|Location Map ( geo)|
|To:||Kirkton of Tough (NJ623134)|
|Via:||Muir of Fowlis|
|Distance:||14.9 miles (24 km)|
|Meets:||A97, A980, A944|
|Route outline (key)|
The C43M is perhaps the longest of the C roads in Aberdeenshire, stretching for nearly 15 miles through the hills to the south of the River Don. It starts on the A97 at Rippachie and heads east, dipping to cross the Deskry Water. Whilst not immediately obvious, much of the route was originally built as a Military Road in the 1760s, under the direction of Major Caulfeild. As a result, the first of many long straight sections are found on the hillside above Towie. A sharp bend drops the road down towards the village, but the C43M turns right, keeping to the south of the River Don below Trancie Hill.
Beyond Milton of Towie, the route turns away from the Don, and climbs up a side valley into the hills. The origins of the road are more apparent here, with the road trying to keep due west as it climbs up and over the hills. After crossing the Cushnie Burn, it follows it down to the A980 at Muir of Fowlis. The line of the old roads has been lost here, in the boggy valley floor, but the C43M has a short multiplex south east along the A980, before resuming its westwards route. First left is another military road (now the C45M), heading north to Bridge of Alford, whilst its continuation to the south is less clear at first, although most likely generally followed by the A980.
Continuing west, the C43M finds a lower pass to take it through the hills to Kirkton of Tough. Turning left in the village, the route continues the short distance to the A944, where it comes to an end. The military route appears to then be followed by the main road all the way into Aberdeen, although as it proceeds eastwards, it is likely that the route owes less to military surveyors, and more to the ancient tracks and paths that had existed for centuries.