Hopeman to Covesea Lighthouse.

Start. Hopeman.

Route. Hopeman - Braemou Well - Clashach Cove - Clashach Quarry - Covesea Quarry - Covesea Beach - Covesea Lighthouse - Covesea Beach - Covesea Quarry - Clashach Quarry - Clashach Cove - Hopeman.

Notes. This was an out-and-back walk exploring cliffs and coves to the east of Hopeman, our little guidebook promised stunning views throughout, it lied, long sections were over cliff top paths through a dense covering of gorse, we could have been anywhere, the only clue to a coastal walk was the ever present cry of sea birds. Having said that sections before and after were stunning, and at our turning point, a beautiful dune backed beach, we sat and ate lunch, just us, the burning sun and the whispering sea.

Hopeman our starting point a small fishing village established in 1805 by local landowner William Young, Young had opened quarries at Greenbrae and Clashach and needed housing for his workforce. In 1836 the estate passed to Admiral Archibald Duff, within two years he built a harbour and soon after a successful 120 strong fleet of fishing boats worked out of this small port.

To the affairs of the day, after parking on the sea front car park at Hopeman we headed along the Moray Coastal Trail, passed two small beaches and some brightly coloured beach huts, rising above the scrub and gorse a small pavilion overlooked the sea, we stopped to drink in the views before making a short detour to Braemou Well. A holy well visited by local people since the 17th century.

On we walked above high sea cliffs gifting us with stunning views over hidden coves, caves, sea stacks and natural arches dotted the coast line. Passed William Young's quarries we wandered, one still in use. Here we entered vast swathes of gorse, a clear path guided us, for what seemed miles we saw nothing until emerging near a coastguard tower. We continued always keeping to the left hand path, suddenly we rounded a sea stack to be greeted by a beautiful arch of golden sand. Deserted Lossiemouth West Beach had dinner stop written all over it, as I had a flask of coffee and a bag full of sandwiches we sat down to let the day slip away.

Whilst Sue sat sunning herself I wandered up the beach to take some snaps of Covesea Lighthouse, and the beacon on Halliman Skerries. Our route back followed the same path, I've said in the past always do the same walk in the opposite direction, it pays to walk into views that were at your back last time, this is where an out-and-back walk pays dividends. Just one more thing on our return we had the pleasure of watching a pod of Dolphins with a number of young calves working their way along the coast. A perfect end to a varied coastal walk.

view route map.


This intimate sheltered beach with rock pools to explore is just next to the harbour, the pavilion is just visible to the right.

The second of two beaches to the east of Hopeman.

A splash of colour.

Hopeman harbour with the hills of Easter Ross stretched out across the horizon.

Stunning views over the Moray Firth from the pavilion.

Braemou Well, from the 17th century people from as far affield as Aberdeen and Inverness made pilgrimages to this holy well, either to drink or wash in the water.

The Moray Coast near Hopeman where fingers of rock reach into the ocean guarding hidden coves and beautiful beaches.

Views over Clashach Cove.

Deserted Clashach Cove., it doesn't get much better than this.

A gap in the gorse gifts us with stunning views along the ragged edge where land meets sea.

Stunning conditions on the Moray Coastal Trail.

Near the Coastguard Lookout Tower looking east.

Coastguard Lookout Tower with wonderful views across the Moray.

The Moray Coastal Trail web site names this stack Gow's Castle Stack (Gulls Castle), but the locals tell a very different tail. Gow's Castle stood half a mile west of this fine stack, one misty night in 1941 the home guard blew it up during mortar practice, it seems this stack has inherited the name.

Viewing Covesea Lighthouse across dune backed Lossiemouth West Beach.

Standing on this spot since 1846 Covesea Lighthouse, following the discontinuation of the light on the 2nd March 2012 plans were put in progress to sell the lighthouse, the Covesea Lighthouse Community Company was formed, buying the lighthouse to develop as a tourist attraction.

Safeguarding the entrance to Lossiemouth Harbour this beacon, a grid iron construction has stood on Hilliman Skerries since 1845.

Just us, the whispering sea, the burning summer sun and a stunning dune backed beach.

Viewing the Coastguard Lookout from the edge of Clashach Cove.

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