|Distance:||110 miles (177 km)|
|Meets:||A956, A9013, A92, A957, A980, A97, A939, A924, A926, A923, A984, A94, A85, A989, M90, A9|
|Route outline (key)|
Section 1: Aberdeen - Braemar
The A93 starts in the centre of Aberdeen as Guild Street, at a light-controlled junction with Market Street (A956) passing the bus and railway stations before turning south onto College Street. It now goes west again, meeting the A9013 (former A92), where it becomes the Great Western Road. We then meet Anderson Drive, the A92 Aberdeen Ring Road, which is crossed at traffic lights. The road now feels slightly more rural with the peaks of the Cairngorms in the background.
The A93 now runs along the North Deeside road through Cults, Milltimber and Peterculter. It meets the B979 at Milltimber, where a short link road also provides access to the A90 Aberdeen bypass (which the A93 crosses on a bridge) at a light-controlled junction. The B979 then multiplexes with the A93 until it splits at Malcolm Road heading to Westhill. The A93 then leaves Aberdeen City Council boundaries and passes the picturesque Drum Castle. We now follow the banks of the Dee deep into royal Deeside. We pick up the A957 from Stonehaven at Crathes before reaching Banchory. Banchory is an old town on the banks of the Dee, where we pass the Cairn O' Mount Road (B974) which takes you to the Falls of Feugh and Brig O' Dye. From here the A93 rises up round the Hill of Trustach, before dropping back down to the Dee valley through the old towns of Kincardine and Aboyne. From here the road, still running north of the Dee, is closely followed by the former course of the Deeside Railway which is now mostly a cycle path; however, one section is being partly rebuilt by volunteers. At Dinnet Hotel the A97 turns off to the right towards the Eastern edge of the Cairngorms.
The road now runs through some forest, skirting to the south of Loch Kinord, and into Ballater, which is bypassed by the B972 whilst the A93 goes through (is there anywhere else where this happens?). At the royal bridge the road turns right, staying north of the Dee, past the main square. There are many places here 'by royal appointment' due to its proximity to Balmoral; the town was a favoured place of Queen Victoria when she was on holiday. After reaching the other end of the B972 the A939 turns off and heads over the Lecht to Tomintoul, Grantown and Inverness. The road is now deep into the Cairngorms. At Crathie we meet the B976, which has followed us on the south side of the river since Banchory. This is the main turning for Balmoral Castle.
A few miles further on, the road has been realigned following the flood of January 2016 which destroyed the old road on the river bank. The new road now curves inland through a field for a couple of hundred metres, and the only evidence of the line of the old road is that there is a break in the new tree planting where it used to run. At Invercauld Bridge we cross the River Dee, the river we've been following for over 50 miles for the first, and last, time. Braemar is the next stop, which is where the road turns from west from Aberdeen to south to Perth.
Section 2: Braemar - Perth
Leaving Braemar the road runs through a steep sided U-shaped valley down Glen Clunie; here the road is pretty fast, but we soon reach Glenshee, the biggest ski resort in Scotland, with ski-lifts and tows on either side of the road, 'The Sunnyside' on the East and 'The Cairnwell' on the West. Just after leaving Glenshee we reach one of the highest points on the UK road network at 2182ft, shortly after we come to the Devil's Elbow, which has caught many tired skiers out in the past; although the sharp double bend has been removed, it is still a steep drop. From here we go down to Spittal of Glenshee, popular for ski hire.
After over 30 miles without meeting another classified road, we now meet the B951 from Kirriemuir at Cray and, slightly further down, the B950. We run down a hill into Bridge of Cally where the A924 comes from Pitlochry. The section north of Blairgowrie was improved in 2008, bypassing a traffic-light-controlled bridge and a tight and twisty section through the Craighall Gorge by taking the road further up the hillside. The road TOTSOs with the A926 in Rattray before crossing the River Ericht again and into Blairgowrie. The course of the road has been slightly altered via a new one-way system in the town. Between here and Perth the A93 runs through a more rural landscape, passing through Newbigging and meeting the A984 near Meikleour. There are a few dangerous bends to the South of Guildtown. We pass Perth racecourse at Scone, and run into Perth along the left bank of the Tay to meet the A94 and A85 at consecutive sets of traffic lights.
There is a short multiplex along the A85 to another set of traffic lights where the A93 reappears to cross the Tay on Queen's Bridge, only to disappear again at the next junction on the A989 ring road. The unclassified road directly ahead (which is one-way towards us) eventually reaches the exact spot where the A93 extricates itself from the ring road. It then continues out of town along Glasgow Road to pass a small service area just before ending at the Broxden Roundabout where it meets the A9 and M90.
In 1922 the A93 ran between the A92 (now A9013) in Aberdeen and the A94 in Perth, later being extended into the centre of both towns. For some reason, it crossed Queen's Bridge in Perth rather than Perth Bridge (the A85) which would be more logical for both roads.
After ending on the A9 in Perth for some years the A93 was extended west out of Perth along the original line of that road when the bypass was built, giving the road its current western end at Broxden.
Original Author(s): A8000_Bob