To Aberdeen by bicycle via Drum Castle

We cycled back from Banchory to Aberdeen yesterday and it was rather hellish. I thought I was going to die. We arrived home and I collapsed in a heap with a very sore butt and feeling sorry for myself. I’ve decided to give up cycling for good. Just kidding 🙂

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Banchory Lodge and none of us wanted to leave on Sunday morning. I love these British hotels that are each unique, without the soulless furnishings of a large hotel chain, and also a little rough around the edges. We stuffed our faces at breakfast and enjoyed lovely views of the River Dee.IMG_1891



Here’s the view from my chair:


I like this photo of the kids and the painting above them:


The day started rainy and overcast so I was thinking we’d have a nice cool cycle back to Aberdeen and dressed accordingly but the sun came out and it got hot again.


A close-up of the flowers behind me in that previous pic:


Someone yesterday asked to see a photo of my hairy legs. Here you go:


Ok, so that’s not really a photo of my hairy legs 🙂

A couple of pics outside the lodge before we left:



The part of the Deeside cycleway between Banchory and Crathes is just lovely; my favourite part of the whole trip. It’s very leafy, quiet, flat, and right beside the River Dee. This particular section is not tarmac but it was still easy enough to cycle along. It was not like the gravelly bits in some of the other places which I found quite arduous. Busby is not a mountain bike and cycling on gravel is hard. The section between Drumoak and Peterculter is the worst part with lots of gravel and hills. In fact, it’s so awful that we went back an alternative route which was better.

We wanted to visit Drum Castle on the way home which is slightly off the track so we ventured away from the cycleway and along the main road to the castle. We were so exhausted by the time we got there that I think we spent more time resting in the castle café than walking around the castle itself. We’re going to have to go back for another visit to see it properly. There was quite a long hill up to the castle and I ended up making the kids get out of the bike and walk the last stretch. Cycling uphill without kids was easy peasy. I’m seriously considering getting an electric motor for my bike.



Drum Castle is gorgeous even though we didn’t even get to see it all. The grounds are huge and there are lots of walks you can do as well as a children’s playground. The café is right at the bottom of the castle in what looks like the old kitchen. Since we spent so much time in there here are a couple of pics of it:



Aberdeen Art Gallery is currently undergoing some renovations and the collections have been moved to various other locations in the area including to Drum Castle. This means that not only is there all the usual stuff to see at a castle – gardens, woods, architecture, furniture, history, sculptures etc – there’s also an art gallery. It was just lovely.

Eventually we hopped back on our bikes for the final stretch home. Unfortunately I drank too many cups of tea in the café and ended up desperate for the dunny the whole way back. I couldn’t very well crouch behind a bush after all my rants about men pissing in the city centre so I had to put up with the discomfort. I’ve probably given myself permanent kidney damage now. This along with a headache, sore throat, sore arse, and a general feeling of un-wellness made what was really only a 1-2 hour trip feel more like 4 hours. But I made it home without wetting my pants and that’s the main thing 🙂

14 thoughts on “To Aberdeen by bicycle via Drum Castle”

  1. Poor you. Hope you recover quickly. Thanks for the pics, though. It’s so fun sharing your adventures. Beautiful and fun!

  2. Thanks for the laugh. 🙂 Hope your kidneys have pulled through.

    When I read about your adventure/ordeal, I immediately thought of this quote which I haven’t translated into “English” for obvious reasons: “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft a-gley.” (How fitting, eh?)

    Perhaps next trip,you can bring along a few wee bottles in the interests of everyone’s kidneys. A bike motor too.

    Anyway, looks as though you’ll have great memories from a wonderful trip. The photos are a pleasure to look at. No wonder everyone raves about Scotland’s beauty.

    1. I think my kidneys are ok, thank you. That’s a great quote. I have heard it before.

      Scotland is beautiful, especially this area near Aberdeen. But I might be a bit biased.

  3. Too hot? You sound like a native.
    Drum is interesting, the keep is another example of a short sort of strong building that was extended upwards later, there are a lot of them around but they don’t get much press.

    1. I’ve never liked the heat. The past two nights I’ve been sleeping with the fan on!

      We didn’t climb up the keep. I took one look at it and thought, nope, there’s no way I’m walking up all those stairs after the cycle ride, knowing that we still had a long way to cycle to get back. We’re members of the National Trust Scotland so we can go back any time and I’m sure we will, maybe even in the next week or so.

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