MONDAY 13 OCTOBER, 2008
PETERHEAD TO ST COMBS – 16.5 MILES, 6 HOURS
MORRIS AND PHIL
TOTAL DISTANCE WALKED SO FAR 319.6 MILES
We travelled on the 0708 train from Edinburgh to Aberdeen where we caught a bus to Peterhead arriving about 1130. Although a bit overcast it was not cold when we set off to the harbour from where we followed the coast road out of town over the Ugie Bridge to the golf course and beach. Ahead up the coast we could already see the flaming towers of St Fergus gas terminal. We walked on beach and dunes past Kirton Head where we made a brief visit to the grave yard where we had been told pirates are buried ,their grave stones emblazened with skull and crossbones. The sandy path along the dunes was soft and undulating and we moved to the edge of the sea where the sand was much firmer and it was less tiring on the legs. At about eight miles just before St Fergus we had to make a short detour inland to cross a bridge over the river which runs out to the sea. We then followed a path along the sea side of the security fence for about a mile before making our way back along the beach to Rattray Head where we stopped for lunch. The sun had come out when we set off again walking past the lighthouse built on ‘the Ron’ rock ( Ron is Gaelic for seal) and rounded the point to a fabulous four mile long golden beach which runs all the way to the rocks at St Combs. Walking along the edge of the sea on the deserted beach we disturbed a young seal basking in the sun and dallied long enough to allow it to make a hurried escape into the sea. On approaching St Combs we again had to detour inland to cross a bridge over a river which flows from the Loch of Strathbeg into the sea. Although the map shows this bridge located near to the beach we walked a considerable distance inland before we found it. From here we followed a well used path to our day’s destination The Tufted Duck hotel in St Combs where we enjoyed a very comfortable night and good meal served by very welcoming staff.
Summary; Paths are not marked although our planned route was easy to find. In the main it was a flat walk with a bit of up and down when on the dunes.
Highs; Weather was great for October, beaches were amazing and a good friendly hotel at the end with, yahoo…. a bath in the room.
Lows; The St Fergus Terminal is not a pretty site on the sea front (but obviously essential for the needs of a modern society).
CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE
ROUTE MAP – CLICK TO ENLARGE