Date/TimeDate(s) - 05/12/2010
Walk DetailsPub Stop?: No O/S Map Sheet No.: 38 and 30 Grid Ref. Start: Grid Ref. Finish Walk (Miles): 10 Walk Hours: Bus Time to Walk: Bus Time from Walk: Departure time from walk:
Our walk today follows a stretch of the Buchan coastline just to the north of the Forvie National Nature Reserve, commencing at the carpark at St Catherine’s Dub at Collieston. On this walk, and apart from the beach walk along the Bay of Cruden, the walk hugs the cliffs most of the way and although there are paths, members are advised to proceed with care. After dropping off walkers at the start point, the bus will travel onwards along the A975 to our pick-up point at the Bullers o’ Buchan carpark.
The walk commences near Collieston at the St Catherine’s Dub car park (NGR 043 286) where you climb up a stone and wooden steps cliff pathway to gain the ongoing east coast route. This path follows the coast northeastwards towards old Slains Castle and onwards past Broad Haven, Radel Haven, Bruce’s Haven and Cave Arthur to eventually arrive at the village of Whinnyfold. The path then rounds the headland of The Skares before dropping steeply to the beach of the Bay of Cruden. Walk northwards along the whole length of this beach to arrive at a small wooden bridge over the Water of Cruden. This bridge is closed due to storm damage. Immediately at the bridge, a narrow sandy track climbs up the dunes and you can duck under a wire fence to gain the edge of the golf course. Follow the edge of the course overlooking the Water of Cruden and pick up a track which passes the 4th tee of the course marked “Port Errol No. 4”. Follow this track for about 100 yards and look for a building with a blue roof ahead and a signpost (NGR 090.361) warning the public that they cross the golf course at their own risk. At this point, a small path passes off to your right between houses to emerge on the main road into the village near where it crosses the Water of Cruden at the Kilmarnock Arms hotel. Follow the signposted road towards Port Errol and turn left at a church and public toilet block through a car parking area to gain a footpath which heads southeastwards along a small burn. This path eventually passes a stone tower before arriving at the ruin of Slains Castle. This castle was built in 1836 by the Hay family, and the Earl of Errol and believed to have given Bram Stoker the inspiration for Dracula’s lair when writing his famous book in 1897 while staying in the area. Our route then heads northwards along the coast passing inlets called Twa Havens, Dunbuy Rock and Grey Mare before turning westwards at Robies Haven to eventually reach the hamlet at Bullers o’ Buchan. It is worth walking a short distance along the cliffs past the houses on your left to reach an indicator map overlooking “The Pot”, a spectacular circular rock formation which was once a cave but whose roof has collapsed. Great care is needed here as the cliffs are precipitous. Return to the cluster of cottages and turn right away from the coast to a small carpark where the bus will be parked. (NGR 107 381).