Sky. Sea. Sand. It’s been a summer of these. Even on dull days it’s been warm, and walks on the beach, beautiful. I’m donning the tour guide hat again, and we’re going to explore some North East Scotland beaches, cliffs and caves.
Adapted from a 2016 post.
Two generations of quines walked the coast route between Banff and Whitehills back in February. We got rained on, but we got a rainbow. And amazing colours of sky and sea. Below is the Red Well. More on that here as it features in SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD (out now!).
North East Scotland Beaches: Gardenstown and Vikings!
No time to linger at the well today, as we’re skipping along into summer to Gardenstown and St John’s Kirk. There it is, up on the hill between cloud shadows.
There is an exciting tale of local ladies winning a battle with the Vikings in 1004 by weaponising their stockings with rocks and sand. Three Viking skulls were subsequently built into the walls of the then under-construction Kirk.
Today it’s a peaceful place, though the landscape is probably much the same as it was during the era of battling lassies and Viking warriors.
Time for a picnic, and an exploration of the various bays at New Aberdour.
Let’s lie on the ground and gaze up at the red rocks and blue sky above.
We watch, entranced, as sand martins dart in and out of their nests. Whoops, forget to cover the home made pizza so it’s now covered in sand. Never mind, just time for a poke around in a rock pool before we go…
Okay. Shoes off. We’re going to race along the golden shore at Fraserburgh, getting the sand right up between our toes. If we’re feeling energetic we can climb Tiger Hill, that large dune to the right, and enjoy enhanced views of the beach and town.
A reflective moment.
Calming right down now. We turn the corner. Out comes a book and a bar of chocolate as we sit on the rocks at St Combs.
Walking boots on for this next part…
The Bullers of Buchan: Mermaids!
On we go, past Peterhead, to seek out mermaids at the Bullers of Buchan. There are folk tales of them being spotted here in the cave known as the Sea Cauldron:
It’s actually quite a dangerous place, with cliff edges all round, so do take care.
We’ve come to the end of our coastal oddessy. Just one more stare at that silvery sea at the Bullers, and then it’s home for a cup of tea.
Set in an Aberdeenshire castle, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR features the Scottish witchcraft accusations, a handsome Laird, an ancient stone circle and a love story.
FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE was inspired by the 18th century kidnapped children of Aberdeen and is set in both Scotland and Colonial Pennsylvania.
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“Filled with excitement and suspense…” Historical Novel Society
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61 Replies to “North East Scotland Beaches: Vikings and Mermaids!”
You said Ailish. Entrancing
Glad you found it so 🙂
Beautiful images 🙂
Enjoyed the journey
Thank you for posting these evocative pictures!
Glad you like!
Beautiful! Where did you stay? Or was this a day trip? I’ve got to locate this coastal area on a map. Must visit!
These are day trips and walks from the last few months round the coast of North East Scotland where I live 🙂
nice left me with a longing to be by the sea =^_^=
It’s a good place to be.
Thank you for the tour. These are breathtaking photos. Must have been amazing to be there. <3 (It seems a lot of places were built to be aligned for sunrise or sunset on the summer or winter solstice.)
I like the idea of getting up early enough to find out if that story is true.
Just lovely! What a beautiful, and intriguing, place 🙂
There are so many great beaches up here, often entirely empty of people.
Thank you 🙂
Absolutely stunning place and beautiful photos 🙂
The coastline is wonderful here.
Enjoyed opening this up today. The pictures are beautiful.
Glad you liked 🙂
The photos are lovely! They make me “homesick” for another trip to Scotland — the land of my ancestors. I probably won’t get there again from North Carolina, which makes me enjoy your photographs even more. Thanks for sharing.
I hope you do get a chance to visit again Janet.
A really good advert for tourism in Aberdeenshire – our coastline and history seem to be a well-kept secret, aided and abetted by Visit Scotland’s obsession with castles and distilleries. But why did you bypass the coast around Peterhead? Scotstoun beach is lovely. There is a fabulous RSPB nature reserve at the Loch of Strathbeg (between Fraserburgh and Peterhead) and you can walk from the mouth of the Craigewan Estuary past bonnie beaches right into Peterhead. Looking for history? The Peterhead Town Trail covers over 500 years of events, stories and scurrilous gossip, from clandestine royal visits, rebellion and piracy, to plague, witchcraft and Peterhead’s answer to the Hellfire Club. Looking forward to reading your next adventures!
Only so much can go in one post! Love Scotstoun and Strathbeg, was not aware of Peterhead town trail. Do you run it?
Magnificent photos and countryside. Thank you, Ailish!
Glad you like 🙂
These photos are spectacular – and I LOVE that Viking battle story! It’d take more than a few berserkers to defeat Scots women 😉
Ha ha, indeed!
Thank you for reminding me that the place I live in is so beautiful, sometimes we get so complacent and forget to appreciate the beauty around us….thanks for the kick up the bum!
What a beautiful place!
We do have some great beaches up here!
You are so lucky…
Stunning photographs Ailish
Thank you Sheree 🙂
I loved walking this beautiful place! Thank you for sharing.
It really is a beautiful place.
Really like your posts. Nice to see some keeping storytelling alive
Glad you like 🙂
Lovely photos !
Lucky you! Nice scenery!
The coastline is beautiful here.
Just absolutely gorgeous photos. It makes miss my ancestral land of Eirinn. Thank you so much for sharing your stories and photos of Scotland. Slante!!!
I’m glad you like 🙂
Love the views but I’ll pass on the sandy pizza.
Yes, that was unfortunate.
Great shots – the scenery is very reminiscent of the Catlins Coast, here in the very south of New Zealand! But no Vikings here that we know of!!!
I’ve often thought the New Zealand landscape looked rather similar Scotland.
Probably why my Scottish ancestors liked it here!
Did you paint these or take these stunning photos? Wow…
I took them 🙂 Lots of beauty about…
Respect to the ladies fighting off the vikings!
Gorgeous! Thank you for sharing.