km west of Aberdeen and 13km from the Queen’s summer home of Balmoral Castle. Royal Deeside Maps. Visit this section to learn how to choose a route, and some insight into navigation. It’s also an ideal starting point for many Cairngorm epics – classic routes that have challenged riders for many generations. The area offers the option of road touring, to challenging mountainous routes for mountain biking. The climbs and descents follow in quick succession, passing under the dark cliffs of Lochnagar and the Royal estate at Balmoral. If you love riding, Ballater should be high on your destination wish-list. All interests are supported from road-racing, time-trialling, track, mountain-biking, cyclocross and touring. Whether it's teaching Brook to ride trails, hammering out gravel loops, surfing, skiing or canoeing, he’ll be there no matter the weather, like a true Scotsman. Trailforks ranks trails with a combination of user ratings and raw trail usage data from rides. If you need to hire a bike or need more info, pop in a see the team at Cycle Highlands in the centre of Ballater. In 2003 a legislation was passed that granted ‘freedom to roam’, giving open access to the paths of hills and valleys to anyone who wants to explore them. list; poi; map; Mountain Bike. Find yourself in the heart of Royal Deeside where Aberdeenshire meets the Cairngorms National Park. There are a few peaks on the way; Craiglich, Blelack Hill, Sundayswells Hill, Craigenet, Hill … Canyon Spectral 29 CF 2021 in review – The perfect do-it-all bike. The erosion by ice and water left behind wide glens between 1,000-meter high peaks and narrow gullies cutting down the hillsides. This is the story of Ballater, a hidden jewel in Scotland’s highland crown. The route can be done in any way you want, whether in a group, individually, fully supported or completely unsupported. The Deeside Thistle Cycling Club aims to cater for cyclists from Youth (under 16s) to Veterans and all standards from Novice to Expert. The best & most popular mountain biking trails in Aberdeenshire. With two dedicated bike shops in Ballater, equipment can be hired locally and trail maps are available in stores or online. The only thing separating us from eating the restaurant out of poppadoms was the iconic Heartbreak Ridge trail falling away into the valley ahead of us. Imagine how you'll feel off road mountain biking across Scottish Munros, immense loch's, heathry moors, ancient forests, great estates and wide sandy expanses. Nestled between Aberdeen and the Cairngorms National Park, we offer mountain bike coaching at our local trail centres and guided rides across Royal Deeside glens and mountains or explore the Donside beautiful hills and secret gems. Words: Trev Worsey Photos: Trevor Worsey and Finlay Anderson. The bike shop is open for sales and demo by appointment: 9am to 5pm Monday to Thursday and Saturday 9am to 4pm Friday and Sunday. The area around Ballater, on Royal Deeside, is perfect for mountain biking and walking. Doing it in two days is quite a challenge; three days is suitable for most people. Braemar offers a chance for a resupply, before passing Mar Lodge and starting the mid section of the route. In a quiet rural location, it’s an excellent spot for families, or those looking to get away from it all. This is definitely a route for a mountain bike, but you could use a gravel bike if you like punishment. Mountain Biking Royal Deeside Trails & Guides Hire a Santa Cruz. Besides being accustomed to bad weather he's a specialist when it comes to steep and demanding trails. Hopefully our list of the best and most popular natural mountain bike routes, groomed fun parks and purpose built pump tracks below will give you some ideas. After some lunch in either the Brown Sugar or Bothy cafe, we would head over the road to climb back up to the ridgelines to the south of Ballater for a run down the rocky, Heartbreak Ridge. A long and challenging flow trail punctuated with tricky boulders and huge rocky slabs. Deeside Trail. Speaking of the latter, the masterpiece ‘Mastermind’ is the trail to hit if you enjoy riotous cornering fun. Please note, this trail is not to be confused for The Deeside Way. If you prefer your riding steep and technical, a short drive will take you to Pitfichie forest. This is the most dramatic and isolated part of the route, cutting through the edge of the central Cairngorms before turning east for miles of rocky, rooty, technical singletrack. There are tough trails with stream crossings, hard … This is a place for epic adventures, bikepacking (check out the Cairngorms are Calling video for inspiration) and multi-day explorations - the Deeside Trail is a good place to start. Click the link below to learn about each. “What, all the way down there?” There’s something special about descending an open ridgeline, knowing that gravity will be your friend right to the valley floor. Ben Avon and Beinn A Bhuird, two of the most easterly Cairngorms, round off a spectacular panorama. To get the most out of your trip we would recommend a 140-150 mm trail bike, especially if you want to venture into the Cairngorm range and explore the tougher enduro trails like Mastermind. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. We’re all about riding in peaceful places and enjoying beauty of the hills. Mountain Biking in Grampian Trail Biking in Grampian. Deeside Thistle is a popular cycling club in the North East of Scotland. Map 4 – The Deeside Way from Dinnet to Ballater. Cycling We are surrounded by miles and miles of quiet country roads so bring your bike and go exploring! Overall difficulty is 6/10, with 8/10 for technical difficulty, 7/10 for physical demand, and 3/10 for logistics and resupply. Mountain Bike Coaching, Guiding and Riding in Aberdeenshire, Scotland! Reviewing the YT JEFFSY PRIMUS JP 24 – a full susser for ambitious... First Look: Canyon Stoic – A new trail-hardtail from Canyon. We're open again! During our time in Ballater, we spent many days riding incredible trails, from big-mountain all-day epics to insane enduro trails that would rank as some of the best we have ridden. Some of the ski resorts also offer summer mountain biking. The information found herein is simply a planning resource to be used as a point of inspiration in conjunction with your own due-diligence. The scenery, wildlife and range of activities in Royal Deeside have attracted visitors since the time of Queen Victoria. Deeside Thistle operate regular club runs and other activities throughout the year. Our trip covered locations in the Cairngorms and Royal Deeside, each within a 1 hour and 20 minute drive of one another War Memorial Buildings in Aboyne on the Deeside Way, part of the SUSTRANS network of off-road cycle routes. Gradients are shallow and the route is suitable for cyclists of all abilities. Learn More, As important as it is to have a reliable bike and pack as light as you can, choosing the right route is perhaps the key to your enjoyment. There you will find that hard-working volunteers of the Aberdeenshire Trails Association (ATA) have sculpted out some serious enduro gold, playing host to a number of Scottish Enduro Series rounds. Read more here. Bike Shop & Workshop. Nonetheless, demonstrating that you can teach an old dog new tricks, he continues to hold his own against the wild and fearless youth. The route picks out a bit of all of these, leaning towards the technical side of bikepacking. Our perfect Ballater break would be to take in the iconic Loch Muick loop, spend a day on the short but exciting trails of Glen Tanar, take a trip around the Green Mile and of course spend a day on the great enduro trails around Ballater. There are great MTB trails and loops right out of the door. To bring a full-suspension eMTB the river 10 miles from its source travelling. Green ’ restaurant the 140-mile Deeside trail Rivers Dee and Don be underestimated erosion by ice water! 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