The Villages of Cullen Bay.

Start. Cullen.

Route. Cullen - Cullen Harbour - Seatown - Cullen Sands - Jenny's Well - Whales Mouth - Bow Fiddle Rock - Portknockie - Disused Railway Line - Cullen.

Notes. We've been here before so I know this is a special slice of the Moray coast, a walk of variety, lovely villages and picturesque harbour's supported by sandy beaches, airy cliff top walking and stunning vistas, not forgetting Bow Fiddle Rock one of the most photographed features on the Moray coast.

Lets start with Cullen an extremely attractive town built around the mouth of the Burn of Deskford. Fishing heritage lies at the heart of Cullen's success, a form of smoked haddock, potatoes and onions blended to make a tasty soup, world famous Cullen Skink.

Then we come to Seatown, originally christened Seatown of Cullen, a magical mix of brightly painted stone fishermen's cottages, a rather other-worldly place to wander around, it's a lovely little place.

Our turning point on this short excursion, Portknockie, one of a string of traditional fishing villages that line the north coast of Moray and Aberdeenshire, differing from other fishing communities as it lays above cliffs that drop steeply to the harbour. The village was founded in 1677 and it became a significant herring fishing port during the nineteenth century. At the height of the herring fishing boom about 100 sailing boats crowded its harbour.

We parked in the square just off Cullen's main street, an elegant railway arch spans the street making a great entrance to the coast, we passed through this doorway before descending to the harbour. Our route passed between the harbour and the small cottages of Seatown before a wooden footbridge spanning the Burn of Cullen allowed access to the beach. Racing the incoming tide we walked across the beach, passing The Three Kings, three shark like fins formed of compressed sandstone rising from the beach. At the western end of the beach we crossed Toshie's Long Craigs to access Jenny's Well and an impressive sea arch known locally as the Whale's Mouth.

From the Whale's Mouth we ascended the cliffs, a narrow path aided our progress, we sat a while on a perfectly situated memorial seat before striding out on a good cliff top path, the sound of the rolling sea was now accompanied by the screech of sea birds. Soon Bow Fiddle Rock, the source of all the noise tilted into view, a large colony of sea birds covered the rock, on the cliffs below us Fulmars and Gannets roosted. I'm not much of a sea bird lover, the wind was in our faces, the smell was overpowering, until they start using deodorant I'll stick to song birds.

Having said that we spent some time exploring caves and hidden coves of this fascinating slice of coast. Once we'd had our fill we strolled through the well cared for streets of Portknockie, it was a real treat to walk these streets, spotlessly clean and immaculate, a real credit to the residents. Once we'd found Admiralty Street the rows of cottages directed us to a disused railway track, this was to be our guide through some spectacular views back to Cullen.

view route map.


Cullen Bay seen through the railway arch mentioned in the text above.

Viewing Cullen Harbour and a distant Bow Fiddle Rock.

Seatown backed by a fine example of Victorian engineering.

Strolling along the sea front at Seatown, an intriguing collection of fishermen's cottages.

One of The Three Kings, shark like fins of compressed sandstone guard Cullen Sands and the links of Cullen Golf Club.

From the beach views back to Cullen with the cliffs of Logie Head far left.

Welcome to Jenny's Well.

Looks like Sue's found something interesting in the cliff face, she's just poking it to see what happens.

The Whales Mouth one of many natural arches on this headland.

Heading up the cliffs of The Widdle's, with this view for company, The Whales Mouth, Cullen Bay and the long finger of Logie Head.

Bow Fiddle Rock home to an extensive sea bird colonies.

A nesting place for sea birds and a tourist attraction, Bow Fiddle Rock, the white is Guano, sea bird droppings, now lets descend to the beach.

Classic view of Bow Fiddle Rock.

One of many sea caves found on this promontory sheltering Portknockie from the sea.

 Looking to the cottages of Portlknockie from the jumble of volcanic chaos to the north of the village.

Looking back over cliffs just walked.

Tronach Head as seen over Portknockie Harbour.

The Widdie's seen over the golf links of Cullen Golf Club.

A wonderful view from the disused railway line that's guiding us back to Cullen, A stunning rocky shore line seen over one of the arms of Cullen Harbour with Logie Head dominating the view.

Forever changing seascapes, shimmering sand, shear cliffs and big skies, the Moray coast at it's very best.

Seatown with the houses of Cullen on the hill behind.

Cullen Harbour seen over the rooftops of Seatown.

From the harbour a stunning view along the jagged edge where land meets sea, there's a spectacular walk backed by equally spectacular scenery round that headland, check it out.

Viewing Seatown from Cullen Harbour.

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