Moray Firth Beaches and towns
You are in luck because the first three beaches listed as closest to Glenarder happen also to be three of the longest most beautiful beaches in the northest east of Scotland and arguable Scotland. Popular with families and naturalists alike you can discover the world of dolphins, coastal caves, or simply rest on one of the endless sandy beaches. In the summer you will find the beaches busy but never over crowed and if you are willing to walk 5 minutes further along you can have complete peace. Because many of the beaches are long, shallow and have soft golden sand they are many perfect beaches for children. For those looking for more rugged coast lines and hidden beaches there are plenty of options to excite you.
Within a 30-40 minute drive you can be on the beach with your bucket and spade. From any of these beaches you can follow the scenic Moray coast trail east or west and discover beach after beach. Spend the day on the beach or take a tour and stop for lunch in one of the many local resturants or pubs.
My memories. My mother is from Buckie and my Father is from Finechty (Findochty), every summer we drove up from England to spend the holidays at my Grandmas house. Every morning my Dad would get up, letting my Mum sleep in, and take us to one of two places; Buckie harbour to watch the fishing boats come in or the beach.
It is funny because for the whole of my childhood we only ever went to the beaches east of Buckie Cullen, Findochty, Portsoy, Sandend – these were the beaches of my childhood back in the day when no one wore sunscreen or wet suits and Grannie’s still took real tea cups to the beach with a flask of tea.
As an adult I still return to the Moray Coast but I have also ‘ventured west’ of Buckie and discovered magnificent beaches at Spey Bay, Findhorn, Hopeman and Lossiemouth. Things are a little more sophisticated these days, you can enjoy a glass of wine with tapas at the shore-side restaurant The 16 29, while enjoying the sun set over the Moray Firth or a lovely lunch at the Rockpool Cafe in Cullen.
The beaches do not end with this list – there are endless secret little spots and wide open sands, dolphins, seals, bird life. If you are up for something a little more adventurous try out some of the water and shore sports like sea kayaking, rock climbing, sailing, surfing (Scotland’s new sport – more on that later), boat trips to islands, visit seal colonies, fishing, scuba diving, kite boarding …the list is endless. Hopefully as I evolve my site I can provide more and more resources for you to discover, for now I will just give you a point in the right direction.
Beach viillages to visit
Findhorn Village had a beach on one side and a gentle estuary on the other. The beach is expansive and home to a large colony of seals which make home at a very safe distance. Famous for sailing, water sports and the eco village of Findhorn. It is a lovely village with quant fishing cottages. There are two pubs which on a sunny day over flow onto the grass over looking the bay. Great family day out.
Facilities; marina, parking, toilets, pubs, cafes, gift shops. Findhorn Foundation.
TIP – One of the best dolphin watching tours leaves from Findhorn. North 58 Dolphin Tours
Lossiemouth – The Jewel of Moray Firth
Lossiemouth is only 5 miles from Elgin. It is favoured by the mild Gulf Stream air, miles of excellent beaches and beautiful surrounding countryside. There are two beaches seperated by a lovely marina with cafes and gift shops. The Marina once a commercial harbour is now home to a spectacular yachting marina. Dolphin tours are available as well as a sailing club, golf club, surfing and watersports. Lossiemouth is also proud to be home to RAF Lossiemouth. It is rather thrilling to watch the occasional Tornado or Typhoon aircraft fly overhead on routine practice as you eat your icecream on the beach..kids love it.
Facilities; parking, toilets, golf club, local shops and resturants.
Spey Bay Scottish Dolpin Center http://www.visitscotland.com
Spey Bay is a very special conservation area. The Spey Bay estuary is the largest shingle beach in Scotland. Rich with breeding birds, flora and diverse invertebrate communities which all make their home here. Early morning wild life enthusiasts come to the observation point to enjoy a view over the saltmarsh. You can also spot dolphins as well as many seals out on the sands. There is a wild life center, Dolphin center, museum with a tea shop and walking paths Beautiful on a sunny day.The Spey Bay Golf Club selected in top 100 Golf courses in the world.
Facilities; parking,toilets, tea room, gift shop.
The Moray Coast Trail.
Nairn. Victorian splendor.
15 miles east of Inverness Nairn enjoys one of the sunniest climates in the country. In the 1880s it earned its place as one of the most popular Victorian seaside resort due to its stop on the Victorian railway line. Nairn is famous for her grand mansions and villas which still line leafy avenues, many have now been converted to hotels, some with superb sea views. Nairn is home to one of two 18 hole courses in Nairn. Nairn Golf Club was home to the Walker Cup in 1999
Hopeman Beach Huts
A small fishing village founded in 1805 to house and re-employ people displaced during the Highland clearances. Hopeman has two sandy beaches seperated by the picturesque harbour mainly used for small leisure craft. You will find a small gift shop at the harbour. Its a lovely little town and one of the only beaches in Scotland to have colourful beach huts.
The beach at Portgordon is worth a stop if you are driving the Moray Trail. It both famous for German spies and the seal colony which make it home, when the tide is out the seals can be easily seen basking on the rocks from the look out point. If you keep your eyes peeled you may also spot a dolphin. There is a childrens play park and foot ball field as well as bowling green. Located only a few miles from Buckie where you will find local shops, cafes and facilites.
Facilities; parking, local shop.
Strathlene Beach, Buckie
A small A small sandy bay surrounded by rocks and backed by a grassy area, there is a camp and caravan site. Great for rock pool hunting with kids. At the beach there is a resturant/cafe and golf club.
Facilities; parking, picnic, toilets
Sentimently my favorite. This is my fathers home towm and where I spent my summer beach days. It is a small local beach, sheltered in a bay. Soft sand and rockpools galore to be discovered. The view of the surrounding rocks and cliffs is stunning. Findochty is one of the most picturesque fishing villages in Scotland.
Facilities; local shop selling beach supplies, wet suits and icecream. Pub, toilets, parking, caravan park.
Sandend is a great beach. It sits the edge of the little fishing village of Sandend, on a sheltered bay surrounded by barley fields and countryside. On any given day you can watch the surfers and on a warm summer day the beach is quite full with families and eager would be surfers on their paddleboards. Often their is a food truck or ice cream van.
Facilities; parking, toilets, caravan park. There are no shops so bring your own supplies
Cullen. Seqside and icecream.
15 miles east of Inverness Nairn enjoys one of the sunniest climates in the country. In the 1880s it earned its place as one of the most popular Victorian seaside resort due to its stop on the Victorian railway line. Nairn is famous for her grand mansions and villas which still line leafy avenues, many have now been converted to hotels, some with superb sea views. Nairn is home to one of two 18 hole courses in Nairn. Nairn Golf Club was home to the Walker Cup in 1999. Cullen is famous for their local soup, Cullen Skink..thick, hearty and delicious after a day at the beach. There are even competitions to see who makes the best one! Cullen is also famous for its home-made soft serve from a secret recipe passed down. I recommend to ask for a 99 cone.
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