St Combs to Cairnbulg

Beach walks are amongst my favourite pleasures and I have visited many from here to the world famous Bondi in the southern hemisphere. I think the Aberdeenshire coast is underrated, unspoilt in the most part and its wildness and diverse landscape, its beauty. I was very underwhelmed by Bondi, but I believe we are spoiled in our wee corner of the world. You can visit on any day and have the whole place to yourself, perhaps the exception is when the mercury tips 20c as that is officially known as “Taps Aff” weather. Doric being the locally spoken dialect, this translates as Tops off. As the weather in this part of the world doesn’t see the mercury tipping over 20C on a regular basis, most people flock to the seaside on warm sunny days to make the most of the sunshine and you will find hardy souls braving the wind in bikinis. The rest of the time, you can walk sections of the coast in all weathers in complete solitude and isolation and perhaps spot a dog walker miles up the beach. There is 165 miles of coastline, so we can spread out and enjoy our own special bit.

Whitelinks bay

Today’s walk was with the daughter. Hence shorter than usual as her tolerance for walking is diminishing.

Starting at St Combs we headed West towards Inverallochy.  St Combs  is a small fishing village dating back to the 17th century about five miles south of Fraserburgh. Along with neighbouring Inverallochy they were booming herring fishing hubs in the late 1800’s.  Now the fishing has moved to Fraserburgh but the villages remain with their drying greens taking pride of place along the edge of the coast.


Cornflower blue skies with a smattering of white fluffy clouds provides the perfect contrast to the rich reddish toned sand here. A glorious day for a stroll alongside the dunes and sections of glacial pavement rock formations.

Glacial rocks
Pink hued sand
Love finding these painted gems by the sea

Further up the beach a partially submerged type 24 pillbox pokes out of the sand like buried treasure along with washed up creel nets and obligatory rubber tyres

Pillbox disappearing under the shifting sands
Always find tyres here and at St Cyrus
Buckie shell
Washed up creel
Cormorants drying off on the rocks
Cairnbulg harbour

We walked as far as Cairnbulg harbour and saw the wreck of the fishing vessel Sovereign. It was destroyed in 2005 and remains close to the briggs light beacon.


The boat was used on a poster advertising the movie, Life of Pi. Not a film I will be revisiting though, and I love tigers.
We retraced our steps and had a picnic on the bench at St Combs before ending our wander by the sea for today.

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