This article is about the current B974 over the Cairn o' Mount pass.
For the former B974 from Westhill to Ordie, now the B9119, see B974 (Ordie - Westhill)
The B974 is a secondary road in Kincardineshire. Except for the northern end, which was the western end of the A943, the road was originally unclassified. The B974 had come into existence by 1932 and was then extended north over the River Dee into Banchory when the A943 was downgraded in the 1970s.
The road starts on the A937 in Marykirk and then heads northwestwards under the Dundee to Aberdeen railway line and then on to meet the A90. Originally this junction was a simple crossroads (the old route of the B974 is still obvious) but the approach from this side has now been skewed and so there's a short multiplex along the main road, with through traffic on the B974 having to use one of the two gaps in the central reservation.
The road soon goes over the Luther Water and continues north across more-or-less flat terrain with hills visible in the distance. Presently we reach Fettercairn and a T-junction on the B966. There's a short multiplex along that road to the right; we pass under the Royal Arch, built to commemorate the visit of Queen Victoria, to reach a roundabout where the two roads split. The B974 turns left and then bears immediately right to run through the market square and leave town.
Cairn o' Mount viewpoint ahead
A short distance further on the road reaches the edge of the flat land. It turns sharply right to contour round the bottom of the hills for a few hundred yards before bearing left, following a valley to lessen the gradient. The burn is crossed at Clatterin Brig, after which the road climbs far more steeply onto the moors. There's a car park viewpoint in an oxbow just below the summit, near the top of Cairn o' Mount. After going round Kirkram the road starts to descend, just as steeply as the climb. It follows Glen Dye downstream (not particularly closely - at times there is a hill between the road and the glen) before crossing the Water of Feugh to reach Strachan and a T-junction on the B976.
The B974 TOTSOs right here and follows the valley downstream. Near Deebank an unclassified road heads off to the right over the Bridge of Feugh across the Water of Feugh; this used to be the A943 and the B974 ended here. Now, however, our road continues ahead. After bearing left then right we cross the Bridge of Dee to enter Banchory, running along Dee Street to end at traffic lights on the A93 High Street.