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The Moray and Aberdeenshire Coast

The beautiful coastline that hugs the Moray Firth and stretches from Findhorn to Pennan is one of the country’s finest, gathering Burghead, Hopeman, Lossiemouth, Spey Bay, Buckie, Cullen, Banff and Crovie into its arms.  Sandy beaches, secluded coves, picturesque harbours and spectacular cliff views are all waiting to be discovered.

Accommodation

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Apartment 8, The Granary

New 2 bedroom apartment (late 2015) in Banff. Previously the old granary building now converted into a handful of modern quality apartments. Great views of the beach, out to sea and toward Macduff.

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Self Catering Moray Firth

If you’re looking to really get away from it all, you can’t beat a soothing seascape.  The Moray and Aberdeenshire Coast is a gorgeous, and often overlooked, treasure, spilling over with views to nourish the soul.  Travel from Findhorn to Pennan to breathe in the coastal beauty and immerse yourself in enchanting coastal villages, harbour scenes and rugged cliff views.

For those who enjoy long distance walking trails, you can bask in the Moray Firth scenery along the Moray Coast Trail.  The route can be done in four sections: Findhorn to Burghead, Burghead to Lossiemouth, Lossiemouth to Buckie, and Buckie to Cullen.   Whether you enjoy the views on foot or dip in and out of the coast via the scenic roads that wind alongside, the coastline that is sure to inspire and captivate.

Findhorn to Burghead

The fishing village of Findhorn has everything you could want from a coastal retreat: a boat-patterned bay, lanes lined with traditional white-washed cottages, a gorgeous stretch of beach and buckets of charm.  Wander around the village lanes and soak up the relaxing seaside atmosphere, enjoy long walks on the back shore, learn about the local history in the Heritage Centre and Ice House, or just watch the world roll by from your waterfront seat outside the Kimberley Inn.

The walk along the back shore offers magical views of the Moray Firth, and from Findhorn eventually morphs into Roseisle Beach (backed by a pine wood) and leads on to Burghead.   Burghead is a historic village, once the site of an important Pictish fort, with a lovely harbour.

Burghead to Lossiemouth

The B9040 runs between the seaside towns of Burghead and Lossiemouth, and is a picturesque detour from the A96.  Make sure you stop and explore the ever-so-lovely Hopeman, with its pretty harbour and two wonderful beaches: the West Beach is smaller and more hidden; the East Beach is rockier (ideal for rock-pooling) and has a long stretch of sand, clutched by an arm of dunes.  Look out for the brightly coloured line of traditional beach huts that line the shore.

Lossiemouth is another coastal town with not one but two beaches, and two links golf courses.  Arriving from the Burghead direction, you come to the West Beach at Lossiemouth, with the Moray Golf Course perched on its edge.  Enjoy a walk along its crescent stretch of sand, with views to Covesea Lighthouse.  The East Beach is more rugged, with a spine of dunes and waves that are frequently dotted with surfers.  It can be reached by crossing an old wooden bridge over the River Lossie, and is a spectacular section of the Moray coastline.   The town’s marina is sandwiched between the two beaches.

Lossiemouth is an ideal place to relax in the Moray Coast surroundings and is only a 15 minute drive to Elgin.

Lossiemouth to Buckie

The Moray Firth is known for its bottlenose dolphins so keep an eye on the sea as you journey along the coast.  A great place to go dolphin spotting is at Spey Bay, waiting towards the end of Lossiemouth’s East Beach, at the Scottish Dolphin Centre (a free attraction).

From Spey Bay you can loop back onto the coastal road via Portgordon and meander along the A990 to Buckie.  This pretty fishing village is an ideal location for exploring the Spey Bay area and east into the Banffshire coast.

Buckie to Cullen

The coast from Buckie to Cullen encompasses Findhochty and Portknockie, famed for their quaint fisher houses, and the magnificent Bow Fiddle Rock which arches out of the sea not far from the shore at Portknockie (one of Moray’s most photographed sights).

Cullen is an enchanting town; picture-perfect with its curve of beach, links golf course, cluster of traditional cottages and impressive viaduct.  Wander around the old ‘Seatown’ on the shore front, with its charming white-washed houses and soak up the sight of the viaduct cutting through town and the bay spilling before you from Seafield St, sloping down from the main square.  The beach is a lovely place to spend a sunny afternoon and has three rocks referred to as the ‘Three Kings’.

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The Aberdeenshire Coast

From Cullen the coast stretches into Aberdeenshire, with pretty and historic harbour villages.  The 17th century harbour in Portsoy is the setting for the annual Scottish Traditional Boat Festival, celebrating all things maritime, with arts and crafts, food and drink, and music as well as rowing and sailing events.

Banff is an ideal base for exploring the Aberdeenshire and Moray coastline, with historic attractions, sandy beaches and a range of activities such as golfing, cycling and fishing on your doorstep.  Nearby attractions include the stunning Georgian mansion Duff House (now an art gallery) and the Macduff Aquarium.

The impossibly pretty villages of Gardenstown and Crovie are nestled into the very edge of the land further along the coast.  Crovie is tucked so close to the edge of the sea, in fact, that you have to leave your car and walk down to explore the village.  The charming village of Gardenstown has a lovely harbour and beaches where you can drink in the sea views.  The line of houses in Pennan are huddled beneath red sandstone cliffs and the village is home to the famous phone box used in the 80’s film Local Hero.

On the headland between Crovie and Pennan you can visit Scotland’s only mainland gannet colony, at RSPB Troup Head.  And, of course, with the Moray Firth stretching out before you, it’s a great place for dolphin watching.

 

There are many coastal gems to discover along the rim of the Moray Firth, and wonderfully scenic villages, harbours and beaches where you can spend your days.  A self-catering holiday on the Moray and Aberdeenshire Coast will certainly shower you in stunning seascapes and is sure to refresh the spirit.