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Late December weather in Aberdeenshire(10 Posts)
I have yet to do the trip in the snow, so I hope we don't get lots this xmas. M6 can get tricky if not impassable in heavy snow looking at news reports. I travel up from Surrey, been doing so on regular basis for past 18 months or so.
Thankyou so much for all the replies it is really useful and is giving us an idea of what to expect. We are driving up from kent and are spending a night in Carlisle to break up the journey. Have just ordered some maps so will be planning the journey next week.
dopey alert - glenshee not lecht - that really would be a long way around!
I'm from Aboyne but now live in SE England.
Weather will likely be dire - either driving rain and chilly or frost/snow. I like this time of year the best - cold but clear and crisp.
We've had some okay trips up for Christmas and some awful ones in snow storms going 20 miles an hour in the tracks of the car in front.
If the weather is okay then the 'back way' up from perth via the lecht is lovely but it can get a bit hairy in the snow and they regularly shut the road. TBH, we usually just go up the A90 and take a call whether the cairn o mount road will be okay closer to the turnoff.
The year of the big dump of snow ??2009 was simply beautiful - had to drive carefully but the trees were boughed over the road with inches of snow on their branches and there were big lumps of ice in the river.
The weather at christmas varies. The last few years we've had everything from -10 to +15, rain, sun, snow. Sorry that's not much help is it! Banchory is a way inland from me so more likely to get snow that sticks and winter sun. Aberdeen can be sitting in a fog bank while Banchory is basking in sunshine. The norwegian weather forcasts are pretty good for up here. The site is at yr.no
Winter Highland is a good website to check as well as the likes of Traffic Scotland etc as they have the reports from the ski centres re weather and road conditions.
Re roads: The A93 south of Glen Shee can be a bit interesting in bad weather. It's long and up and down and dark. If there is snow it will be cleared and gritted, but it's a long section for them to do.
If you come up the A90 you have the choice of cutting off across country by Stonehaven if the conditions are fine or sticking to the main roads via Aberdeen.
Are you planning to drive up in one day, or two? In summer I can do it in one day but in Winter I book overnight accommodation in Sterling, or near Hamilton.
There is a lot of Scotland, you pass the Welcome to Scotland sign and from there it is still a long way to Banchory, especially going the long route via Aberdeen.
If you can change drivers, do so. Take good breaks. Finding places to stop can be fun, I prefer finding supermarkets. Sainsburys in Preston is near motorway, Asda in Hamilton is near motorway (that has a large retail park, so has things like Cinema).
Plan route, look on google maps streetview to get a feel for locations, as once it is dark it can be tricky to find places. SatNav is not always your friend, especially in Hamilton i have found where the system I use thinks there it a road from the service station to Asda.
Last year at xmas there was no snow in Ballater, not far from Banchory. Did quite a lot of walking around the Dee river area, not up in the mountains. Mountains are likely to have snow, so only go the Perth to Braemar route if you have a suitable vehicle and are used to ice/snow conditions. Check weather by looking at webcams at Glenshee - http://www.ski-glenshee.co.uk/webcam-images
There is also a snowgate camera now at Braemar, so you can check if road is open or shut. http://braemarscotland.co.uk/snowgate-webcam/
Personally in winter I take the long route. Last year there was a lot of flooding which closed roads. Had to take a long route via Stonehaven to get to Aberdeen then to Banchory.
Plan for the journey taking a long time. Going through lake district I found to be very wet, wind and rain combination there makes for terrible driving conditions.
Have a pal who stays near there. You've a fair chance of snow in Aberdeenshire....and cold. Generally the main routes are okay for travel and there are announcements if the high passes are closed due to snow. Enjoy, it's beautiful.
We are spending christmas in a lodge just outside Banchory . I know it's far too early to predict exactly what sort of weather we will get this year but wondering if anyone is local to the area and and can give us an idea of what it's usually like over christmas. We are driving up from Kent with 5 dc so want to try and be prepared.
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