From its dramatic clifftops, enchanting coves, sandy beaches, charming towns and marvellous wildlife, Aberdeenshire really does have something for all.
With 165 miles of coastline, stretching from Sandend to Aberdeen and down to St Cyrus, there is plenty to explore for everyone to explore, young and old.
As part of VisitAberdeenshire’s Rediscover Your Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire campaign, we’ve rounded up a selection of stunning coastal walks to try out during your next outing, as well as nearby food and drink suggestions.
The campaign – involving the Evening Express, The Press and Journal, Society and Original 106 – also has its own dedicated section on the VisitAberdeenshire website, where people can explore blogs with ideas for things to do.
Among the beautiful beaches is Banff, which offers visitors spectacular views across the River Deveron and towards the neighbouring harbour town of Macduff. It makes for a scenic walk and there are plenty of delicious restaurants and cafes to fuel up on afterwards.
Food and drink suggestions in the local area include: The Kelpie Cafe, Castle Street, Banff; Baird’s Bistro, Castle Street, Banff; Home Bakery, High Street, Banff; The Galley Whitehills, Harbour Place, Whitehills; Rockfish Cafe and Chip Shop, Whitehills; and Cornerstone Restaurant, Macduff.
Further round is Collieston, a sheltered beach between Cruden Bay and Newburgh. It is perfect for families and children and the old harbour makes it a picturesque spot.
For refreshments, try The Barn Restaurant and Coffee Shop, Westfield, Foveran; Smugglers Cone, Collieston Harbour; Newburgh Inn, Main Street, Newburgh.
Forvie Nature Reserve is close by and boasts one of Scotland’s most dramatic stretches of coastline with some of the largest sand dunes in Britain. A short, easy access trail with wheelchair-accessible picnic tables leads onto the reserve from the Forvie Centre, which has a classroom for educational use. There is also a bird hide at Waulkmill, cycle racks at the main car parks and a story trail to follow at the site of Forvie village.
Waymarked paths varying in length from two to four miles can also be found at the reserve. Just a mile from Forvie is the wonderfully sandy Newburgh beach, now infamous for its colony of seals.
After working up an appetite, visitors could head to The View Restaurant, Bar and Lounge at Newburgh-on-Ythan Golf Club; The Kirk Centre, Station Road or The Buchan Hotel, Bridge Street; The Coffee Apothecary, The Square, all Ellon, or towards Tarves to The Murly Tuck or Formartine’s.
Heading towards Aberdeen is Balmedie Country Park, which has a long stretch of beautiful sandy beach and an array of dunes great and small to explore.
There is a boardwalk assist visitor access through the dunes. The park is within part of a dune system that stretches 14 miles from Aberdeen, to just north of the mouth of the River Ythan at Newburgh. Food and drink suggestions include: Beachside Coffee Shop, Eigie Road; Balmedie Fish and Chip Shop; The Cock & Bull, Ellon Road; Bengal Tiger, Birch Way; all Balmedie or Parkhill Garden Centre, Parkhill, Dyce.
South of Aberdeen is Stonehaven, one of the largest of the recreational harbours in Aberdeenshire. It has three basins extending to 18,200 square metres and 550 metres of berthing space on the quays. The harbour makes for a stunning walk on a summer’s day, with the opportunity to get a decent vantage point from the Bervie Braes.
There are a number of bustling restaurants and cafes in the town, including: The Tolbooth Seafood Restaurant; The Ship Inn, The Belvedere Hotel, The Bay Fish and Chips and Tandoori Haven.
For more information on the walks listed, visit yourabdn.com
Social Media Campaign
VisitAberdeenshire, The Press and Journal, Evening Express, Society and Original 106 are encouraging people to share an image of their favourite part of the north-east throughout the #RediscoverABDN campaign. To take part, simply follow the steps below:
- Take a picture of your favourite north-east attraction, venue, product or landmark
- Upload the image to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter including the hashtag #RediscoverABDN and tag @visitabdn
Social Distancing Guidelines
When visiting these locations, it’s important to adhere to the social distancing guidelines currently in place across Scotland – with regards to outdoor activities. These guidelines are below.
- People can meet in groups of up to 15 people outdoors, from up to five different households, including your own household. However, children aged 0-11 should not meet in groups larger than 15 people in total at a time.
- Keep two metres apart from anyone you meet from outside your household, and don’t share food or utensils.
- You should not meet with more than four different households per day, whether indoors or outdoors.
- Follow physical distancing guidance and hygiene rules.
- There is now no restriction on travel within Scotland as long as individuals are acting in line with all other guidance that supports the route map.
All guidelines can be viewed at www.gov.scot