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Outdoors writer on track to publish new guide to the Deeside Way

By John Davidson

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Peter Evans has enjoyed learning more about the Deeside area while working on the guidebook.
Peter Evans has enjoyed learning more about the Deeside area while working on the guidebook.

A journalist and outdoors writer in the Highlands has turned his attentions on the Deeside Way with a new guide dedicated to the long-distance trail.

The walking and cycling route stretches 41 miles (66km) from the city of Aberdeen to Ballater in the Cairngorms National Park.

Peter Evans, who lives in Inverness, said he enjoyed discovering more about the area and its royal connections.

The 68-year-old said: "It’s quite an interesting and varied route, and because it’s along the line of the old railway – apart from one section from Banchory to Aboyne, which is a bit more hilly and on forest tracks and paths – it’s really not a very strenuous long-distance path.

"As long-distance paths go, it’s probably one of the easier ones, so it’s really accessible to people with a fair level of fitness who do some walking.

"The sections are broken down into very usable distances so that people can enjoy the scenery along the way without feeling like they’re doing a route march."

Peter, who also contributes to Highland News and Media's Active Outdoors series, also explored further away from the Deeside Way itself.

"Although the route is linear, the book also contains lots of walks that can be done away from the actual Way itself," he explained. "So you’ve got Muir of Dinnet National Nature Reserve and there are some really nice walks around there, then there’s Glen Tanar which is really worth visiting, and there’s lots of historic interest along the way, particularly castles, such as Crathie Castle owned by the National Trust.

"They all add to the flavour of the whole thing really.

"One of the walks I did that’s not part of the Deeside Way itself takes in one of the cairns that Queen Victoria had built to commemorate her children, and that’s a really interesting walk with a lot of history attached.

"In Ballater you’ve got the old railway station which burnt down in 2015 but it’s been completely rebuilt now and it houses a library and a café, as well as one of the old railway carriages. So, there are connections to Victoria really all the way along the length of the route."

Peter is originally from Ebbwvale in the south Wales valleys, but moved to Scotland and enjoyed a varied career including working for The Great Outdoors and Climber magazines in Glasgow. After completing his Munros, he has continued to enjoy walking across the north of Scotland.

"It will be good to see the book out in print and it will hopefully encourage people to get out and walk – and cycle – the Deeside Way," he added.

The Deeside Way by Peter Evans is published by Birlinn.
The Deeside Way by Peter Evans is published by Birlinn.
  • The Deeside Way by Peter Evans (published by Birlinn) is out soon.

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