This section, quite a scenic route, was formerly the B9014 (now applied to the Dufftown-Keith road). It starts at a junction with the A941 east of Dufftown, near the River Fiddich. Dufftown (formerly known as Mortlach until renamed for himself by the Earl of Fife), is a pretty little town in the heart of Speyside whisky country, with an impressive ruined castle (Balvenie).
The road follows the Fiddich east before heading off through hilly country across to the valley of the River Deveron, which it follows till it crosses a bridge below Dunbennan Hill, around which the river loops; the A920 takes the direct route. It rejoins the river at Dunbennan, crosses the A96 Huntly bypass at a staggered crossroads, and follows Deveron Road and Deveron Street into Huntly. It duplexes with the A97 through the town and out the other side on Duke Street, Bogie Street and the Aberdeen road to again meet the A96 for another, lengthy multiplex. Huntly is an important market town near the confluence of the Deveron and Bogie rivers, and the general area is known as Strathbogie. It too has an impressive ruined castle, whose former owners, the Earls/Marquesses of Huntly and Dukes of Gordon, brought the name with them from their lands in Berwickshire.
Section 2: Colpy – Ellon
Colpy, at the road's junction with the A96 eleven miles south of Huntly, is the destination signposted in Oldmeldrum but is barely noticeable. The road heads east through Kirkton of Culsalmond and follows an unremarkable twelve miles (except for the fact the A920 gives way crosses the B9001 at a staggered crossroads at Drum of Wartle) to Oldmeldrum, a village which has seen a huge increase in size recently with hundreds of new houses and a new northwest bypass, numbered B9170. From the square in the village centre the road is the junior partner in a duplex with the A947 towards Aberdeen before branching off to the left a mile east of the village.
Ellon New Bridge
Just before Pitmedden the road TOTSOs left to head north past Pitmedden Garden, in the care of the National Trust for Scotland, and then again heads east towards Ellon. It enters Ellon on Riverside Road, follows South Road across the River Ythan, and then runs along Market Street and Castle Road out of town to the east to a roundabout junction with the A948 by the Ellon Park and Ride terminus, 200 m short of that road's junction with the A90.
Oldmeldrum in 1932, showing what would become the A920
The third incarnation of the A920, this road dates to the late 1960s when a few Class II roads were upgraded.
Dufftown to Huntly was originally the B9014, except for the section of the current A920 within the Huntly bypass, which was the original route of the A96. In fact, the A920 and B9014 numbers were swapped in the Dufftown area - the road to Keith was the A920 and is now the B9014.
East of the A96 the A920 presumably came into existence to provide a single through route. The Colpy to Oldmeldrum road was originally numbered B9000. That number took over the former B9003 east of Oldmeldrum and the A947 - giving a through route to the coast at Newburgh. However, when the A920 came into existence it only took over the B9000 as far as Pitmedden, where it instead followed the route of the B9004, which ended on the A92 in the centre of Ellon. In more recent years, Ellon has been bypassed and the A920 extended along the pre-bypass road to the east of town.