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Deeside Way

The Deeside Way is a 66-kilometre (41 mi) rail trail that follows, in part, the bed of the former Deeside Railway. The trail leads along the north bank of the River Dee from Aberdeen to Ballater in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.


The Deeside Railway was a line that travelled from Aberdeen to Ballater as a stretch of the Great North of Scotland Railway. Its tracks have since been removed in their entirety and the path opened as a track to the public. While in operation, the railway was used by the British Royal Family during travel to their Scottish retreat at Balmoral, hence the local name the Royal Deeside Line.

Deeside WayEdit

The pathway is easily usable and shared by walkers, cyclists and horse riders alike, and runs from Duthie Park, Aberdeen to Peterculter with two breaks across quiet country roads and a larger one at the busy Milltimber Brae. It then breaks again for around a mile along Coalford Croft (there is some signposting to help guide) to Old Manse Wood, whence there is a narrow path into Drumoak. The route follows the A93 North Deeside Road for about 300 metres to a signposted wide path that rejoins the former railway line to Crathes, where it is necessary to use another short stretch of the A93 and the A957 to a minor road onto the path once more. This leads past Milton of Crathes, and alongside the Deeside Railway to arrive in Bellfield Park in Banchory.

The route then continues on to Potarch, where work was carried out in 2010 to repair footpaths around Scolty Hill[1] which now forms part of the route.

From Potarch, the path runs over a newly built bridge before heading alongside the River Dee, and into Kincardine O'Neil.[2]

The Deeside Way is now almost complete between Duthie Park in Aberdeen and the Station Square in Ballater. There is currently a gap in the route east of Aboyne from Kirkton to the Victory Hall (1.5 km).

A bridge across Holburn Street in Aberdeen was built in 2005, and in March 2010 another bridge was opened over West Cults Road.[3] There are plans to eventually improve the line so that all breaks will be bridged providing a safe unbroken path from the Duthie Park to Banchory. The route is to connect up to Ballater via Kincardine O'Neil, instead of following the original line through Lumphanan. Only the route between Banchory and Potarch, and Kincardine O'Neil and Aboyne remain to be completed in order for the path to run completely from Aberdeen to Ballater.

Laying of tarmac along sections of the path within built up areas of Aberdeen has taken place to improve from the current path which floods leading to thick mud patches during the autumn and winter months.

The track is now part of the National Cycle Network, as National Route 195. Once completed, the track may also be added to the list of Long Distance Routes.

The Royal Deeside Railway preservation society are reclaiming part of the way to build a heritage railway from Banchory to Milton of Crathes.

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