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Portessie to Portknockie - some more Moray :)

Portessie to Portknockie - some more Moray :)


Postby BlackPanther » Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:17 pm

Route description: Buckie to Cullen , Moray Coastal Trail

Date walked: 19/11/2011

Time taken: 3.5 hours

Distance: 12 km

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For the second Saturday in a row we headed east to walk the Moray coast. This time we had our eyes on the coastal path from Portessie to Portknockie. We've done a part of this walk earlier this year and I especially liked the views from the cliffs towards the village of Findochty. This time I wanted to explore this picturesque village :D

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This particular walk is a part of Moray Coast Trail and one can walk all the way from Buckie to Cullen, using a good coastal path all the way along.
The start of our route was in Portessie, just east of Buckie, where we left the car at the car park opposite the caravan site (if this one is full, there's another car park a few hundred meters east, next to the remains of the old swimming pool). The first attraction of the day was a lovely beach at Strathlene Sands - the tide was low and there was almost no wind, so the sea was calm... It felt like we were going to have a great day!
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The beach was almost deserted so oyster-catchers came along to look for a snack :D
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We walked past Strathlene House to the old swimming pool - it's just sad remains of what once must have been a big tourist attraction... The pool is filled with stones.
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From the edge of the old pool, the pano across to the town of Buckie:
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Past the pool we easily found the coastal trail (the path is well signposted) and continued east. The views back with some rocky shore and Buckie in the background:
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Soon we arrived by Craig Head, where we found ourselves at the edge of a small bay with a rocky beach surrounded by cliffs:
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I was eager to spend some time filming seabirds sitting on little rocky islands. Training to replace sir David A.? :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Birds were mostly shags, also some seagulls:
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The path divided here, with one branch heading up to the top of the cliffs, and another one down to the beach. We decided to explore the lower path and walked across the rocky shore to the other side of the bay. Here, after some hopping and skipping on the rock, we eventually picked the path again. I must add, that the beach passage can only be done when tide is low.
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The trail heading up the cliffs again:
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It was still early on but I demanded another break to watch wildlife!
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Waiting to be fed??? :lol: :lol:
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Eventually we carried on towards Findochty:
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A bridge to cross:
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We walked past the caravan site right to the port in the village:
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The encounter with a local (not so close):
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The harbour in Findochty is mostly used by small private boats:
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With the little, cute houses surrounding the port, it is really an atmospheric spot:
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And it was such a quiet day... Shhh....
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Enjoying the moment:
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More locals? :lol: :lol:
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We left the port behind eventually, continuing through the narrow streets of Findochty, with sea views surrounding us all the time:
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Sunset? No! It was only about 1:30 when these pictures were taken...
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Shags on the rock:
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There's one more attraction to visit in Findochty, the Crooked Hythe:
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This small natural bay was once used as a shipyard:
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The light was getting worse with some cloud settled in the sky - it really felt like the sun was setting!
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We continued walking to the eastern beach of Findochty, called Sandy Creek:
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From this point we had unobstructed views east along the shore:
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After crossing the Sandy Creek beach, we found a path up the cliffs and soon joined a comfortable track/wide path which goes all the way to Portknockie. After a few hundred meters we took another short break at the viewpoint - and enjoyed the pano down to Findochty:
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We carried on - with some more breathtaking views still present:
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One more short detour was at Tronach Head - it's another good viewpoint!
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Eventually we reached Portknockie. We didn't go down to the harbour (we've been there before), but found a bench on the cliffs where we sat for a while...
The port from above:
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Looking west along the coast from Portknockie:
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On the return route we visited the war monument in Findochty. It's situated on the top of the cliffs over the village and it's well worth the detour if only for the opportunity to take more pano-pictures :D
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From Findochty back to Portessie we walked on the upper path, along the edge of the golf course (fortunately, no flying golf balls hit us :lol: ). Soon we were back at Strathlene Sands with about an hour of daylight to spare...
So, another fantastic trip though not an epic. This particular part of Moray coast is well worth visiting and a great treat to anybody. Scotland is not just about mountains...
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BlackPanther
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Re: Portessie to Portknockie - some more Moray :)

Postby foggieclimber » Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:17 pm

I enjoyed this walk earlier this year. Nice to see it again. Thanks.
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Re: Portessie to Portknockie - some more Moray :)

Postby ndhudson » Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:41 pm

Hi BP. :wave: What a great looking walk! Gorgeous little village and great cliffs. Coastal walks are something I don't often get to enjoy. (i'm about 700 miles from the nearest coast) I'll have to enjoy theme through your great reports...thanks!
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Re: Portessie to Portknockie - some more Moray :)

Postby HighlandSC » Mon Nov 21, 2011 6:09 pm

Very nice :) Been years since I've been this far east on the coast (Forres to Lossiemouth being my local stretch). Never done any lengthy walking here but visited Bow Fiddle rock a few times.
Although now in the USA I'm 4 hours from the ocean :( Was just saying yesterday that this (4 weeks) is probably the longest I've ever been without seeing the ocean. WIll probably be many more months!

Keep posting and giving me a fix every so often :) :lol:
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Re: Portessie to Portknockie - some more Moray :)

Postby Belgian_Hiker » Tue Nov 22, 2011 2:34 pm

Fantastic report/pictures !

I lived a few years in Buckie many years ago and it brings back many fond memories of the many walks I had along the coastline there.
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Re: Portessie to Portknockie - some more Moray :)

Postby denfinella » Fri May 16, 2014 11:15 pm

Have only just read this report - looks like a walk worth doing! Have added to the list, thanks :)
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