TUESDAY 17TH JUNE, 2008
NEWBURGH TO PETERHEAD – 22.5 MILES, 8.0 HOURS
MORRIS AND PHIL
TOTAL DISTANCE WALKED SO FAR 303.1 MILES
After a comfortable night and a hearty breakfast in the St Olafs hotel in CrudenBay we caught a local a bus back to Newburgh where we picked up our route at the car park north of the village near Waterside. Unfortunately the weather had changed overnight and we set off walking in light drizzly rain. There are several way marked walks across the Forvie Nature Reserve and we followed a good path back to the coast near Rockend. From here we followed a good path along the clifftops to the lovely fishing hamlet of Collieston where we visited the local shop/post office and had the privilege to meet the lovely proprietors Islay and Abbie Stott who after a chat saw us on our way with a welcome cup of hot coffee. The coastal path on leaving Collieston became vague and we found ourselves making our own path through knee deep grass and nettles and on several occasion one of us disappeared into hidden ditches. We walked past the old Slains Castle, Broad Haven, Bradel Haven and Bruce’s Haven to the fisher’s hamlet of Whinnyford. On walking round the point at East Sandend we got our first views of the lovely beach at Cruden Bay. We made our way down on to the beach and walked at the sea edge into the town by way of the wooden bridge over the river. There were several shops nearby where we were able to buy sandwiches and drinks for lunch. On leaving the town we made our way through the woods from the car park towards Port Errol which proved a good decision as a sea gulley would have become an obstacle had we walked round the point. The path at this point was good and soon we were at the stunning and eerie ruins of Slains Castle. From here the only available path takes you slightly inland before returning you to the coast at Twa Havens. The path from here past the spectacular Dunbuy, Bullers of Buchan to Yoags’ Haven is clear and easy to follow. This is probably because this dramatic and picturesque part of the coast attracts many tourists. It was near Bullers of Buchan that we stopped for a chat with Esther and Vincent from Holland, on honeymoon, touring Scotland on their motorcycle. The path north from Yoags’ Haven to Boddam which forms part of the Nortrail is devoid of visible signage, overgrown, unmaintained and at parts unnecessarily hazardous and needs urgent attention from whoever is responsible for its upkeep. On reaching Boddam we walked past the harbour onto a footpath on the sea side of the Power Station then crossed SandfordBay on our way into Peterhead and the end of the days walk.
Summary;. The wet weather early in the day made the underfoot conditions difficult and slippery at times particularly where the vegetation had overgrown the steps or unmaintained path. This combined with the undulating terrain, long milage ( not to mention heavier than usual backpacks) made this a hard and testing day. Map required.
Highs; Met some lovely people, the eerie SlainsCastle and the magnificent rugged coastal scenery. The helpful drivers on the local Bluebird buses, particularly Maria.
Lows; Finding what is supposed to be a flagship Nortrail path so poorly maintained and hazardous.
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