Cycling/Mountain biking

Riding through the heatherAlthough we don’t have any dedicated trail centres right on our doorstep, there are plenty of options in fairly close proximity (see below) What Braemar does offer is a massive network of tracks and paths which provide endless opportunities to the mountain biker seeking self guided routes on natural trails. Some popular routes amongst local riders include:

  • Trails through Ballochbuie to Loch Muick (single and double track)
  • Over the Bealach Dearg with options to return via Bridge of Gairn or a circuit to Fords of Avon (single and double track)
  • Hill route to top of Carn Liath offering outstanding views of the Cairngorms (mainly double track)
  • Glen Geldie and Glen Tilt to Blair Athol (mostly double track)
  • Off road circuit of the Cairngorms (multi day trip on single and double track)
  • Quoich – Fairy Glen – Keiloch circuit (single and double track)

These routes will often take you into wild and remote country so riders should be suitably experienced and prepared. Follow the Scottish outdoor access code.

Trail Centres

Mountain bike trailsThe following trail centres are all within about an hour’s drive of Braemar

Glenshee Ski Centre and The Lecht both offer lift assisted trails

Family Cycling

Off road touringLeisurely cycling along quiet roads to the Linn O’ Dee or Frasers Bridge are popular options. A bit further afield there is the Deeside Way, starting in Ballater it provides an off road cycle track on an old railway line. See the Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust website for more details. For youngsters developing their off road skills there are many good double tracks to explore. Popular options include:-

  • Derry Lodge and return (picnic and paddling opportunities en route)
  • Altanour Lodge and Glen Ey
  • Loch Callater and return (picnic and paddling opportunities en route)
  • The Glen Quoich circuit (for the stronger and capable young rider. There are short sections of pushing due to flood damage)
  • Invercauld House to Linn O’ Dee off road route (circular route of 20miles with options to shorten to 14miles some on road)
  • Off road circuits on tracks in Ballochbuie woods.

Road Cycling

Family cycle to Derry LodgeLooking at a road map, Braemar might not be the first choice for a base for road cycling with a relative lack of minor roads in the immediate area. However, for the cyclist wanting some challenging day trips, it’s hard to beat. Local roadies would recommend the following, but beware you’ll need some granny rings to get yourself round some of them!

  • Dee – Donside loop 60 miles with three well graded climbs
  • Deeside – Angus glens loop 100+ miles including climbs over Cairn o Mount and Glenshee
  • Deeside – Lecht – Cabrach 100+ mile loop through whisky country
  • South Deeside road – undulating route following the River Dee
  • Deeside Way and Glen Muick 40+ mile circuits
  • The “Cairngorm Beast” – A circuit of the Cairngorms involving ascents of Glenshee, Drummochter and the Lecht to name three. Epic one day ride but probably more suited to a multi day ride!

What’s New?

  • Trail ridingElectric Bike Network – Jump on a power assisted bike and see Royal Deeside at a leisurely pace, without working up sweat! Electric bikes available from Braemar Mountain Sports and other outlets in the Cairngorms
  • GlenLivet trail centre near Tomintoul now open. The red trail will provide the longest descent of its kind in the UK (approximately 8km). Also on offer is a great cruisey blue run suitable for families or those developing their skills.
  • Aboyne jump park – New facility for the dirt jump riders.

Bike Hire and Shops

And Finally…

Braemar is a staging post for End to Enders and Coast to Coasters. Many of the accommodation providers in the village offer secure bike storage, bike wash, laundry and drying facilities. Our food and drink providers will offer hearty meals to keep you fuelled and, in addition, the village shop is open until 10pm every day including Sunday.