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Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (2)
From:  Banchory (NO703957)
To:  Alford (NJ562166)
Distance:  20.6 miles (33.2 km)
Meets:  A93, B977, B993, B9119, A944
Former Number(s):  B976
Highway Authorities


Traditional Counties

Aberdeenshire • Kincardineshire

Route outline (key)
A980 Banchory - Alford

The A980 is a largely rural cross-country A-road, between Banchory and Alford in Aberdeenshire.


The road leaves the A93 North Deeside Road in the eastern part of Banchory, and climbs Raemoir Road, passing Banchory Academy and on through the suburbs and out of town. Blocks of forestry interspersed with small fields line the roadside as it continues north towards Raemoir House, now a swish hotel. The A980 then TOTSOs left, with the B977 from Garlogie turning right at the end of the hotel's driveway and heads west towards Torphins. For the next few miles the road enjoys a series of long straights as it skirts the southern fringe of the broad massif of the Hill of Fare. This is an agricultural landscape, but the fields are mostly small, and patches of woodland and forestry sit between them, especially on the steeper slopes. The road passes the unimpressive ruins of Cluny Crichton castle and the a scattering of farms and houses and has to navigate the unexpected double bend at Milton of Campfield.

The route enters Torphins as Craigour Road and passes through the centre of the village where it crosses the B993. It then continues westwards on Beltie Road with a long ribbon of houses on its western approach, stretching intermittently for around a mile. The road is now climbing to the north west, with the old railway line never far away to the right. A deep cutting often blocked by snow was known as Satan's Den by the train-drivers on the now dismantled, Deeside railway line. After skirting around Stot Hill, the road drops into the village of Lumphanan, famed for connections with the real King Macbeth. The A980 TOTSOs right up the hill through the village while an unclassified continuation passes the old castle at Peel Ring of Lumphanan and heads towards Dess and Aboyne.


Leaving Lumphanan behind, the road continues to climb, following a burn up to the summit at 311m between Corse Hill and Mill Maud. It then descends, crossing the B9119 Aberdeen-Tarland road at the Crossroads Hotel. This is a staggered crossroads with the B9119 number dominant according to the signage and priority (although that road was the A974 at one time). Heading north again, the A980 winds around Collie Hill and then passes Craigievar Castle, famed for its outstanding Scottish baronial architecture and now owned by the National Trust for Scotland. Continuing to wind northwards, it follows the Leochel Burn downhill, passing through the hamlet of Muir of Fowlis before doing a large loop along the valley bottom to pass to the south of Bridge of Alford and end at a realigned T-junction on the A944 between the Bridge and Alford itself.


Originally numbered as the B976, the route was upgraded to be the A980 in the late 1920s. Its northern end loosely follows the old military road built by Major Caulfeild in the 1760s, although it follows a more direct route from Lumphanan to Alford and is now a combination of minor roads, tracks and paths. The only section of the military road still undisputedly followed by the A980 is Perkhill Road in Lumphanan. The old road then forks right onto Glen Road, keeping left at the church as it climbs the track up the side of the Cloak Burn. The track crosses a summit of over 320m, then crosses the B9119 at Tullochvenus, with the old road continuing north on the minor road past Kintocher.

The minor road has a sharp bend at Cowford, but the old road continued north through the farm, and can be traced across the fields to Knockandoch, beyond which it is a farm track through to the minor road near the Muggarthaugh Hotel. There appears to have been a crossroads here, where the road north to Alford crossed the east-west route between Aberdeen and Corgarff in Strathdon. The northern arm remains in use as a minor road crossing the hill before dropping down to cross the A980 and meet the A944 as it crosses the Bridge of Alford.

Back to the modern A980, and there is very little evidence of any improvements or realignment along its route. A number of bends have wider verges, perhaps hinting at a slight easing of the curvature, and there are a couple of laybys suggesting the removal of a slight wiggle. More notable is the realignment of the former skewed crossroads with the B9119 where the southern arm of the A980 has been moved and the northern arm turned to create the staggered junction to the east of the old site. Much more recently the junction with the A944 at Alford has been completely rebuilt and a spur removed, the A944 formerly TOTSOing to cross the bridge.

Related Pictures
View gallery (2)
Crossroads in Torphins - Geograph - 1123207.jpgKintocher - Geograph - 1232005.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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