I spent a week in Inverurie in Aberdeenshire this winter. With my last break from work in September, I was determined to get outside as much as possible, despite staying in a beautiful cottage with a hot tub. This meant finding local walking routes to take advantage of – Udny Station to Newmacher.
When we checked in, our host told us about the Fortmartine and Buchan Way. It’s an old railway line route that spans a total of 40 miles from Dyce to Fraserburgh. She said it was regularly used by runners, cyclists, walkers and families. Perfect.
Deciding to walk part of the route as an easy morning stroll, I started at Udny Station and headed towards Newmacher – around 3.5 miles in total.
Udny Station is actually a small village and if you’re nipping on to the route at this point, the entrance is quite concealed. We found it at the end of a small housing scheme. Through a gate and down the side of a grass football pitch, you will find an old brick platform with an Udny Station sign on it. Head left for Newmacher.
The maps starts at Udny Station and finishes at the Beekies Neuk pub on Oldmeldrum Road in Newmacher. Following this route will bring you out on to Newmacher’s main street. The walking route is a dotted green line on Google Maps.
I can’t speak for the entire route, but our section was very flat and all concrete. I was disappointed not to see any old railway tracks!
As you start close to the village, you walk alongside fields of cows, sheep and horses all happily grazing away. In fact, there is a tiny section that was very muddy as it was used as a pathway between two cow farms on either side. The mud was avoidable though by walking up on to the road then back onto the path.
The rest of the way is lined with crop fields and the odd cottage or two, very few animals. However, there are several nods to the route’s former identity – the railway line. From the old brick platform to the stone bridges and raised banks, it’s evident that this would have been a beautiful train journey through the Aberdeenshire countryside.
Although I mentioned raised banks, there are times along the way where you are closed in from hills on each side and others above ground level looking down at the fields. A truly varied walk and only 3.5+ miles long.
It took us just over an hour to get to Newmacher walking at a leisurely pace and stopping to take photos of the breathtaking scenery around us. As well as watching the cows feed!
If you’re not continuing on to Dyce and want to exit for Newmacher, the end point would be when you reach a small car park on your right. If you find yourself on the path walking behind the back garden of a row of houses, you’ve went too far (although there is still an option to break away later to Newmacher, this one is easier, shorter and takes you right into the main street).
If you want to continue on to Dyce, the end of the path will merge straight into the current Dyce train station. This is also right across from Aberdeen airport so offering a cool viewing spot to finish your journey.
We finished in Newmacher, making our way down to the Beekies Neuk pub for a refreshment! It was a beautiful sunny day so we decided to take our drink outside and have one last beer garden visit.
If you ever find yourself anywhere near the route, I recommend you hop on and experience it, even a small section as we did. The history, beauty and peaceful tranquillity won’t disappoint!
Read more of my walking and hiking adventures: