My favourite thing to do in Aberdeen is to cycle along the Deeside cycleway to Newton Dee. We’ve been doing it multiple times a week over the summer holidays and I never tire of it. However in the list of “Things to Do” on Trip Advisor it’s way down the bottom. It needs a higher profile and I’m going to give it one right now. If I was a tourist to Aberdeen for one or two days this would be the top of my list of things to do: hire a bike and cycle to Newton Dee or further. You can also walk it, if you prefer.
The cycleway starts at Duthie Park which is wonderful in its own right and home to one of the largest winter gardens in all of Europe. It’s also within walking distance of the train station. You need to go through the Polmuir Road carpark to find the cycleway and then it’s fairly straight and flat all the way to Newton Dee, which is about 4 miles along the path. There are no cars whatsoever, just lovely friendly people walking dogs, jogging, scootering, and cycling. It’s neither crowded nor desolate. It’s just right.
The pathway follows the river Dee and so there are lovely views overlooking the river. There are also a couple of places where you can sit and rest.
If you go in summer there’s a food source along the way in the form of wild raspberries and they’re delicious!
Newton Dee is hard to find because there are no signs to it from the pathway. When you pass the golf course on the left, it’s about 3 minutes of cycling after that. You’ll see a bridge and the exit is on the left just before it.
Take this exit from the pathway and then go through the gate at the top and turn left again.
From there it’s about 20 metres down the hill and on the right. The café is open Tuesday to Saturday and has a wonderful selection of cakes. You can also have lunch there and they always have a couple of delicious soups to choose from as well as pizza which is made in their bakery and is very good. It’s all vegetarian or vegan. There’s also a superb grocery store and bakery.
If you want to be more adventurous then you can continue along the path. About 14 miles from Duthie Park is Crathes and here you’ll find Crathes Castle which is fabulous and also Milton of Crathes, which has a nice brasserie and some cute boutique shops. It’s worth noting that the pathway from Peterculter to Crathes is not complete and there are a couple of places with dirt track and also a small section where you’re back on the road with cars. But if I can manage it on a bakfiets with two kids onboard then anyone can do it. If you’re only going as far as Newton Dee it’s fully surfaced the whole way and in good condition.
For the really, really adventurous the pathway continues all the way to Ballater in the Cairngorms. We haven’t made it past Banchory yet but I’m sure we’ll do it one day ….