Newton Dee

There aren’t very many off-road cycle paths in Aberdeen but there is one very good one: Deeside Way. It runs along an old train line from Duthie Park all the way out to Ballater, a total distance of 41 miles. Unfortunately the line is no longer used by trains; it was closed in 1966. But once upon a time it was used by the Royal Family for visits to Balmoral Castle, which is close to Ballater.

We cycled along Deeside Way today. No, we didn’t do the 41 miles out to Ballater: nowhere near that, in fact. Instead we went to the village of Newton Dee, an easy 4 1/2 miles from Duthie Park. Newton Dee is an amazing place. It’s a community where adults with learning disabilities and special needs can live and find meaningful work. There’s a bakery, a cafe, and a shop selling food and crafts – some of the crafts have been made by the residents. There are also some farm animals there.

We had lunch in the cafe and although the choice was limited to two varieties of soup, the soup was delicious (and there were lots of different breads for dipping) and they had a vegan option. There were lots of cakes and biscuits too, including dairy-free and gluten-free options, and the coffee was good. It was uplifting to see this thriving community living and working together in a caring and supportive environment.

I managed to get this shot of the cafe and part of the shop looking very quiet. Most of the time it was busy and filled with people.


It’s nice to see chook enclosures like this with lots of space and shelter.IMG_7715The cycle ride was just lovely with lots of interesting homes to look at on the way and some splendid views.






Life is good. I’m living in a city I love, I own my very own bakfiets – something I’ve wanted for years and years and years – I’ve got a terrific job and my employer is one of the best in the world, my children are healthy and happy and settled in a fantastic school, and I’m married to a man I respect, admire, and love. I hope I don’t take any of it for granted. I try not to because you never know when the next earthquake will strike.

12 Replies to “Newton Dee”

  1. Great shots of your cycle ‘tour’. 🙂 And yes, it is good to step back now and then and really appreciate what you have , while you have it 🙂

  2. What a lovely post… in pictures and in words. I wish everyone could write your last paragraph. 🙂
    Who is that peeking up into the first picture? lol

    1. Thanks! Yes, that’s Elizabeth peeking up in the first picture. I was nearly going to crop her out of it but then I thought, nah, she can stay there.

  3. I love community projects like this, the best part of being human. And, nicely atmospheric shots, and there’s a hobbit in it. What could be better. 🙂

    1. I love projects like this too. What was particularly nice is that so often institutions that support the disabled or the elderly or the mentally ill are miserable and depressing places. This place was anything but miserable and depressing.

  4. An uplifting article in many ways. Life’s certainly good. ) Very impressed with Newton Dee too. Thanks for the photos.

    1. Lots of people in Aberdeen recommended a visit to Newton Dee to us as and I can now understand why. Often institutions that support the disabled are hidden away and most people don’t even know they exist. This wasn’t like that at all.

  5. The village you describe sounds such a beautiful community, and the surroundings are gorgeous.

    1. Aberdeenshire has some lovely countryside on its doorstep. We’ll see some more over Christmas so hopefully I’ll get some good pics then.

  6. Glad to hear everything is great for you. Amen.

    Thanks for the virtual tour of Scotland via your blog 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s