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Experience the Circular North East 250

It’s Scotland’s circular touring route and offers the perfect blend of landscapes for a fantastic road trip. The North East 250, which runs through Aberdeenshire and Moray Speyside, mixes countryside and coast, picturesque towns and villages and the UK’s largest National Park.

The route, a 250 mile-long circular trail which was launched in 2017, can be joined at three main points – Ballindalloch, Aberdeen Airport and Glenshee – and winds across Speyside, Royal Deeside, Aberdeen, Cairngorms, the east coast and the Moray Firth coast.

The route of the North East 250

It’s a route bursting with great attractions and experiences, so read on for a flavour of what you can expect!


You’re in the heart of whisky country, with a pick of fantastic distilleries, all producing their own distinctive whiskies. From Glenlivet and Tomintoul to Strathisla and Royal Lochnagar and more – come and enjoy a dram of Scotland’s national drink – sláinte!

And there’s a great choice of food & drink too, offering a real taste of the north east, including fresh seafood, shortbread and ground breaking craft beer.

Strathisla Distillery

History and heritage

Why not uncover the fantastic history and heritage of the North East 250? The region is packed full of castles, stately homes, royal connections, museums and heritage attractions, each with their own unique stories.

Discover the grandeur of the Scottish baronial Ballindalloch Castle, with a tour of the castle, a wander through the beautiful formal gardens, woodlands and riverside meadows or stop off at the tearoom. For a royal connection, explore the beauty of Royal Deeside.

On the north east coast at Fraserburgh, learn about the importance of lighthouses in Scotland’s maritime history at the fascinating Museum of Scottish Lighthouses.

Ballindalloch Castle, Moray Speyside © Claire Russell

Ballindalloch Castle, Moray Speyside © Claire Russell

The coast

Explore the coast of the North East 250 route at your own pace and enjoy the fresh sea air and an area peppered with picturesque fishing villages and stunning stretches of sandy beaches.

Take a walk along the clifftops near Portknockie to enjoy views across the Moray Firth and the iconic Bow Fiddle Rock, where you may even spot the resident pod of dolphins.

Bow Fiddle Rock

Portsoy is the location for the annual Scottish Traditional Boat Festival, a maritime celebration in June which is not to be missed, while further east, the pretty village of Pennan played a starring role in the 1983 film Local Hero.

If you’re looking for golf with a view, look no further than playing a round of traditional links golf at Cruden Bay Golf Club, just north of Aberdeen.


The great outdoors

Mountain biking and snowports in Cairngorms National Park, Munro bagging, kayaking or surfing off the north east coast, woodland and beach walks. The list of outdoor adventure opportunities along the North East 250 is huge. But what will you choose?

Snowsports at Spittal of Glenshee, near to one of three starting points of the North East 250

Snowsports at Spittal of Glenshee, near to one of three starting points of the North East 250

Get even more out of the North East 250!

Not only can you become a member, with everything from printed maps and downloadable itineraries at your fingertips, but why not sign up for the North East 250 Passport? Visitors can get a stamp from participating businesses along each section of the route and once complete, can download a special NE250 certificate from the website.

Find out more about the North East 250 and don’t forget to share your North East 250 experiences across social media using #NE250.

Looking for more road trip inspiration across Scotland? Check out the North Coast 500 in the north Highlands, the South West Coastal 300 across Dumfries & Galloway and Ayrshire, or venture on the SnowRoads through Perthshire, Aberdeenshire, and Moray Speyside.

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