The B972 is a short B-road in south Aberdeenshire. It links the A93 with itself, providing a bypass to Ballater.
The road starts by turning right off the A93 at Milton of Tullich. Signs confusingly direct traffic both ways for Braemar (the same is true for Aberdeen in the other direction)! The B972 heads west, becoming S1 almost immediately and climbing through the wood, perhaps explaining why the A93 still takes the longer – but flatter – route via Ballater.
After passing a few houses that seem to be a satellite of Ballater the road goes through a narrow pass – although the terrain cannot be seen clearly owing to the tree cover. The summit is reached, after which the road descends, more steeply than the climb.
After passing to the north of the Craigendarroch Hotel the road leaves the wood and levels out. It ends shortly afterwards back on the A93.
The B972 in 1956
The current route of the B972 is identical to its description in the 1922 Road Lists; however, it has been first extended and then truncated in the intervening period.
The original number of the road along Glen Gairn into the mountains (and ultimately as far as Grantown-on-Spey) was the B970. The majority of this was renumbered A939 in the 1940s but the southernmost section, from Gairnshiel Lodge as far as the A93 at Bridge of Gairn retained Class II status and became a western extension of the B972. In the 1960s the A939 was rerouted over this section, returning the B972 to its original length.