[Approaching Bran Burn Bash on the red "Ae-Line"]

Ae... what? Yes, it's Scotland's shortest-name village, hidden away on the banks of the Water of Ae and built entirely by the Forestry Commission. Just to the north, in the Forest of Ae, is 7stanes Ae - one of southern Scotland's several major mountain biking hubs, where you can listen to cyclists yelling "Aeeee...!" as they hurtle down the "Extreme" graded downhill trails. Also worth a look is a product of the Ae youth project - an ornate wooden totem pole. In case you were wondering, the name "Ae" comes from, it's derived from Old Norse Aa, meaning water. Makes the translation of "Water of Ae" sound a bit silly.

[Descent to the Water of Ae on the "Ae-Line"]

📌 7stanes Ae ★★☆
Description: Something for all mountain bikers, including two signature downhill tracks and a 24 km red trail.
Location (trailhead): just north of Ae village, G.R. NX 985895 ///dazzling.minority.craziest
Open: Always
Cost: Free

Routes:  9 km  14 km  24 km  variants only downhill trails. Map here.
Terrain: see website
Bike hire: Ae Bike Shop at trailhead
Weather today: Cool and overcast, little wind.

📌 Ae totem pole ☆☆☆
Description: Modern, intricately-carved totem pole in the centre of Ae village.
LocationG.R.: NX 984893 ///presuming.prone.view

[Ae village totem pole]

The 7stanes

The 7stanes are the gold standard in Scotland (and UK) mountain biking centres, dotted across southern Scotland. Between them they offer world-class trails with difficulties ranging from the benign to the bananas. They're so-called due to seven sculptured stanes (or stones), one located at each of the centres (except Innerleithen, often considered a sister site to nearby Glentress):

>> Ae ★★★★☆
>> Dalbeattie ★★★★☆
>> Glentress ★★★★
>> Innerleithen ★★★☆☆

If you're at all curious about mountain biking, put the 7stanes at the very top of your list.

[Talking Head stane, 7stanes Ae]


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