The Insch Cycle Routes
The town of Insch in Aberdeenshire, nestling below the ruined Dunnideer Hill Fort lies between the A96 and A97 just under 30 miles from Aberdeen has three circular, waymarked cycle routes that can be tackled individually, or combined to form a more challenging half day ride.
All of the Insch cycle routes are on quiet public roads with tarred surfaces, ideal for exploring the rolling countryside between Insch and the Hill of Foundland.
The name Insch means an island or a piece of "terra firma" in a marsh. It is derived from the Gaelic "œinnis".
The Insch Cycle Routes In Detail
Each ride begins in the centre of Insch, about half a mile from Insch train station. Leave the station and head straight along Commerce Street to its junction with Market Street. Check out our page on taking bikes on trains if you are considering using the train. If you decide to drive, Bennachie Leisure Centre on Market Street offers parking, a cafe and showers.
If you want to follow the routes on an OS Landranger map, then you'll need maps 37 and 38, available from Amazon.
The Newton Loop
The 9.5 mile (15km) Newton Loop leaves the town along Western Road, a hundred yards from the town centre towards the rail station.
Western Road exits the town and rises steadily as it passes the entrance to the ruined Dunnideer Castle. Keep climbing and after a mile or so take a left, sign posted Wardhouse, down a steep hill in to The Shevock Valley. Continue until you cross the Shevock and take an immediate right, and engage bottom gear as you have a steep climb for the best part of a quarter of a mile. At the top turn right, and enjoy the descent back to Inch.
The Lenchie Loop
The 8 mile (13 km) Lenchie Loop leaves the town along Market St, passing the Bennachie Leisure Centre before it starts climbing along a wonderful avenue of beech trees.
The road flattens out slightly as it passes the Picardy Stone. This pictish stone, depicts a double-disc and Z-rod, serpent and Z-rod, and a mirror. It is worth stopping and having a look.
After passing the Picardy Stone the road again starts to climb, with a nasty sting in its tail just before you reach the Gartly Moor road. At the junction turn right.
The road now directs you back towards the beech avenue by way of the Hill of Foundland. This hill provided many of the local houses with slate for their roofs in the early 1800's. Your effort in getting this far will be rewarded with a great descent back to Insch.
The Scotston Loop
The 8.5 mile (13.6 km) Scotston Loop shares the same exit from Insch, Market St, as the Lenchie Loop. Take the second turning on the right, sign posted Largie, to take you round the rolling farmland to the North of Insch.
The road continues to climb, in parts steeply, for a mile before you again turn right.
Continue and take the first right, sign posted Wrangham and Insch. It is now a descent for a mile before a sharp right hander.
Continue on this road and take the left fork, after a mile or so. Take the first on your left to descend back into Insch.
The Combined Loop Route Map, Profile & GPX
The combined loop at only 13 miles is short, but with over 1,100 feet of climbing remarkably hilly. It combines the start of the Newton Loop with the mid section of the Lenchie Loop, and the final few miles of the Scotston Loop.
Aerial preview of the Combined Insch Cycle Loop
Facilities in Insch
local_parking Free parking available.
wc Toilets available at Bennachie Leisure Centre.
See our page listing Cafes in Insch.
Good mobile phone signal throughout.
build Nearest cycle repair shop in Inverurie.
A few shops, bars & take aways in Insch.
Other Road Routes to Try
The Garioch Route
The 35 mile Garioch Loop leaves from Inverurie station and circumnavigates the areas most famous landmark - Bennachie. En route you pass castles, ancient standing stones and have fine views to the distant Harlaw Monument.
The Hatton Hoop
A 20 mile route starting and finishing at Dyce railway station and passes through the villages of Kinmuck and Hatton of Fintray. There is an option to cut the route short if need be.
Create Your Own Route
The above routes are the basis of a great hour or two of cycling, however you can make it even more interesting by adding to it or starting in a different place. The maps and guides below, available to order from Amazon, will help you create the perfect cycle route from Insch.