Getting to Grampian in North East Scotland by Bike

NCN1 northThere are many ways to get here by bike. The most popular is to use National Cycle Network Route No 1. NCN Route No 1 skirts the Grampian coastline, with Aberdeen being a major halt on the route.
 
 
From the south Edinburgh to Aberdeen via Dundee using the Coast and Castles national cycle network route, a distance of 170 miles (275km). From the Kingdom of Fife with it's beautiful countryside the route follows the coast north passing through picturesque fishing villages such as Johnshaven and Gourdon on to the impressive Dunnottar Castle and nearby Stonehaven. Numerous nature reserves such as St Cyrus and Fowlsheugh offer great birdwatching opportunities.
See the Sustrans website for more information on this route.
 
From the west NCN1 uses the Inverness to Aberdeen section of the Aberdeen to John o'Groats route. The Aberdeen to Inverness section is 150 miles (240Km) long. This route is one of contrasts - from the remote scenery of the Highlands the route follows the coast through the towns of Cullen, a scenic town with a striking series of railway viaducts, Portknockie, Findochty and Buckie before dropping south, and inland, towards Aberdeen.
See the Sustrans website for more information on this route.
 

Getting to Grampian by Coach

Getting your bike to Grampian by coach is nigh on impossible - unless you have a folding bike like a Brompton. However, if you get to Aberdeen then there is the opportunity to use Stagecoach buses between Aberdeen and Braemar. Service 201 will take two bikes in the boot of their coach-style buses. Even better, they dont charge for the bike.
 

Getting to Grampian by Car

The main roads into the area are the A90 from Dundee, the A96 from Inverness, A93 from Perth and A95 from Aviemore.
 
The A90 from Dundee is a busy dual carriageway, with average speed cameras and unmarked police vehicles. It is not the most pleasant of roads to drive but it does its job of getting you in and out of Grampian with little or no fuss very well. Do not even consider cycling on this road.
 
The A96 from Inverness is a busy, occasionally frustratingly slow trunk road that is renowned for accidents. It passes through, or near, some lovely towns and villages and as long as you keep your witts about you can have a pleasant drive. Best avoided by bike - even for short stretches.

 

 

Getting to and around Grampian by Train

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, and LNER both 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. Bicycles travel free on this service.
 
The Aberdeen to Inverness Line has railway stations in Dyce, Inverurie, Kintore, Insch, Huntly, Keith, Elgin and Forres. Scotrail are the only operator on this line.
 
Each of the train operators serving Grampian have their own rules and regulations with regard to taking bikes on their trains. See our Bikes on Trains page for operator specific information and contact details for train times and bookings.
 

Flying to North East Scotland

Regarded by many as the most dagerous thing you can do with a bike - taking it on a plane. However many people do just that and encounter no problems. (See the Cycling UK's website for an excellent information sheet on minimising the risk of damage). And lets face it, sometimes air travel is the only practical option to get close to your chosen destination. So if you want to get to Grampian by air, read on..
 
Aberdeen Airport Aberdeen, in the heart of Grampian, has an international airport. It is located in Dyce about 5 miles north of the city and is served by British Airways, Logan Air, EasyJet, Ryanair and many foreign carriers.
 
Inverness Airport Inverness, to the west of Grampian may be worth considering if your visit to Grampian will be centered in Moray. Inverness Airport is not serviced as well as Aberdeen, (British Airways, Easyjet, and KLM) but is still worth considering.
 

 

Grampian Visitor Accommodation

There are loads of places to stay in Aberdeenshire & Moray, ranging from hostels through Bed & Breakfast and Guest Houses to 5 star hotels. Some are more in tune with the needs of cyclists than others. Those that are in tune tend to be members of the Cyclists Welcome Scheme - look out for the logo when booking accommodation.
Find out more about the Cyclists Welcome Scheme, and where to stay on our Cyclist's Accommodation page.
 

Weather in the Grampians

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?
Well, read on to find what you can expect from the weather in the Grampians and make up your own mind?