Formartine and Buchan Way

  • River Ythan at Ellon
  • Aberdeenshire Farming Museum
  • Scotland's Lighthouse Museum
Distance (km) Ascent (metres) Number of days
66 (or 68) 420 3 - 5
Start: Dyce Finish: Fraserburgh

Route type and direction

Linear, from Dyce (near Aberdeen) to Maud, where it branches east to Peterhead or continues north to Fraserburgh.


From the edge of Aberdeen, the route follows a former railway line for 26 miles through rolling farmland to the village of Maud, where it splits to reach one of two destinations on the North Sea coast. One branch goes east for 15 miles to the busy fishing port of Peterhead, the other heads north for 16 miles to the seaside town of Fraserburgh. The route is entirely off-road and relatively flat. National Cycle Network Route 1 also uses sections of the route between Dyce and Newmachar and between Auchnagatt and Maud.


Be aware

  • whichever branch is chosen at Maud, to complete the entire route requires you to retrace your steps
  • some sections can be wet underfoot, where water drains off surrounding farmland
  • no support services at present

The challenge

This route runs largely over flat terrain. As a disused railway line, navigation is easy.  Surfacing varies across the length of the route, with tarmac sections through the urban areas and compacted aggregate path elsewhere. It is suitable for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders of all abilities, and because the route is shared, you need to stay alert for other trail users, perhaps moving at a different speed.


As a former railway line, the Formartine and Buchan Way passes through many communities: accommodation can be viewed and booked on the VisitScotland website.

Support services

None at present.

Public transport

A range of bus routes link the communities along the Formartine and Buchan Way: consult the Aberdeenshire Council public transport guides. The route begins at Dyce station on the main Aberdeen to Inverness railway line.

For details, visit Traveline Scotland, or, for the entire UK, Traveline. For travel from anywhere to anywhere, try Rome2Rio.

Download route cards

Download route cards covering the entire route below:

Route cards Download
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