Old Aberdeen Road
Start location: Raitshill, 2km NW of Pitmedden (NJ 865 283)
End location: 1km north of Tarves at UCR leading to B999 (NJ 865 325)
Geographical area: Grampian
Path Type: Drove Road
Path distance: 5.5km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians
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This route starts at the end of the vehicle road at Raitshill. Ahead is a good hard-surfaced grassy road, 8-10 ft wide, which goes straight on to Tarves. Tolquhon Castle can be seen after a while on the right. As the track goes up a gentle slope, a track appears on the right, whih is signposted for Tolquhon. The way continues as a sound grassy track with a hard foundation. A wood is passed through, after which the road goes downhill towards Tarves. As one enters the outskirts, there is a sign saying "Old Aberdeen Road". The road now becomes a good metalled road which leads up to the square at Tarves, coming out by the Aberdeen Arms.
Head out of Tarves along Tree Road, a minor surfaced road which leaves between houses on the north side of the square. It is bounded by houses with gardens as far as the football park on the left in 0.4Km. The route then quickly deteriorates to a farm track which continues ahead and is signed 'OrdhiU'. The side track to Ordhill leaves on the right in a farther 0.4Km. The undulating track continues northwards and then descends to end at an unclassified road which runs east from the B999. Immediately opposite, there is a tarmac road with a partly obliterated sign which reads 'Private Road to Mains of Haddo Estate Office'.
OS Landranger sheet 30 (Fraserburgh, Peterhead & District) and sheet 38 (Aberdeen & surrounding area)
The Old Aberdeen Road was probably an important route into Aberdeen but is better known as having been a drove road.
The section signed Old Aberdeen Road is a grassy farm track bounded by overgrown stone dykes, running across low-lying farmland. At GPS NJ869 306 the route crosses a small burn on a stone bridge then swings gently right then left before rising towards a conifer plantation. Through the trees, the route steepens at a left and right dog-leg. Near the top of the rise, the trees give way to open fields with distant views to the east, south and west. Bennachie is seen to the southwest about 12 miles away. The route continues as a grassy track between stone dykes. It shows little sign of use, with gorse and broom starting to encroach. In a few places, a hard core base is exposed through the grass confirming that this was a route of earlier importance.