Star.pngStar.pngStar.pngStar.pngStar grey.png


From Roader's Digest: The SABRE Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (6)
From:  Toll of Birness (NK007348)
To:  Rathen (NK004593)
Distance:  16 miles (25.7 km)
Meets:  A90, A950, A90
Former Number(s):  A92, A949, A951
Old route now:  A90
Primary Destinations
Highway Authorities


Traditional Counties


Route outline (key)
A952 Toll of Birness - Mintlaw - Rathen
A952 Toll of Birness - Peterhead - Rathen

The A952 is a medium-length A-road in north Aberdeenshire, which currently forms the "straight-on" route between Aberdeen and Fraserburgh when the A90 bears east to Peterhead. Originally, however, it was the A952 that served Peterhead.


Layby near Ardallie

The road starts at the Toll of Birness on the A90 and continues north where the A90 turns to the east, although it maintains priority at the junction. The route then heads north, briefly turning to the east round a sweeping bend as it climbs before resuming its northerly heading through the rolling Aberdeenshire hills. A long straight past Auchleuchries leads to a twistier section through fields, with occasional roadside properties, and many more dotted across the landscape accessed on side roads or long driveways. This pattern is repeated a couple of times, sometimes the original historic alignment, then a section which has clearly been straightened, before the road reaches the small town of Mintlaw.

A new housing development marks the entrance to this growing town, and then the long straight South Street leads into the town centre. This is set around the Square, which has been converted into a sizeable roundabout where the A952 meets the A950. Leaving at the opposite corner on North Street, the road very quickly appears to leave the town behind. However, another new housing estate lies behind the thick band of trees to the left. A small roundabout then replaces an old crossroads as the road continues north through the fields. After another straight, a series of tightening bends wind across the New Bridge of Gaval and on past some woodland to Denhead where the B9093 turns off to the left.

From Denhead, the road winds along the top of a steep bank dipping down into a narrow valley, with short embankments across the numerous side streams that cut deep into the fields. A long right hander takes the route past the small village of New Leeds, which has somehow failed to match its Yorkshire namesake in size! Little changes for the last 3 miles, as the road continues across farmland, heading a little east of north until it rejoins the A90 at the Cortes Junction at Rathen, where the A90 has to TOTSO. The route can often be busy with lorries, but offers plenty of opportunities to pass under normal conditions.


The original section of the A952

In 1922, the A952 ran from Peterhead, north west to meet the A92 at Rathen. Then, in 1935, it was extended south along the former A949 making the road a loop off the A92 that went through Peterhead. The original route in Peterhead was along Queen Street to its end on the A950 Marischal Street, then when the A949 became part of the A952, Queen Street became a spur, with the mainline turning south on King Street (previously the A949 as far as can be ascertained). There was then a tiny multiplex with the A950 to reach Manse Street (effectively the north and south flanks of the modern roundabout) while the short intervening street (the west side of the roundabout) appears to have remained unclassified.

When the route from Aberdeen to Fraserburgh was renumbered to the A90 in 1996, the A952 was renumbered as the A90 and the old A92 route was renumbered as the A952. Therefore today, the A952 forms the inland route from Aberdeen to Fraserburgh and is signposted as such, with the trunk A90 not signposted beyond Peterhead in either direction. Prior to 1996 the route through Peterhead was trunk (as it remains) but the route through Mintlaw was also primary, though not trunk. It might make more sense for the numbering and trunk designation to follow the pattern used in Caithness with the A9 and A99, but clearly the numbering was chosen to follow the existing trunk route, despite it being less direct to Fraserburgh.

The 1922 MOT Road List defines this route as: Peterhead - Crimmond - Junction with A92
An official document from 16-5-1935 details the following changes: Extended from Peterhead (Junc of Queen Street (A952) and King Street (A949)) to Stirling hill, Hatton and Toll of Birness (Junc A92). The section of A952 from the King Street - Queen Street junction SE via Queen Street and Chapel Street to Marischal Street (A950) to remain as A952 (Harbour Spur).

Related Pictures
View gallery (6)
A952 layby - Geograph - 773315.jpgFraserburgh-bypass.jpgMintlaw-sq1.jpgMintlaw-sq3.jpgMintlaw-sq2.jpg
Other nearby roads
A900 • A901 • A902 • A903 • A904 • A905 • A906 • A907 • A908 • A909 • A910 • A911 • A912 • A913 • A914 • A915 • A916 • A917 • A918 • A919

A920 • A921 • A922 • A923 • A924 • A925 • A926 • A927 • A928 • A929 • A930 • A931 • A932 • A933 • A934 • A935 • A936 • A937 • A938 • A939
A940 • A941 • A942 • A943 • A944 • A945 • A946 • A947 • A948 • A949 • A950 • A951 • A952 • A953 • A954 • A955 • A956 • A957 • A958 • A959
A960 • A961 • A962 • A963 • A964 • A965 • A966 • A967 • A968 • A969 • A970 • A971 • A972 • A973 • A974 • A975 • A976 • A977 • A978 • A979
A980 • A981 • A982 • A983 • A984 • A985 • A986 • A987 • A988 • A989 • A990 • A991 • A992 • A993 • A994 • A995 • A996 • A997 • A998 • A999

Defunct Itineries: A920 (Perth) • A920 (Banff) • A921 (Perth) • A921 (Fife) • A922 • A949 • A951 • A968 • A982

SABRE - The Society for All British and Irish Road Enthusiasts
Discuss - Digest - Discover - Help