Heading north from Aberdeen, the route takes you up the East Coast to Fraserburgh and the beginning of the Moray Firth. From low-lying arable land to ragged cliff formations, the views from the road are ever-changing and engaging and provide an opportunity to visit some unusual landmarks. Perhaps, though, the most surprising thing about this stretch of coast is how many incredible fine sandy beaches it has.
Part of the Forvie National Nature Reserve, Balmedie Beach is hidden behind sand dunes and lies just eight miles north of Aberdeen. Fine golden sand stretches for miles and the marram-grassed dunes are home to some 225 species of birds making it prime birdwatching territory. Two streams cut through the dune to create the perfect habitat for wetland birds. A Site of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI), Forvie is a wonderful place to explore and learn for all.
Of interest to fans of ale, The Brewdog Brewery in Ellon, once a small operation located in Fraserburgh, it is now one of the largest craft ale producers in Britain. Tours of the brewery can be booked and samples of their fine ales can be tasted. Please find accommodation if you are a craft ale enthusiast and intend to stop for a while here.
Further on the route, Cruden Bay is host to the collapsed cave of Bullers o’ Buchan, an extraordinary sight that highlights a landscape at the mercy of the waves. Stand on the edge of its vertiginous drop as the sea rushes in through the arch and be mesmerised…
On up to Peterhead and Slains Castle, the coast becomes more rugged, in keeping with the reputation of the North Sea as a turbulent and dramatic expanse. The derelict castle is noted as being the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ and part of the novel was written in, and almost certainly influenced by, the natural drama of the area. Peterhead is also home to the Peterhead Prison Museum for those whose interests lean towards the macabre. Once the most notorious prison in Britain, now its cells and halls are open to view for curious adults and as a deterrent to naughty children!
Back on the road for beautiful seascapes to your right, head up to the town of Fraserburgh, and the beginning of the Moray Firth. The route takes you past Fraserburgh Bay with the North Sea ahead. With so much to experience here, it’s the ideal place for a longer stop.