National cycle route 1

steven87

New Member
I’m relatively new to cycling but I’ve been training for a charity cycle from Aberdeen children’s hospital to Edinburgh sick kids hospital then onto St John’s hospital. It’s around 170/180 miles over 2 days.

Just wondering if anyone has cycled the national cycle route 1 from Aberdeen to Edinburgh and can advise me what the roads are like generally, if they’re really hilly etc? Just so I know what we’re going into. Thanks
 

Brandane

Rain magnet.
Location
Costa Clyde.
I’m relatively new to cycling but I’ve been training for a charity cycle from Aberdeen children’s hospital to Edinburgh sick kids hospital then onto St John’s hospital. It’s around 170/180 miles over 2 days.

Just wondering if anyone has cycled the national cycle route 1 from Aberdeen to Edinburgh and can advise me what the roads are like generally, if they’re really hilly etc? Just so I know what we’re going into. Thanks
Are you sticking strictly to NCN1 or is it just a guide?
Looking at the map there, it takes some strange route south of Aberdeen, presumably to avoid the old A90. Since the Aberdeen bypass was opened (AWPR) I would imagine that cycling that section of the old A90 between Aberdeen and Stonehaven might be safe enough? Under no circumstances would I have cycled the A90 prior to the AWPR being built! @Mrs M will have better local knowledge of that section.
I haven't cycled NCN1 up that far but from driving it many times between Aberdeen and Dundee via Montrose I would say lumpy rather than mountainous.
I have cycled "The Cleish" south of Kinross, and that is quite a climb. Seems you have a choice of route though if not strictly following NCN1, north of Glenrothes, you can go on NCN766 which looks shorter, has more traffic free sections, and follows more of the coast. Plus it avoids The Cleish.
 

battered

Guru
You'd better hope it's not too steep, 170 miles in 2 days is a long way unless you have done a fair bit of training. The first day will be OK, 3 to 4 hours in the morning and the same in the afternoon, plus stops, will take you halfway. The tough bit will be doing the same again the next day.
 
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slow scot

Über Member
Location
Aberdeen
Save yourself at least one hour when leaving Aberdeen by taking the old railway line to Milltimber Brae. Then descend to the ruins of the Mill Inn on the South Deeside Road. Climb up past the play park known as Storybook Glen, and after about two kilometres you’ll get onto Route 1. This avoids hassle getting out of town and quite a bit of distance.
if you’re not local to Aberdeen, the Deeside railway line starts at Duthie park in Ferryhill, a short distance from the city centre.
 

Mrs M

Guru
Location
Aberdeenshire
Are you sticking strictly to NCN1 or is it just a guide?
Looking at the map there, it takes some strange route south of Aberdeen, presumably to avoid the old A90. Since the Aberdeen bypass was opened (AWPR) I would imagine that cycling that section of the old A90 between Aberdeen and Stonehaven might be safe enough? Under no circumstances would I have cycled the A90 prior to the AWPR being built! @Mrs M will have better local knowledge of that section.
I haven't cycled NCN1 up that far but from driving it many times between Aberdeen and Dundee via Montrose I would say lumpy rather than mountainous.
I have cycled "The Cleish" south of Kinross, and that is quite a climb. Seems you have a choice of route though if not strictly following NCN1, north of Glenrothes, you can go on NCN766 which looks shorter, has more traffic free sections, and follows more of the coast. Plus it avoids The Cleish.
I just cycle on the wee path, not on the road! :blush:
:bicycle:
 
OP
S

steven87

New Member
Are you sticking strictly to NCN1 or is it just a guide?
Looking at the map there, it takes some strange route south of Aberdeen, presumably to avoid the old A90. Since the Aberdeen bypass was opened (AWPR) I would imagine that cycling that section of the old A90 between Aberdeen and Stonehaven might be safe enough? Under no circumstances would I have cycled the A90 prior to the AWPR being built! @Mrs M will have better local knowledge of that section.
I haven't cycled NCN1 up that far but from driving it many times between Aberdeen and Dundee via Montrose I would say lumpy rather than mountainous.
I have cycled "The Cleish" south of Kinross, and that is quite a climb. Seems you have a choice of route though if not strictly following NCN1, north of Glenrothes, you can go on NCN766 which looks shorter, has more traffic free sections, and follows more of the coast. Plus it avoids The Cleish.
We haven’t got a set route as yet. We just put in google maps to cycle from the Aberdeen children’s hospital to Landmark hotel in Dundee the first day. Second day from Dundee onto Edinburgh then to Livingston.
It just shows the route and looks like some of it on the road B979 and also some of route 1. Sorry I’m all new to it hence why I’ve jumped on to here for a bit of advice!
 
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OP
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steven87

New Member
Save yourself at least one hour when leaving Aberdeen by taking the old railway line to Milltimber Brae. Then descend to the ruins of the Mill Inn on the South Deeside Road. Climb up past the play park known as Storybook Glen, and after about two kilometres you’ll get onto Route 1. This avoids hassle getting out of town and quite a bit of distance.
if you’re not local to Aberdeen, the Deeside railway line starts at Duthie park in Ferryhill, a short distance from the city centre.
It looks as though the route on google maps is taking past milltimber Brae and down to milltimber bridge then you stay on B979 for a bit then onto route 1, would that sound about right?
 

Milkfloat

An Peanut
Location
Midlands
My cynical view of the NCN is that it tells me where not to ride rather than where to ride. Yes some of it is good, but large parts of it is terrible infrastructure or muddy fields.
 

Brandane

Rain magnet.
Location
Costa Clyde.
We haven’t got a set route as yet.
In that case, if I was you I would use the NCN as a rough guide only. From bitter experience, their route planning sometimes defies logic! I know they probably have to consider things like young families using their routes, and not wanting to upset land owners etc. so their hands may be tied to an extent. BUT.... you sometimes find yourself going on lengthy diversions to avoid a fairly innocuous junction or section of "A" road, just as an example.

As someone above has suggested, I would recommend the use of one of the many cycle specific rout planning tools available online. My personal favourite is cycle.travel , the founder of which I believe is a member on here?
 

steverob

Veteran
Location
Buckinghamshire
I have done the 30-ish miles between Montrose and Dundee on NCN1 and it was actually quite good - the vast majority was quiet minor country roads or coastal cycle paths of a decent quality and width. There were a couple of parts where you went through towns (Arbroath, Carnoustie) where the route did take some odd twists and turns and there might have been a more logical way to cycle if you had planned it on a map in advance, but all in all I quite enjoyed it. Can't say anything for the rest of the route though - that's the only bit I've done.
 

slow scot

Über Member
Location
Aberdeen
It looks as though the route on google maps is taking past milltimber Brae and down to milltimber bridge then you stay on B979 for a bit then onto route 1, would that sound about right?
At the foot of Milltimber Brae turn right on the South Deeside Road, but after 100 meters turn left up a short climb. After that see my original post on reaching Route 1.
 

ChangFai

Active Member
Looking at the map there, it takes some strange route south of Aberdeen, presumably to avoid the old A90. Since the Aberdeen bypass was opened (AWPR) I would imagine that cycling that section of the old A90 between Aberdeen and Stonehaven might be safe enough?
You can cycle the A90 between Aberdeen and Muchalls by using the path alongside the road.

But Muchalls to Stonehaven is rough, and you would have to use the road, which I never do.

I can use the CR1 by going up from the Bridge of Dee, into Banchory Devnick, and Cookney, which is quite a climb.

Easier is to use the Deeside Way, and cut up from Culter or Drumoak, but you still have a climb to get onto the Netherley Road.

I live in Stonehaven, so I can advise on most of the routes north and south of it.
 
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