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Drive Itinerary From St. Andrews

We are driving from St. Andrews to Grantown-on-Spey; is it better to go via Aberdeen or up through Cairngorms National Park with a stop at Balmoral Castle? Without stops it's the same time line!

Posted by
103 posts

Most people going from St Andrews to Grantown on Spey would drive to perth then go up the A9 through Pitlochry, Aviemore etc, that's most definitely the quickest route. I don't think anyone would consider going via Aberdeen cause it's a massive detour!

If you want to go to Balmoral then go to perth first, then join the A93 up through blairgowrie, glenshee etc. Once you've visited head on over on the A939 to Grantown on spey. It is a twisty road through mountainous areas once you get up north of blairgowrie so it will take a while to drive it - I'd leave the best part of a day to do it including your visit to Balmoral.

The only qualification I'd add to the above is that I presume you're travelling some time in spring/summer/autumn? In winter the above roads can be badly affected by snow and the A939 between cockbrige and tomintoul is often closed for large parts of the winter due to this.

I'm not sure what journey planner you're using, but despite what it might say I think going via Aberdeen would take markedly longer - it's certainly a significantly greater distance overall. Additionally the two other routes are more scenic than going via Aberdeen - The A90 from Dundee to Aberdeen isn't a particularly scenic road IMO, OK you can see the sea for the last part, but apart from that..............It's also got a lot of speed cameras!

Posted by
490 posts

Hi outshined78; if you check Google Maps I can drive from St. Andrews to Balmoral via A93 straight to Blairgowrie then to Glenshee then to Balmoral & Grantown. Thus you don't backtrack to Perth then up? Does this make sense?

Posted by
5677 posts

Hi Jean, via Michelin gives you three routes between these two locations. One is really long. They always list the A9 as the first choice as that's the "best roads". But if you're coming back south on the A9 then going north through Blairglowrie and up to Balmoral through the Cairngorms is a great option. I've done the drive. You'll enjoy it.


Posted by
103 posts

Yes sorry I should have said Dundee instead of perth. Just head to Dundee and then take the A93 North from there and that's the best route.