Formartine and Buchan Way

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Udny Station looking along the footpath.
Formatine and Buchan Way at Logierieve.

The Formartine and Buchan Way is a long-distance footpath in Scotland, extending from Dyce north to Peterhead and Fraserburgh. It follows the track of a former railway line, the Formartine and Buchan Railway, and is open to walkers and cyclists. Horse riders are also welcome on parts of the track but may require a permit. The railway closed in 1979 (Fraserburgh) and 1970 (Maud-Peterhead). The walkway opened in the early 1990s.

Accessibility[edit]

The path is around 53 miles (85 km) long and can be accessed relatively easily by public transport or car. Only the Maud station is less accessible by bus. A map of the Formatine and Buchan way is no longer available from local tourist offices, but it is marked on OS maps.

Route[edit]

The path starts at Dyce (57°12′20″N 2°11′32″W / 57.2056°N 2.1923°W / 57.2056; -2.1923 (Formartine and Buchan Way, Dyce trailhead)), which is on the outskirts of Aberdeen City. It passes to the east of Newmachar and through Udny Station before reaching Ellon after 13 miles (21 km). It continues north through Auchnagatt before reaching the crossroads of Maud. The Ellon to Maud section is 12.5 miles (20.1 km) long. At Maud the Way goes east to Peterhead (57°30′32″N 1°47′37″W / 57.5088°N 1.7935°W / 57.5088; -1.7935 (Formartine and Buchan Way, Peterhead trailhead)) and north to Fraserburgh (57°41′36″N 2°00′13″W / 57.6933°N 2.0037°W / 57.6933; -2.0037 (Formartine and Buchan Way, Fraserburgh trailhead)). It is 13 miles (21 km) to Peterhead and 15.5 to Fraserburgh.

Places of interest[edit]

Places of interest along the way include Drinnes Wood Observatory, Strichen Stone Circle, Aden Country Park, Deer Abbey and The White Horse at Strichen.

Signage and condition of way[edit]

The path is well signposted and is easy to follow. The track is relatively flat and undulates only when roads have to be crossed. It is well maintained, and few parts are overgrown. However, the Maud to Strichen section has a detour because of overgrown shrubbery, marshy conditions and numerous problems such as gates and fences blocking access.

Users[edit]

Many cyclists use the way as a commuting route into Dyce, Fraserburgh and Peterhead. Dog walkers are also a common sight.

Related local railway walks[edit]

Many walkers and cyclists in the local area also use the Deeside Way. It is open between Aberdeen and Culter and has recently been extended to Banchory using a mix of minor roads and railway track.

Closure of the railway and proposal for re-opening[edit]

The Peterhead-Maud section of the railway closed in 1970. The Dyce-Fraserburgh route closed as late as 1979. This closure was particularly controversial. The closure happened just as the oil boom was taking off and housing in towns like Ellon in particular was expanding. Ellon has 50% more inhabitants now than in 1979, and the lack of a railway leads to traffic congestion on the A90.

Transport Scotland is assessing the Aberdeen Crossrail project with through trains from Stonehaven to Inverurie. Part of the scope of this is to consider the re-opening of sections of the Buchan line. The cost is estimated to £400 million.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 57°26′52″N 2°06′47″W / 57.4477°N 2.1131°W / 57.4477; -2.1131 (Formartine and Buchan Way)