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  • Writer's pictureSpeyside Wildlife

North East 250

Why the North East

The North East of Scotland is maybe less explored than the rest of Scotland, but certainly has a lot to offer. Inland Aberdeenshire is miles of farmland, rivers running to the coast and a wide variety of history with National Trust of Scotland properties and castle ruins dotted throughout the countryside. It includes around one hundred miles of coast line to Aberdeen and leads into Royal Deeside, famous for Balmoral Castle.

Official map of the NE250 route (VisitScotland)

The Route

The North East 250 is a new tourist route that was launched in 2017. Following on from the popularity of the NC500 that follows the north coast of Scotland, this new route explores a unique area of Scotland. The route officially starts from the Spittel of Glenshee in the Cairngorms taking in Royal Deeside, over the pass of Lecht and through Speyside then up to Spey Bay on the Moray coast. This coastal route winds it way past seaside towns before heading south down the east coast towards Aberdeen before returning up Deeside. Driving (or cycling) on this route will take you over mountain passes, past roaring rivers, along a rugged yet beautiful coastline and past unique towns and cities. There are may things to see and do on this route including history and heritage, walks, food and drink and a large variety of wildlife.

Seal colony at Forvie National Nature Reserve (KateM)

Eider ducks at Forvie Sands (KateM)


The variety of environments that you pass on the route means that wildlife is not limited. In Deeside and mountain passes give chances to see woodland birds, Eagles, Grouse and Mountain hare. The coastline from Spey Bay round to Aberdeen gives plenty of opportunity to spot seabirds, Divers, Scoter and possibly Cetaceans. The route takes in plenty of wildlife watching points, viewpoints and National Nature Reserves such as Muir of Dinnet and Forvie Sands.

Muir of Dinnet NNR looking to Loch Kinnord (KateM)

The Trip

Speyside Wildlife’s NE250 trip takes place March 2019 and we will explore this new route starting from Aberdeen to Braemar for three nights for a chance to see Eagles, woodland birds, Ptarmigan and Grouse. We will then travel North via the Lecht ski centre up to the start of our coastal route from Spey bay and stay in Cullen, perfectly situated to explore this coastline of the Moray firth to search for sea ducks and possibly Cetaceans. We will travel to the most easterly point of Scotland, visiting Loch of Strathbeg and Forvie Sands, famous for Eider duck and Seal colonies before spending the final two nights slightly inland. Explore the NE250 route with this new trip with Speyside Wildlife for your chance to see what this area has to offer.

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