|Length:||107 mi (172 km)|
|Perth, Blairgowrie, Braemar, Aberdeen|
The A93 is a major road in Scotland and the highest public road in the United Kingdom. It runs north from Perth through Blairgowrie and Rattray, then through the Grampian Mountains by way of Glenshee, the Cairnwell Pass and Glen Clunie to Braemar in Aberdeenshire. At Braemar, the road then switches east down the strath of the River Dee before crossing the A90 and terminating in Aberdeen.
Leaving Perth it passes Scone Palace, ancient coronation site of Scottish kings and now home to Britain's most northerly racecourse, continues through the planned 19th-century village of Guildtown before crossing the River Isla and passing the famous Meikleour Beech Hedge, planted to commemorate the 1715 Jacobite Rebellion and now the tallest and longest hedge in the world. Five miles north lies Blairgowrie and Rattray, the second largest town in Perthshire, where the road crosses the River Ericht. 6 miles up Glenericht it reaches the little village of Bridge of Cally and begins the long climb up into Glenshee, eventually passing the historic Spittal of Glenshee hotel which was originally a shelter for travellers run by monks from Coupar Angus abbey. At this point it climbs from the inhabited green valley of Glenshee onto the bleak desolate moors of Glenbeg and the snow gates at Spittal of Glenshee are regularly closed in winter, which here can be from October to April, to prevent motorists becoming stranded overnight. At the Cairnwell Pass, the road reaches its maximum altitude of 670 metres (2199 feet) above sea level and passes the Glenshee Ski Centre, Scotland's largest ski centre. At this point it is the highest public road in the United Kingdom. The southern approach to the Cairnwell Pass used to include a notorious double hairpin bend with steep gradients known as the Devil's Elbow. This was bypassed by a new stretch of road in the 1960s but the old hairpin bends and World War 2 gun emplacements can be accessed on foot from a layby part way up the hill.
Over the summit of the Cairnwell Pass the road enters Aberdeenshire and the standard of the carriageway improves considerably, wider and better surfaced than the 42 miles in Perthshire. Descending now, it runs along Glen Clunie alongside the Clunie Water for 8 miles to Braemar, a pretty village 1110 feet above sea level at the west end of Royal Deeside. So far the road has been running roughly north but here it turns east for the 60-mile descent to the North Sea at Aberdeen. 10 miles from Braemar it passes Balmoral Castle, holiday home of the Royal Family, then continues through Ballater, where many small local shops proudly display the Royal Warrant, Dinnet, Aboyne, Kincardine O'Neil, Banchory and Peterculter before entering Aberdeen city.