Rent A Cottage
In Banff Buchan
Peterhead Hotel Deals
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Banff, Buchan, Scotland
lived for about 4 months in the wee village of Crovie, it was
a wonderful and unforgettable experience. Spectacular cliffs
around Banff and Buchan shelter secluded, sandy coves, tiny
hamlets and the ruins of old fortresses. Precipitous cliff-top
paths take in the magnificent Highland scenery and dramatic
sunsets that distinguish this section of coast. Old villages
show traces of a prosperous fishing industry in days gone by,
and folk museums bring local history vividly to life.
patchwork fields surround gravel approach road, overhung with
beech and sycamore. Fine woodland walk leads from village; once
the smallest burgh in Banffshire. Founded in 1764.
dating from 18th century with restored farm buildings, mined
mansion, and 230 acres of field, forest and walled nursery garden.
Exhibition of local farming life; past and present. Woodland
walks by lake and along South Ugie Water; deer, rabbits and
foxes often seen.
fishing port at mouth of River Deveron. Seven-arch bridge spans
river. Royal burgh in 1372; fashionable 18th-century wintering
resort; now a quiet holiday resort with sandy beaches and sailing
centre. Town of architectural surprises: Greek columns, crow-stepped
gables, Venetian windows and delicate steeples. Duff House (1725-40),
baroque mansion; church dates from 1789. Local history and British
bird exhibition in Banff Museum.
fishing village above harbour with massive concrete walls. Dominated
by lighthouse on Buchan Ness, dating from 1827. Built by Robert
Stevenson.. grand-father of author R.L. Stevenson, and linked
to mainland by bridge.
of 2 miles from Banff's Duff House leads inland through woods
beside River Deveron to Alvah Bridge, crossing river 4Oft above
impressive gorge. Follow path past Mains of Montcoffer and turn
north over wooded hill to join main road near Banff Bridge;
circular walk of 4 1/2 miles.
Bridge of Marnoch
bridge spanning River Deveron. Marnoch Old Church built 1792
with standing stone nearby. Special wool from resident llamas
and alpacas sold at Cloverleaf Fibre Stud Farm. Culinary, aromatic
and medicinal herbs grown and sold at Old Manse Herb Garden.
footpath created along line of old Buchan railway. Station yard
at Maud has been
landscaped and picnic tables provided. Some of Buchan's best
scenery; wildlife abounds.
has carved immense rock amphitheatre and cave in cliffs. 'Bullers'
probably derived from 'boilers', referring to seething waters.
Cliff-top path leads along dizzy knife-edge, 100ft above waves.
Gulls, kittiwakes and guillemots scream and wheel in the maze
of cliffs and stacks that form the coast.
and Port Erroll harbour are centre of popular holiday area with
sandy beaches, dunes and championship golf course. Cruden Water
spanned by Bishop's Bridge of 1697. Stark ruins of Slains Castle
above gaunt cliffs are thought to have inspired setting for
Dracula, as author Bram Stoker used to holiday here. Castle
built 1664 by Earl of Errol, Great Constable of Scotland.
13th century home of the Clan Hay. Altered in 16th century with
fine painted ceilings dating from 1570, and collections of paintings
and armour. Mary, Queen of Scots visited in 1562; her portrait
hangs in her room. The mighty turnpike stair has 97 steps.
detailed mansion on edge of Banff is one of Britain's finest
works of Georgian baroque architecture. Designed by William
Adam in 1735 for William Duff, later 1st Earl of Fife. A second
classical wing added 1870, then house drifted into decay. It
served as a hotel and sanitorium; and housed German prisoners
of World War II. Rooms are now restored but mansion still unfurnished
and uninhabited. Exhibition on building's history.
fishing port at end of rocky Kinnairds Head, where 1570 castle
was converted into 1786 lighthouse; one of Scotland's oldest.
Mysterious Wine Tower at head of steep cove has no stairs between
its three floors; purpose unknown. Dune-backed sands at Fraserburgh
Bay. morning fish market at the quay, and fishing trips from
village in wooded vale of River Ythan, bordered by cornfields
and pine forests. Early 19th-century parish church has east
window created by American artist, Louis Tiffany, featuring
life-size St Michael with flaming sword. Unusual oak pulpit
is carved in shape of huge wine glass. Wild path through woods
leads to ruins of 16th century Gight Castle.
fortress with five great towers named after owners of last 500
years: Preston, Meldrum, Seton, Gordon and Leith. Oldest part
dates from the 13th century. Labyrinth of rooms and passages,
rich in Edwardian furnishings and 16th century tapestries. Great
spiral staircase, with loft wide steps, rises through five floors.
fishing village clinging to steep hillside above Gamrie Bay,
overlooked by Castle Hill of Findon, with good views of the
surrounding cliffs. To the west, ruined chapel of 1513 said
to be on site of older church built to commemorate victory over
invading Danes in 1004. Short walk along path from harbour's
east end leads to tiny twin village of Crovie.
aromas of malt whisky fill old distillery, founded 1826. Visitor
centre, guided tours.
wildlife and conservation park housing over 100 species of birds
and animals. Special breeding centre nurtures rare species.
clearing reveals Buchan prehistoric stone circle, central stone
weighs about 12 tons.
about with trees and well-kept gardens, village has two contrasting
churches and ruins of third. On left of road into village, small
Episcopalian church with large bell tower is gem of 19th century
architecture; built of blue-grey stone, with windows by pre-Raphaelite
artist Edward Burne-Jones. Spacious parish church dating from
18th century has large gallery. Standing next to it is its ruined
17th century predecessor.
town, formerly known as Doune, with busy fishing harbour, crammed
with salmon nets and lobster pots. Boatyard on western side.
Hill of Doune, reached by path from east end of Banff Bridge,
provides fine views of Deveron estuary and Banff on west side
street lined with fishermen's cottages, 1 mile from sea. Steep
road leads to pebble beach at mouth of Dour valley, where caverns
riddle red-sandstone cliffs. Ruined church of Old Aberdour,
among the oldest in north Scotland, has a number of interesting
high street leads to Hill of Culsh, topped by austere monument
to a local landlord. Fine view over hills of Buchan and towards
farm tools, beautifully restored stationary engines and various
household items recall agricultural life in Victorian times.
one street village with stone cottages and harbour. To the west,
the road plunges down to Cullykhan Bay, where waves pound into
huge clefts and caves. To the east, sheer cliffs of red sandstone
provide nesting sites for numerous sea birds. Cliffs pitted
with caves and tunnels, accessible at low tide.
busy port with some 400 fishing boats and lively fish auctions
each morning. Pink-granite town clusters around huge harbour
that took more than 70 years to build, beginning in 1886. Ruined
pre-Reformation church of St Peter stands among gravestones
on South Road. Arbuthnot Museum in St Peter Street features
display on local history. Trout fishing in River Ugie.
resort and haven for pleasure craft, with restored 17th and
18th century harbour warehouses. Look for souvenirs made from
local red and green marble. Coastal walks lead west to Sandend
Bay, and east to mined 16th century Boyne Castle.
to be Seen
in Quilquox featuring period clothes and fine display of porcelain.
Special gardens were planted by an ornithologist to attract
variety of birds. Children's play area.
of Scotland's oldest seaports, surrounding peaceful harbour
used by inshore fishermen. Open-air sea-water swimming pool,
and golf course. Small museum has displays on local history.
Impressive ruins of Pitsligo Castle, half a mile south, date
from 1424. Pitsligo Church, 1 mile south, is noted for richly
old fishing village where seals can be watched from rocky shoreline.
Sea walls, battered by storms, still protect inshore fishing
boats. Oatmeal mill at eastern end worked continuously for 200
years; closed in 1981.
Buchan stone circle has been dismantled and re-erected many
times in traumatic history. Near Mains of Strichen farm, half
a mile west of village.
tower house, now in ruins, dating from 16th century. Upper storeys
are no more, but remaining Great Hall is considered one of most
imaginative of all tower-house interiors and is Gothic and medieval
in inspiration. Visit by prior appointment.
red-sandstone market town, created a burgh of barony in 1511.
Ancient ruined church has elaborate double belfry built in 1635
and bell dated 1559.
walks through spruce woods noted for badger setts and herons.
Beyond, road down to Strichen yields view of Mormond Hill with
white horse etched into slope; filled in with stones of gleaming
fishing village built around thriving harbour. Harbour road
leads east to Boyndie Bay, and stony track continues to Banff.
Chalybeate spring just off track once part of fashionable 19th
century circuit for visitors 'taking the waters' around Banff.
If you would like to visit this area as part of a highly personalized
small group tour of my native Scotland please e-mail me: