|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||4.6 miles (7.4 km)|
|Meets:||A98, B9121, B9038|
|Route outline (key)|
The road starts on the southern edge of the coastal village of Portsoy and heads eastwards from the A98 at Aird Bridge, climbing up through fields over Cowhythe Hill. This is the first of a series of long straights, but it then drops down through some bends to cross the Burn of Boyne at Scotsmill Bridge before climbing again to a TOTSO with an unclassified road. Here we turn left, and the road now widens - but not by much.
Still running through farmland, the road crosses the hill at Whyntie, with a disused airfield off to the right, and grand views of the sea to the left. A long, gradual descent also reveals the rooftops of the small harbour village of Whitehills, and the cycle route turns off into the village. The road continues to descend, and after several miles of breezy open hilltops, the road suddenly enters a small woodland, with the trees meeting overhead. This leads the last few yards to the B9121 crossroads south of Whitehills, from where the B9139 continues east for half a mile or so to the B9038 at Inverboyndie Crossroads.
Formerly the B9038 ended here and our road continued ahead through the village of Inverboyndie itself to return to the A98. However, Banff-bound traffic from the B9139 is now directed to turn right at the crossroads and use the short southern extension of the B9038 to join the A98 at Mill of Boyndie, half a mile west of the original eastern end of our road.
As noted above, this route formerly extended east through Inverboyndie to meet the A98 on the edge of Banff. However, as this road includes a rather nasty blind bend around a tall cemetery wall, with a sharp drop at the same point, and then a narrow bridge and a sharp bend where the railway used to cross, the modern solution is a much better route.
Long before the B9139 came into existence, most of its route was part of the old 'Kings Road' from Portsoy to Banff. Much of the history of this route is discussed on the A98 page, but we shall highlight the changes here. At the western end, the old road starts next to the last house on the left as the A98 heads out of Portsoy, where a track leads down hill to an old stone bridge. This track then climbs up to meet the B9139, with the long straights across the hills to Inverboyndie. At the eastern end, then, the old road appears to have been reused to carry the now dismantled railway into Banff. This either led along the shore to Scotstown, or climbed the steep path across the railway to meet the A98 at the entrance to the town. The route ceased to be the main road in the first half of the 19th century when the new road was built (now the A98).