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.
Saturday 9th March 2014 - Dyce to Udny Station, Udny Station to Ellon - 13 miles
Alighting at Dyce, my friend and I head off on the old railway line towards Ellon.
Dyce Station, very busy in the mornings as people commute from Aberdeen and the surrounding area.
The route begins on a cycle path North of the station
Horsey came over to say Hello
Plenty of bridges left behind as evidence of the railway that once passed underneath
and many old workers huts still erected along the route
Another workers hut, many of these on route.
Must have been real cosy
Arriving at Udny Station
Udny Station, now a house
A quick cup of Coffee at Udny and we continue on our way to Ellon.
Not long before we arrive on the outskirts of Ellon, where we descend from the old railway bridge into Ellon and catch the bus back to Aberdeen. The pub awaits.
The old railway bridge crossing the river into Ellon.
Saturday 15th March 2014 - Ellon to Auchnagatt, Auchnagatt to Maud, Maud to Strichen - 17 miles
All on my lonesome this time, I caught the bus from Aberdeen to Ellon bright and early to continue the walk.
It was a long but peaceful day in the country with the occasional walker or cyclist passing in the opposite direction.
chooo chooooo I'm a train!
another workers hut, this time a little run down
Nice to see they are kept clean!
more evidence of a railway being in place, not sure what these numbers were for, I suppose the most obvious answer would be mileage?
looks like another workers hut, now being used as a garden shed.
Cyclist - one of many that day
yet another hut and bridge
Arriving at Auchnagatt, heading for Maud
Spotted a cool wee Treehouse
Lets play... Spot the hut!
Windfarm in the distance, one of many eyesores
I spot a Hut!!
One for the collection
it would appear a young team has already claimed this one
stone hut, a rare specimen
Finally arriving at Maud Station and the biggest and coolest of them all!
Two platforms here, as the track splits, North towards Fraserburgh or East to Peterhead.
Once arriving at Maud, I decided 12 miles would be enough and I was going to jump on the next bus home, the problem was... I had already missed the last bus from Maud So this was no time to be lazy, I was heading for Strichen whether I liked it or not! Luckily Maud has a village shop where I was able to re-fuel on Transform-a-snacks and Chocolate for my next 5.5 miles, arriving in Strichen around 7pm.
Onwards to Strichen it is then...
somebody has a staring problem
we're still playing Spot the Hut!
and collecting numbers
Some graffiti under the bridge, although I don't condone this behaviour, it's pretty damn good
...more behaviour I don't condone! One Hut burned to the ground probably by mindless idiots. It does have quite a surrealness to it though, could be a work of art.
One random chimney... one random can of Oil!! Coincidence? I think not!
Good to see this one is still intact
as you can now see there are plenty of small bothies en route
last photo of the day
Saturday 5th April 2014 - Strichen to Maud, Maud to Longside, Longside to Peterhead - 18 miles
Gave the route a break for a while before returning in April to do the Peterhead stretch, once again on my todd.
The earliest bus from Aberdeen to Maud on a saturday is 10:45am, this was no good for me as I wouldn't arrive in Maud until noon, bit late to be starting a 13 miler. So I went with plan B and caught the bus back to Strichen bright and early, then walked 5.5 miles back to Maud to continue on to Peterhead via Old Deer, Mintlaw and Longside.
first hut of the day
abandoned cottage up the hill
Came across 2 abandoned houses in the distance so couldn't resist going up the hill for a closer look and a quick explore.
Honey... I'm home!
Old Deer Abbey
Aberdeen Angus for Tea
Mintlaw Station, all bricked up. Would like to get inside for a look.
departing Mintlaw station
Longside Golf course
6 miles to Peterheed
The Sun finally decided to make an appearance
Uh Oh looks like somebody left their cooker on!
Getting closer to Peterhead and the dog walkers start to appear
Peterhead Harbour where Hector Brocklebank is waiting with my fash
The day passed pretty quick and never felt like I'd walked a whole 18 miles, then it was straight to the bus station and back to Aberdeen, nothing for me in Peterheed.
Saturday 12th April 2014 - Strichen to Fraserburgh - 11 miles
The last day of the Formartine & Buchan Way, 11 small miles left to completion. This time my mate was back on board so I wasn't crying from loneliness.
We caught the bus from Aberdeen to Strichen at 9:05am and arrived there for 10:15, went into the Co-Op for supplies before heading for Fraserburgh.
Heading off on the trail
Strichen Station, once a station, now a house
brave froggy, posed for the camera
another random station
followed by another random bridge across the railway
almost there... light at the end of the tunnel as they say!
This is a posh one
When nature takes over
full steam ahead
Yippeee another hut!
but this one has shut up shop
abandoned buildings, fun time
On this occasion I think I'll be keeping out of there if I want to make it to Fraserburgh
Worth a look around though
Yoohoo anyone in?
looks like nobody is home... but we had our little explore
onwards and upwards
bonny old hoose
and another abandoned house, nobody's liking this area
Could make a good wee bothy
another wee station
Sheep really are anti-social creatures
Finally, Fraserburgh in the distance
The sand dunes of Fraserburgh Beach
We made it!
Pretty views from the top of the Dunes
me posing on the dunes
Just so we know where we are
The fishing town of Fraserburgh
Once arriving in the town we found our way to the Bus Station with the help of a local, in excellent timing as we only had 9 minutes to wait for the next bus, then it was back to Aberdeen for a pint ... or 6.
The Formartine & Buchan Way is basically a peaceful stroll in the countryside, if that is what you enjoy then I recommend it. It is probably more suited to cyclists.
There are no campsites or wild camping areas along the route. I didn't consider camping along this one due to the time of year and the location, being close to home, but if you were wild camping you could probably find somewhere to throw up a hammock or pitch a tent. Certainly would have no problem finding accommodation on the towns and villages throughout.
Hope you enjoyed the report as much as I enjoyed burning the calories.