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The Hatton Hoop
At 20 miles this is short but tough cycle route. It follows the north bank of the River Dee to Hatton of Fintray where it joins the hilly road race circuit once used as part of the Hatton Festival of Cycling. The festival has not been held for a couple of years, but there is talk of it being brought back to life. On returning to Hatton our hoop then tackles Bendauch Hill, used locally as a hill climb course, before dropping back to the start in Dyce.
The cycle route also offers some fine points of historic interest.

Route Details
Aberdeen, Inverurie and Pitmedden (OS Landranger Map Series)      
The Hatton Hoop is easily followed on OS Map 38 Aberdeen, Inverurie and Pitmedden or on the Aberdeen and Banchory (OS Explorer Map 406). This later map map provides more detail of the route's surroundings.
The start and finish point is Dyce Train Station. Check out our page on taking bikes on trains if you are considering using the train to get to the start point. The station also has a fair sized free car park if you decide to drive.
Leave the station and head into the town, turning left at the main road. Continue through the traffic lights and straight on at the roundabout following the road under the Formartine and Buchan Way (a long distance cycle path) to turn left on to the B977, sign posted Hatton of Fintray.
Continue on this road for 4½ mile all the while climbing until you begin a descent with a 90 degree left hander and an option to go straight ahead, sign posted Inverurie. With care, take the unclassified road straight ahead.
Pass straight through Kinmuck to the junction with the B993 where you take a left.
After a mile there is a steep descent, and you turn off to the left at the bottom - watch out for loose gravel. See Alternate Finish Point.
Take the first left (Point of Interest #1) to start climbing again and continue through Balbithan Woods to meet the B977 once again. Turn left taking you into Hatton of Fintray. At the cross roads in Hatton, turn right, cross the River Dee and continue to cross the railway. Immediately after crossing the railway turn left. Get ready to climb!
Keep on this road, steadily climbing to reach Slacks car park. Now enjoy the descent - you deserve it. On the way down you pass an entrance to Kirkhill, home to some good offroad mountain bike trails and a fun MTB park. Continue until you reach the airport periphery road (Point of Interest #2) where you take a left at the Tee junction.
Continue along the edge of the industrial estate to the traffic lights in Dyce. Take a right, and then another right to take you back to the station.

Alternate Finish
Instead of turning left to leave the B993, continue into Inverurie. From here you can either head for the train station for a quick return home or, if you are really out to prove something, take in the Garioch Loop.

Points Of Interest
#1. Instead of turning left, continue straight for ¼ mile to visit Kinkell Church. A ruined 16th century church and sacrament house cared for by Historic Scotland - free entry. Also contains the grave slab of Gilbert de Greenlaw, killed at the Battle of Harlaw in 1411.
#2. A ¼ mile before the airport periphery road take a left, sign posted Dyce Symbol Stones. Six engraved stones are housed in the ruined St Fergus' Church. One of them has a Celtic cross ornamented with a central boss of spiral work. Worth the detour.

Facilities & Services
Services are limited on the route; with no shops or cafes to be found. There is a pub tucked away off the main street in Hatton of Fintray, though you may have to time it right to get food. It is recommended that you take your own food and drink.
Dyce does offer a selection of shops, including a chip shop beside the station, and pubs most of which serve food. Sadly the town doesn't have any cycle repair facilities. The nearest is in Aberdeen.

Other Nearby Routes
Dyce station is also a starting point for the Formartine and Buchan Way. The F&B way is an exciting and safe cycle path suitable for cyclists of all ability built on the bed of the former Formartine and Buchan railway. From Dyce the way continues to Maud where you can either head to Fraserburgh or Peterhead.




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