Gardenstown and Crovie.

Start. Gardenstown.

Route. Gardenstown - The Braes - Crovie - Lichnet - Knowhead - Bracoden Road - High Green - Gardenstone Harbour - Harbour Road - Gardenstown.

Notes. Gardenstown established in 1720 by Alexander Gardner as a fishing village, built in a niche in the cliffs, along and above the bay. This was our starting point on a short walk that would include a far more interesting row of cottages, Crovie. Founded by families cleared from inland estates in the late 18th century, a small fleet of fishing boats worked out of the quay. By the first half of the 20th century larger boats, unloading bigger catches at commercial ports lead to the small fleets along the Moray and Aberdeenshire coast to decline, Crovie included. The final death knell came in the form of a devastating storm on the 31st day of January 1953, high seas backed by hurricane force winds battered the coast, ripping through the sea defences leveling anything in it's path, Crovie ceased to exist. Residents moved to Gardenstown or villages in land. The landowner and council wanted to abandon the village to the sea, but private investors smelt potential, the village was developed as holiday lets and is now one of the best preserved fishing villages in Europe.

To the northern end of Gardenstown after passing through a small industrial site we found an equally small car park, it was free that will do for me. From the car park a path ran along the edge of Gamrie Bay under the sheer cliffs of The Braes, this delightful trod deposited us in Crovie, a single row of cottages built endways on to the sea, precariously perch on a narrow shelf a few feet from the beach with steep cliffs to their rear. We wandered along the sea front, the only place you can wander in Crovie before ascending the access road. From this narrow ribbon of tarmac there are some classic views over the village. One of the locals informed us there was a cliff top path that would guide us back to Gardenstown, there wasn't, come to think of it, she wasn't local either, Scandinavian I think, so we followed the tarmac lane passed Lichnet Farm to a road junction, turned right then headed back into Gardenstown. After exploring the delightful little harbour we casually wandered back to the parked car.

view route map.


Crovie seen from the car park in Gardenstown.

More Head on view from the path between Gardenstown and Crovie.

Views across Gamrie Bay, at the mercy of the sea Crovie backed by Crovie Head and Law Hill.

Yours truly soaking up the views from the coastal path.

Built on a narrow ledge, trapped between the steep slopes of Law Hill and the salt water of the North Sea, Crovie.

Sue wanders through Crovie.

And this is it, Crovie, on a day like today an idyllic place, just imagine a stormy winters night.

Classic view from the residents car park.

Wandering through narrow country lanes, looking to Law Hill from near Knowhead Farm.

Gardenstown on the edge of Gamrie Bay.

Exploring the small harbour at Gardenstown.

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