Opened in the early 1990s, the Formartine and Buchan Way runs along the former route of the railway that extended from Dyce on the fringes of Aberdeen north to Maud, where it split with branches heading to both Fraserburgh and Peterhead.
The line was a victim of the 1960s Beeching cuts, though it continued to carry freight to Peterhead until 1970 and to Fraserburgh until 1979. The Buchan Countryside Group began the work of reopening the route as a cycleway and footpath in 1987. Today the route offers a peaceful walking route through pleasant, lowland countryside and rich farmland.
|Dyce to Udny Station||13km||2.5 - 3.5 hours|
|Udny Station to Ellon||8km||2 hours|
|Ellon to Auchnagatt||12km||2 - 3 hours|
|Auchnagatt to Maud||7km||1.5 hours|
|Maud to Strichen||9km||2 - 2.5 hours|
|Strichen to Fraserburgh||17.5km||2.5 - 3.5 hours|
|Peterhead branch: Maud to Longside||11.5km||2.5 - 3.5 hours|
|Peterhead branch: Longside to Peterhead||10.25km||2.5 - 3 hours|
The route is very gently graded and easy to follow. It is also used by cyclists; the surface can be muddy in places and is probably best suited to mountain bikes.
There is a variety of accommodation along the length of the Formartine and Buchan Way.
Dyce is on the fringes of Aberdeen near the airport and is linked to the city centre by a train service - convenient as the Formartine and Buchan Way starts from Dyce station. As would be expected, Aberdeen offers a vast choice of hotels and other accommodation.
The town of Ellon is the next settlement on the route which offers accommodation, with a choice of three hotels and two bed and breakfasts, as well as a good range of shops.
Maud and Strichen also offer shops, hotel and guest house accommodation.
Dyce is easily reached by train (or bus) from Aberdeen, whilst Peterhead and Fraserburgh at the ends of the route are both well served by bus back to the city.
There are also buses to all the start and end stages listed above. Udny Station, Ellon, Auchnagatt and Maud all have buses to Aberdeen, whilst Maud and Strichen have buses to Fraserburgh. Longside has a bus to Peterhead, but note that there is no direct bus between Maud and Peterhead.
Timetables for all the routes can be found on Traveline Scotland.
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