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The Slug Route
This, tough in parts, 29 mile circular bike route starting in Stonehaven takes in some of the National Cycle Route no 1, before skirting the southern banks of the River Dee then climbing the locally infamous Slug Road and ending with a wonderful descent back to its starting point.
 

 
Cycle Route Details
The start and finish point is Stonehaven's Train Station. Check out our page on taking bikes on trains if you are considering using the train. There is car parking in the town centre if you decide to drive.
 
Leave the station courtyard and drop down the hill to the Tee junction. Take a left and continue straight down the hill to the traffic lights in the town centre. Turn left and continue past the open air pool to the mini roundabout. Go left and start climbing, under the railway and dual carriage way to take the first on the left sign posted Peterculter. This, incidentally is part of National Cycle Route no 1 which leads from Edinburgh to Aberdeen and beyond.
Keep climbing - eventually topping out at 100m - and then continue straight passing through Netherley, with views to Cookney Church on your right. Some 9 miles or so from leaving Stonehaven you start to drop down to the junction with the B9077. Don't be surprised to see ostriches in the fields on your left!
At the Tee junction, you go left. This is where the alternative start from Peterculter joins the circuit. If you have the time, and inclination take a detour by visiting the Templar graveyard in the grounds of Maryculter House Hotel which is on the right, a couple of hundred yards after joining the B9077.
You are now on the South Deeside Road. This skirts the Dee providing views to Drum Castle on your right before passing through the hamlet of Kirkton of Durris
After about 8 miles you come to a Tee junction, you go left. This is where the alternative start from Banchory joins the circuit.
Prepare to start climbing- again! The road heads up, then flattens out, then heads up again. If you have the energy look to your left on the second part of the climb. Great views, but watch out as the road surface on the climb good be better.
Just after the summit you pass the entrance to the Durris Wood, and its popular mountain bike trails. You can now relax, its more or less downhill all the way from here.
Watch out for the blind bends on the bridge over the Cowton Burn, keep going to cross the dual carriage way and back into Stonehaven. Take the first on the right as you pass under the railway bridge, and follow this road back to the train station.
Or you could drop into the town for a well earned ice cream by the sea!

 
Alternative Starts
An alternative start point is Banchory - this will extend your ride by about 7 miles. From Banchory follow the signs for Aberdeen. After 3 miles, at Crathes, turn right to follow the A957 marked Stonehaven. You are now on the Slug Road. After about half a mile the a road joins from the left, this is where you would have joined the Slug Road if you had started in Stonehaven.
 
Another option is to start in Peterculter, adding about 3 miles on to the route. Leaving Peterculter, head towards Aberdeen. In Milltimber turn right on to the B979. Follow this to its junction with the South Deeside Road and turn right. After about half a mile, at the Stonehaven junction, you join the rout described above.

 
Facilities & Services
There are little or no facilities on the route, so take grub and drink with you. However both Banchory and Stonehaven offer cafes, shops, supermarkets, pubs, restaurant and cycle repair shops.

 

 
Maps & Ads
Stonehaven and Banchory
Stonehaven and Banchory
 

 

 
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