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Portsoy to Findlater Castle: gorgeous cliffs, lovely weather

Portsoy to Findlater Castle: gorgeous cliffs, lovely weather


Postby BlackPanther » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:14 pm

Route description: Portsoy and Sandend circular

Date walked: 12/11/2011

Time taken: 4.5 hours

Distance: 13.5 km

Ascent: 330m

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No mountains for us this weekend but with the best weather forecast for Aberdeenshire, we decided to do some lurking along the seashore. Cliff walks can be just as good as hillwalking, especially on a sunny day.
During our previous walks in the area we investigated the coastline from Cullen to Findochty, from Hopeman to Lossiemouth and the most popular one, from Cullen to Findlater Castle. Now, I was curious to have a closer look at the eastern approach to the castle. It can be done quickly from Sandend Bay, but we opted for longer and much more interesting route from Portsoy.

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We parked in the center of the village, where there is a small car park - fortunately at this time of the year it was almost empty. A narrow street took us down to the fishing port - weather was gorgeous, blue sky and surprisingly warm. We spent some time in the old harbour, lurking here and there, filming, photographing, watching passing boats, gazing at the horizon...
The harbour:
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Looking at the port from above:
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A busy boat :)))
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Remains of an old building at the cliffs:
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Looking west from the port, the coastline was interesting:
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The tide was high but not much wind, still some good waves splashed onto the rocks:
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Quite a few unusual shapes:
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We followed the path up to a viewpoint over the village...
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...had one last glance at the harbour...
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...and continued along the coast. And again it felt a wee bit like Cornwall...
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View back to Portsoy:
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Soon we noticed the old saltwater swimming pool, full of water, with waves actually breaking into the pool area:
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Five minutes later, another break and another panorama:
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After passing a small car park we turned right on a green track heading towards a house. As soon as we passed it, it was easy to find a path on the right hand side, marked with a wooden post - the way back co the cliffs.
The track towards the farm:
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Another glimpse back to Portsoy...
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Towards the cliffs:
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Can you believe it's November?
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Sailing boats on the horizon:
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We took some time to watch sea birds:
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An impressive piece of rock with an arch:
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Somewhere... beyond the sea...Somewhere, waiting for me...
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The cliff path was good all the way though a bit wet in places, some puddles to jump over :lol: :lol: . Past Redhythe Point the views are even better, with an interesting dome-shaped hill in the distance. That hill must be Bin of Cullen (320m).
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It was Kevin's first walk in his new shoes and he tried to work out how many pairs of socks and how many shoe soles he needed to feel comfortable :lol:
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Gorse in bloom:
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And not just gorse! The warm weather must have fooled many plants. We saw flowering dandelions, celandines and daisies, and quite a few of them:
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Views to Sandend Bay are lovely:
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Fish for dinner today? :lol: :lol:
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At some point the path was made from scallop shells:
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We approached a small bay called Red Haven, a beautiful spot with a rocky beach and old ruinous house. It was time for another break and more lurking!
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Across the bay, the tiny, cute village of Sandend :D
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View from the cliffs above Red Haven:
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Some more birdies:
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As we approached the large sandy beach, we noticed one more ruined house, in this picture just below me to the left:
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The final steps through the ocean of gorse:
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Sandend beach from above:
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Old anti-tank pill boxes:
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Tide has just turned and the sand was still wet:
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I'm so happy to live in Scotland where I have both mountains and seaside at the stretch of my hand :D :D
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Beach cat:
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The beach is littered with more anti-tank fortifications:
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if only it was a bit warmer... I'd certainly dive into the sea!
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Well, I wasn't brave enough but some other folks were:
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Our footprints:
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We spotted a picnic table just above the beach and decided to take a longer break, have a sandwich just sinking in the scenery:
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After a short visit to Sandend harbour (not as big and picturesque as the one in Portsoy) we found our way between two houses, where the signpost shows the access to coastal path. Sadly, a big cloud arrived and covered the sun, so we lost the best light and the rest of the pictures are rather dark.
The village of Sandend and the port from above:
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The path past Sandend is much boggier and very slippery in places. The views are not as splendid as on the earlier stages of this route but still worth seeing:
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Soon we discovered we were close to Findlater Castle. This photo shows the eastern side of the very rock, into which the castle was built. If you have a close look, you will notice upper parts of the remaining walls showing up:
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The best "face" of the castle is from the western side. Here we can admire all what's left of the building:
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I always wonder, when I visit this place, how the hell did they build it some 500 years ago?
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Most of the building is long gone with only small bits still remaining, but it's easy to imagine how it looked like before it was abandoned...
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We didn't venture into the ruins this time. We had been there many times before, it was getting late and we still had to walk all the way back to Portsoy. Of course if you haven't visited these ruins yet and you are not afraid of steep, slippy cliffs, lurking here is an absolute yesss!
The viewpoint over Findlater Castle:
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The return route took us much less time and we shortened it by walking past Redhythe Farm along a minor road to the center of Portsoy. Summing up, we had a lovely day on the seashore and even though it didn't add any numbers to my hill statistics I'm still glad I chose this particular area. Meow!
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BlackPanther
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