Today gave good weather and was quite warm at times. Using Ian Somerville’s guide (but in reverse), I found the small path that avoids walking along the road for this missing stretch of the Deeside Way, I can’t understand why it does not feature in any other descriptions of the way, as the path is quite good. The next section of the Deeside Way (to Banchory) does not follow the old railway much at all, it climbs quite high through a wood above Kincardine O’Neill (the way is not well marked here), and drops down to the village where there is an excellent, friendly small tearoom, Dees Teas.
Then a new section of the path follows the road to Potarch. From Potarch, the path then follows a minor road with a fair amount of height gained (it seemed like that anyway!) to the Blackhall Forest. Then it is forest tracks all the way to the Scolty Car Park. This section is very well signposted, and just as well, as there are numerous tracks all over the place. Then it is a short road jaunt to Banchory. There is a handy outdoor shop on the right before you reach the main road, and a much welcomed Mackies Ice Cream shop on the left.
I felt that the section of Deeside Way between Aboyne and Banchory is a bit contrived, following any old path that happens to be available, but it gets the job done, I guess.
I stayed in the British Legion which is up the hill a bit. This is inexpensive, a bit dated, but perfectly adequate with good food, and the staff are friendly. It seemed to be mostly anglers who were staying here, complaining of the poor catches this year and the previous year.