WHAT TO DO AND SEE

IN THE AREA
WALKS AND CYCLING

if you like walking, you basically just need to open the front door and start! You can walk the coast in either direction, and do anything from a gentle harbour stroll or beach walk to a cliff top hike.  The Moray Coastal Trail goes past the front of the house, which in turn connects to The Speyside Way, one of the four long distance routes of Scotland.  Sections of both routes can be achieved by any fitness level.

https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/moray/moray-coast-trail.shtml

https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/speyside-way.shtml

On the Sunday of the May Bank Holiday weekend each year is The 6 Harbour Walk, an event run by the Rotary Club of Buckie which covers a section of the Moray Coastal Trail between Portsoy and Buckie taking in the the six harbours of Portsoy, Sandend, Cullen, Portknockie, Findochty and Buckie.

www.sixharbourwalk.org

http://www.rotary-ribi.org/clubs/homepage.php?ClubID=17

A 10 mile drive will take you to the Winding Walks, just outside Fochabers, which cover the waymarked forest paths and tracks of the Winding Woods of Fochabers. 

https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/moray/winding-walks.shtml

Winding Walks at Fochabers is also the location of the Moray Monster Trails mountain biking routes, with red routes and the orange Fochabers Freeride route there, and blue routes and the black Gully Monster route at nearly Ordiquish.  

download a pdf map of the routes at 

http://scotland.forestry.gov.uk/visit/moray-monster-trails

BEACHES AND THE MORAY COAST

In 2013, National Geographic Society’s Travel magazine listed the world's most beautiful coastlines and rated the Moray Coast of Scotland at number 11.

Read more at: http://www.scotsman.com/news/environment/moray-firth-one-of-world-s-most-beautiful-coastlines-1-2727415

A few notable beaches to seek out, all within a few miles:

Strathlene (a short walk away along the Moray Coastal Trail)

Cullen (the largest and most popular beach in the immediate vicinity)

Sandend ( an easily accessible, popular and and stunning beach between Cullen and Portsoy.  There is also a short walk of a mile along the coast to Findlater Castle.)

Sunnyside Beach (a secluded beach also between Cullen and Portsoy, and usually quite deserted as it is a short walk along the clifftops beyond the dramatic ruins of Findlater Castle, but please take care at the castle, as there is a sheer drop from the unfenced ruins to the cliffs below)

 

Spey Bay (site of the Scottish Dolphin Centre)

Slightly farther away, if you find yourself in the vicinity:

Findhorn (home of the famous Findhorn Foundation); Lossiemouth; Hopeman; Roseisle

 

Also of interest:

Bow Fiddle Rock, off Portknockie - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bow_Fiddle_Rock

GOLF

There are 19 golf courses in Moray, all within a 90 minute drive from Findochty, with local courses Strathlene, Cullen and Buckpool only a matter of minutes away.

Founded in 1877, Strathlene Golf Club is the epitome of ancient antiquity when it comes to Scotland golf, as it's one of the oldest golf clubs in the nation. A links course that provides spectacular views from the many holes that play near cliffs, Strathlene is notable in that it combines modern with old.   https://www.strathlenegolfclub.co.uk/


At less than 5,000 yards from the back tees, Cullen Golf Club doesn't present much of a challenge on paper. But Cullen's astounding scenery and diverse holes make it a quirky and entertaining round for locals and for those looking for fun golf courses to play during a Scotland golf vacation.   http://www.cullenlinksgolf.co.uk/

 Buckpool Golf Club is located in the western end of Buckie. This 18 hole golf course is set out on a clifftop location with great coastal views overlooking the Moray Firth.   http://buckpoolgolf.com/

Another notable links course and an 18 mile drive away is Duff House Royal Golf Club at Banff.   http://www.duffhouseroyal.com/

WHISKY

Visit Scotland  have an excellent interactive map of all of the distilleries of Speyside.

https://www.visitscotland.com/see-do/food-drink/whisky/distilleries/

http://ebooks.visitscotland.com/whisky-distilleries-guides/7/

Scotland's Malt Whisky Trail is the only trail of its kind in the world. Set in the heart of Speyside, which is one of Scotland's five whisky regions, this trail takes in seven world-famous working distilleries, one historic distillery and the fascinating Speyside Cooperage.

Speyside is famous for its wonderful whisky and is often called 'Malt Whisky Country'. It's home to more than half of Scotland's malt whisky distilleries, making it the ideal place to discover more about this ancient art. Most of the distilleries on the trail are within a 1 hour drive from the cottage.

http://maltwhiskytrail.com/malt-whisky-country/distilleries/

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is held during the May Bank Holiday weekend and events include a Distillery Manager's Tour of Inchgower Distillery at Buckie, and a tour of Buckie Maltings, as well as tours of distilleries not usually open to the public.

http://www.spiritofspeyside.com/events

CAFES, PUBS, RESTAURANTS OR EAT IN

The local pub is the Admirals, and is 5 minutes walk along the waters edge from the house.  It overlooks the marina and serves good pub grub.  

01542 832735  http://www.theadmiralsinn.co.uk/index.php/food

The friendly local shop in Findochty is a Keystore, 5 mins walk up the brae from the house and is open 7 days a week, and until 8 pm on 6 days.  It sells bakery, newspapers, wines and spirits and all the groceries required for a few days stay.  There is a post office and pharmacy next door.

There is a large Tesco supermarket, a Lidl, a large Co-op and various other smaller food shops in Buckie, 3 miles away.

Findochty Harbour is used by creel fishermen, and timed right it is possible to pick up a seafood bargain from the quay.    

There are fishmongers beside Buckie Fishmarket who sell excellent locally caught fish and seafood, including Eat Mair Fish

Old Station Yard, Marine Place, Buckie     http://www.eatmairfish.co.uk/

There are numerous restaurants, cafes and coffee shops in the area, as well as fantastic ice cream:

Bijou by the Sea, Strathlene, Buckie - 

01542 833915 https://www.pozzibijou.com/

Rockpool, Cullen - 01542 841397  http://rockpool-cullen.co.uk/

Vegetarian: The Willows Tearoom, Deskford Garden Galleries, Deskford, Cullen 01542 841400 https://www.facebook.com/DeskfordGardenGalleries/

Blue Moo, Buckie (sells Simpsons Ice Cream) - 01542 488484

The Ice Cream Shop, Cullen - 01542 840484

The area is well known for excellent fish and chips ...

Portknockie Fish and Chip Shop - 01542 841888

Linda's Fish and Chips, Cullen - 01542 840202

The Codfather, Buckpool, Buckie - 01542 832342

Louis Fish and Chip Shop, Buckie - 01542 834666 (they deliver)

Ally's Diner Fish and Chip Van

visits Findochty Town Hall on Friday evenings, 4.30-6.30 pm and takes telephone bookings ...

07826 184541  https://www.facebook.com/Allysfishandchips

There is a wealth of choice of takeaway food in Buckie and Cullen, including ...

Bengal Brasserie, Buckie - 01542 835856 (find their menu in the info folder)

Buckpool Chinese Takeaway - 01542 835700  (next door to the Codfather)

Louis Fish and Chips, Buckie (for homemade pizza) - 01542 834666

 MUSIC AND CULTURE, FESTIVALS, VISITOR CENTRES

Scottish Dolphin Centre at Spey Bay

dolphin watching, information, cafe, shop -http://dolphincentre.whales.org/plan-your-visit/

Buckie & District Fishing Heritage Centre

includes information on Crooked Hythe

open April to September

Cluny Place, Buckie, Banffshire, AB56 1HB  Tel: 01542 834702

http://buckieheritage.org/history/

The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival

Portsoy - late June annually.  

https://stbfportsoy.org/

The Keith and Dufftown Railway

an eleven mile line linking the World's Malt Whisky Capital, Dufftown, to the market town of Keith.  runs April to September

http://www.keith-dufftown-railway.co.uk/

Johnstons of Elgin

cashmere centre, mill and coffee shop

http://www.johnstonscashmere.com/retail/visit-us/how-to-find-us

Christies of Fochabers

garden centre, restaurant, visitor centre, shop, outdoor playgarden

http://christiesoffochabers.com/

Baxters Highland Village

restaurant and speciality shops on site of Baxters Foods

http://www.baxters.com/about-baxters/our-stores/fochabers/

Speyfest

Celtic Music Festival - traditional and contemporary music

end of july annually

http://www.speyfest.com/

TMSA Keith Festival

Traditional Music and Song Assocation - traditional music festival

early June annually

http://tmsakeithfestival.blogspot.co.uk/

Elgin Cathedral

Historic Scotland 13th century ruin, open April to September

https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/elgin-cathedral/

RAINY DAY ACTIVITY AND FAMILY FUN

CINEMA: Moray Playhouse, Elgin ... caledoniancinemas.co.uk

BOWLING: Pinz Bowling, Elgin - pinzbowling.co.uk

SWIMMING: Buckie Swimming Pool - moray.gov.uk - click on Swimming Pools

                       Moray Leisure Centre, Elgin - mlc-elgin.co.uk

CLIMBING WALL; Spire Roxx, Elgin - spireroxx.co.uk

SOFT PLAY: The Playbarn, Llanbryde - greenfieldsfunfarm.co.uk

KARTING: Elgin Kart Raceway, Llanbryde - elginkartraceway.co.uk

BINGO: Carlton Bingo, Buckie - www.carltonclubs.com - click on Clubs/Buckie

FOOTBALL: Buckie Thistle Football Club (Highland League) - buckiethistle.org

OUTDOOR PLAY: Christies of Fochabers - garden centre, restaurant, visitor centre, shop, outdoor playgarden - christiesoffochabers.com/play-garden/

OUTDOOR PARK: Cooper Park, Elgin - boating pond (open summer), biblical garden, riverside walks, library - https://www.morayspeyside.com/venue/cooper-park/

THE SEA: SEATRIPS, WATERSPORTS, FESTIVALS, SEALIFE, RIVER FISHING

Dolphin watching at the Scottish Dolphin Centre at Spey Bay.  

http://dolphincentre.whales.org/

The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival, Portsoy - late June annually.  

 

https://stbfportsoy.org/

Marine tours and dolphin watching trips on the Gemini Explorer sailing from Buckie Harbour.

 

http://www.geminiexplorer.co.uk/

Salmon and trout fishing is available on the nearby River Spey strictly by permit only.  Information on how to organise fishing on the Spey at

http://www.fishpal.com/Scotland/Spey/Faq.asp?dom=Spey

Rod availability at Gordon Castle, Fochabers, with beats on the Spey between Orton and Spey Bay.

http://www.gordoncastle.co.uk/availability-booking-2016/

Beachfront Cottage at 5 The Hythe, Findochty, AB56 4QR on the beautiful Moray Coast of Scotland

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