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Tomintoul and Glen Avon

By Neil and Janice Buxton
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Photo of Glev AvonRoute Details
This is a fantastic 19 mile ride out into the wilds of Glen Avon and a must-do. You'll need OS Map 36 for this and the free leaflet "Cycle Glenlivet Estate". The leaflet does not list this as a ride but shows the carpark location in Tomintoul - the Tomintoul Country Walk near the information centre at the end of the town.

This must be a superb summer ride (we've walked in a few miles in summer) but we biked it in March on a warm day after a few days of snow. The ground in places was gluey as the frost came out, and in places we were carrying the bikes through half a metre deep snowdrifts, so this tired and restricted us a bit.

Start from the carpark and the first few miles are very undulating with a few steep hills. As with many of the glens, it starts very lush and fertile but climbs imperceptibly into the wilds. The first few miles are on a lovely "tarmac" surface and easy going (except for the hills), passing a few buildings en route. Lots of places to admire the views and watch the oyster catchers (and listen to them!).

Photo of cyclist in Glen AvonEventually the road becomes a wide unsurfaced one and follows the river as the scenery becomes more rugged.

Eventually you will come to Inchrory on the map (a collection of buildings with one large one that looks like an old barracks or something). Just beyond here is the turning point where you bear right (west) over a bridge. The ride really starts now and over the bridge is a steep pull upbank by a waterfall.

The trail now climbs for ages into the wilds before levelling out a bit above the river. Finally you get the chance to swoop back down to the river, where you come to an iron bridge. By this point we'd had enough due to the drag factor of gluey trails so this was our lunch stop and we returned the same way - much faster going back!

Photo of waterfall in Glen AvonVariation {1}: Not so much a variation as an extension. Apparently the mile-munchers continue from here on a much harder trail all the way to Faindouran Lodge (further west), so this could become a real toughy!

Variation {2}: Just past the bridge and after a very short climb you will see Glen Loin heading north. This looks lovely and not too long if you want to add a few more miles.

Authors: Neil and Janice Buxton.

References
This cycling route guide was republished by kind permission of Neil and Janice Buxton. You can see more of their cycle routes (including photos) for Scotland on their website.

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