Cyclist riding along the Formaintine and Buchan Way
Cyclist riding along the Formaintine and Buchan Way

Aberdeenshire - Formaintine & Buchan Way

Cycle your way through a section of railway history

The Formartine and Buchan Way is a fabulously easy to follow cycle path that runs along the route of an old railway line, which has been justifiably designated as one of Scotland’s Great Trails.

The route is an impressive 53 miles in length (although can be tackled in sections), is entirely off road and relatively flat. It passes through a varied and interesting landscape with relics from its locomotive history scattered along the track.

The F&B Way starts at Dyce Railway station, on the outskirts of Aberdeen, and continues for 25 miles through the heart of rural Aberdeenshire to Maud where it splits. Continuing North for 15 miles takes you to Fraserburgh, whereas veering East will take you to Peterhead some 13 miles distant. Sections of the Formartine Way form part of Route 1 of the National Cycle Network.

The family friendly cycle route is entirely off road, and is built on the bed of the former Formartine and Buchan railway therefore any gradients encountered are shallow. Since closure of the rail line in the 1960s, some of the bridges have been removed, however ramps have been constructed to allow safe and easy access to and from the cycle trail at road crossings.

There are tunnels, bridges, overgrown platforms and telegraph poles- even some of the ceramic insulators from the poles are still in situ. There are wooden or concrete shelters that had once been used by maintenance men looking after the line. Some are dilapidated and overgrown with tall grass and nettles, others still have roofs, chimneys and doors.

The Buchan Way, as it is often called, passes through or close to many places of interest, such as Aden Country Park, Drinnies Wood Observatory, Strichen Stone Circle and Deer Abbey. These all make interesting detours or spots for a picnic.