Taking bikes on trains to/from Aberdeen & north east Scotland
Grampian is served by 2 main lines, the Scottish East Coast line, and the Inverness to Aberdeen line.
The East Coast Line brings trains from the south (Dundee, Glasgow, Edinburgh and beyond) to the heart of Aberdeen. On the way the line passes through stations at Stonehaven, and Portlethen. ScotRail, LNER and CrossCountry trains operate trains on this line. Scotrail's service includes The Caledonian Sleeper, which (unsurprisingly) travels overnight from London and is scheduled to arrive in Aberdeen before 8am.
The Aberdeen to Inverness Line has railway stations in Dyce, Kintore, Inverurie, Insch, Huntly, Keith, Elgin and Forres. Scotrail are the only operator on this line.
Each of the three train operators serving Aberdeen have their own rules and regulations with regard to taking bikes on their trains. See below for specific information on each of the three train operator's policies and contact details - however it is always worth contacting them if you are planning a big journey using the train as their rules can change without much notice. On the day of travel, its a good idea to arrive at the station with time to spare as you may have difficulty getting your bike to the appropriate platform.
Taking a Bike on Scotrail Trains
Cycles are carried free of charge on all ScotRail services, but space is limited (ScotRail aim to provide between two and six spaces per train), so free reservations are essential on long-distance trains to Aberdeen or intervening stations.
See the ScotRail web site to book tickets and for more information on how to make a bike reservation.
Note - Tandems are not carried on any ScotRail service.
Scotrail operate the London to Aberdeen Caledonian Sleeper services. These plush overnight trains carry up to six cycles. Reservations must be made in advance, no later than noon the day before travel.
See the Caledonian Sleeper web site for more information on how to make a bike reservation.
Taking a Bike on LNER Trains
Cycles can be taken on LNER trains free of charge, but you will need a reservation. Most of LNER trains can carry 5 bikes, though some can only carry 3 bikes so it is advisable to reserve your bike space well in advance.
The reservation rules don't apply to folding bikes - these can be carried as part of your luggage in passenger accomodation. LNER also allow tandems on their new Azuma trains, though you need to remove the wheels.
See the LNER web site to book tickets and for more information on how to make a bike reservation.
Taking a Bike on CrossCountry Trains
You can take your bike free of charge on CrossCountry services. On most CrossCountry trains there are two reservable bike spaces and one further space for unreserved bikes. Bikes without a reservation will be accepted on a first come, first served basis and can only be carried subject to space being available so it is advisable to reserve a space well in advance.
Note - Tandems are not carried on any CrossCountry service
See the CrossCountry Trains web site to book tickets and for more information on how to make a bike reservation.
Cafes, Coffee Shops & Tea Rooms
We have compiled a long list of just some of the popular cafes, coffee shops and tea rooms in Aberdeenshire and Moray.
These are the places who serve great coffee, cake, soups, and sandwiches to the cycling community, and beyond - places you will feel welcome.
Aberdeenshire & Moray have loads of places to stay, ranging from hostels through B&s and Guest Houses to 5 star hotels. Some are more in tune with the needs of cyclists than others. Those that are tend to be members of the Cyclists Welcome Scheme - look out for the logo when booking accommodation.
Travelling to North East Scotland
The north east of Scotland may seem remote, but in fact it is very easy to get to Grampian. The region, and Aberdeen in particular, is well served by train, coach, air and ferry. And once here, travelling around is really easy.
The Weather in Grampian
There is an old saying, "If you don't like the Scottish weather, wait 5 minutes - it'll change!". And many people point to the weather as a reason for not visiting Scotland, or even for not cycling. But what is the weather in Grampian truly like? Are they right in thinking this?
We have looked at the weather files, and noted what you can expect, so read on and make up your own mind.