Tourist Information for Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray
Where is Grampian?
We all think of the wee bit of Scotland that proudly sticks out into the North Sea as being the Grampian region. And we would be right to think this way, but strictly speaking, Grampian doesn't exist.
Grampian was a local government region of the north east of Scotland between 1975 and 1996. In 1996 the region was split into 3 councils, namely Aberdeenshire, Moray and The City of Aberdeen. However, for the purpose of this site Grampian most definitely does exists and, conveniently, covers the 3 districts previously mentioned.
How Big is Grampian?
Click on the Grampian area map above to enlarge it and see some of the major towns in the region.
The Grampian region is one of the largest regions in Scotland, with an area in excess of 8700 km2.
Couple this with its relatively few inhabitants (Grampian population was just under 586,000 in 2019, 40% of which live in the city of Aberdeen) then you can start to appreciate the attraction of cycling in this area.
The Grampian area is a region of contrasts. It has a long coastline which is characterised in the North by shifting dunes and wide stretches of golden sand. There are even nationally renowned spots for watching dolphins. In contrast the South, boasts spectacular rock formations providing sanctuary for thousands of sea birds, and rocky beaches. In land is just as contrasting with the rolling Grampian hills in the north and some challenging climbs in the south.
There is plenty to see both on and off the bike. The region is home to over half of Scotland's whisky distilleries, a major ski development, over 70 ruins, tower houses and mansions, botanic gardens, museums of all sorts, art galleries, music festivals, comedy festivals, a castle trail, a stone circle trail and of course a spectacular coast.
The Grampian area, and Aberdeenshire in particular, has a range of mountain biking routes and trails designed to challenge all abilities and boasts some of the best mountain bike trails in Scotland including a good choice of purpose built bike parks close to Aberdeen. Check out our Mountain Bike Trails Aberdeenshire page for more information on what the area has to offer.
If road cycling is more to your taste then the Grampian area of Scotland is a perfect choice. Quiet roads and a feeling of remoteness without being too far from a town make it ideal for cycle touring and Audax riding. And if you like things a bit more competitive then have a look at our Road Cycle Events in Aberdeenshire & Moray page for a comprehensive listing of sportives and cycle challenges in the area.
See the sections below for even more north east of Scotland tourist information.
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Lonely Planet Scotland
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.
Taking Your Bike on a Train
Currently, there are three train companies serving the north east of Scotland, namely: Scotrail, CrossCountry Trains and LNER. Each has slightly different rules and regulations on carrying bikes, so familiarise yourself before you travel.
You don't need to bring your own bike with you to enjoy cycling in north east Scotland. You easily and cheaply rent MTBs, e-bikes, road bikes, trikes and specially adapted bikes from many of the bike hire providers.
Aberdeenshire Cycle Map
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.