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Location Map ( geo)
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Slug Road
From:  Glasslaw Bridge (NO863842)
To:  Crathes (NO749965)
Via:  Stonehaven, Rickarton, Blairdryne
Distance:  14.8 miles (23.9 km)
Meets:  A92, B979, B9077, A93
Former Number(s):  A94, B978
Highway Authorities


Traditional Counties


Route outline (key)
A957 Glasslaw Bridge - Crathes

The A957, known as the Slug Road, is one of the ancient 'Mounth' passes connecting Angus to Deeside. Since the 1970s it has been re-routed at both ends, but the middle section remains slow and twisty.


Slug Road, Stonehaven

Today the A957 begins at Glaslaw Bridge on the A92 a little to the east of the Dunnottar Intersection on the A90 bypass. It runs north west, winding steadily down the hill and passing the Braehead housing estate before reaching the edge of Stonehaven proper. The road then sweeps round to the left in front of an old toll cottage which marks the old junction between the A92 and A94 before the bypass was built. It then turns hard right onto Dunottar Avenue, and at the end of a short straight hard left onto Bridgefield. Continuing ahead here leads into Stonehaven's historic harbour. The route now crosses the Carron Water and heads into town on Allardice Street, reaching a set of traffic lights at the Market Square, where the A957 TOTSOs left.

The Market Square was the original start point for the A957, and it heads west up Evan Street, but not far before it TOTSOs right onto the charmingly named Slug Road. It winds north west through the town, past a few very expensive looking properties, but mostly modern housing estates which turn their backs on the main road, leaving rear garden hedges and trees on the roadside for much of the time. After passing under the railway, the Academy sits on the right hand side, with a couple of driveways leading onto the road, but otherwise it is just the backs of modern housing to see. A mini roundabout gives access to these estates and then the A957 crosses over the A90 without a junction, and no real prospect of ever adding one with the closeness of the development on the east side of the A90. However, a new roundabout has been built at Redcloak Farm to serve new mixed use developments outside the bypass, with a proposed bridge over the Cowie Water to connect to the B979 and so the Stonehaven Junction on the bypass.

The road climbs the hill, and enters some mixed woodland, curving round to run along the steep hillside above the Cowie Water, before dipping down to cross it at Findlayston Bridge. A short climb through trees leads out into fields, the road winding across the hillside before taking a sharp U-turn over the Cowton Burn on Cowton Bridge. A long straight climb then lifts the road up to the tiny, scattered village of Rickarton, which is the largest settlement along the route, but still no more than a dozen properties sit on the roadside. The road then follows a long, sinuous section westwards, climbing slowly through fields which eventually give way to open moorland. Large forestry plantations cover the hills on the far side of the shallow valley, and then the road enters Durris Forest, leaving the moorland hills behind.

The A957 climbs steadily and steeply up through Durris Forest to reach a height of 230m (740ft), the pass at the top being known as the Craigs of the Slugs. Just over the crest at the summit, a minor road forks right with a house set in the fork, while the A957 drops down out of the forest. Once out of the trees, the descent is steep and zig-zagging down the northern side of the hills, to cross the Burn of Sheeoch. The sharp turn over the bridge leads to a gentler climb, but still with some twisty bends to a low summit at Crossroads, where a side road through the trees leads to a stone circle. Beyond Crossroads, the old Slug Road forks left, and the A957 suddenly widens, sweeping down the hill in a modern alignment to reach the River Dee. A staggered crossroads at the bottom sees the B9077 turn right, and then the A957 crosses the 1977-build Durris Bridge to meet the A93 at Crathes.


The original northern end of the A957

The A957 came into being in the mid-1920s when the B978 Stonehaven to Banchory road was upgraded to Class I status. However, that route was different at either end. The A957 originally started on the A92 in the Market Square in Stonehaven. When the town's bypass was built the A957 was extended along the downgraded section of A92 across the Carron Water and then the A94 to meet the southern bypass. The A90 has now taken over the A94 south of Stonehaven meaning that comparing road numbers is not always easy.

The north end has also seen a change of route, as the Durris Bridge over the Dee was a private road (with toll) until the 1970s. The original route for the A957 ended on the old A943 South Deeside Road, now unclassified, at Knappach Toll about two miles west of the Durris crossroads, although historically the Slug Road has ended at various points as far west as Bridge of Feugh and Banchory. Traffic from the A957 then had to head about a mile further west on the A943 to cross the river at Banchory. Construction of the new Durris Bridge rerouted the northern end of the road along a new build section, which uses a short stretch of a pre-existing road to descend the hill and downgraded the A943 .

Related Pictures
View gallery (6)
A957 Stonehaven - Coppermine - 2182.jpgSlug Road, Stonehaven - Geograph - 1383192.jpgDurris Bridge - Geograph - 1782880.jpgLong straight on the Slug Road.jpgCowie Water at the A957 (Slug Road) bridge - Geograph - 531683.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

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