Duration: 3.5 hours.
This coastal walk has a nice mix: the oldest lighthouse in Scotland; one of the busiest fishing harbours in the UK; a wonderful sandy beach that seems to go on for ever; a peaceful estuarine nature reserve; a golf course sheltering amongst the sand dunes; an interesting town centre; and, the old fishing village of Broadsea tucked around the Kinnaird headland. Fraserburgh sits on an exposed knuckle of land where the North Sea meets the Moray Firth. It dates back to when the Fraser family bought the lands of Philorth in 1504. By 1570, the Frasers had built a castle at Kinnaird Head and by the 1590s there was a small harbour. The growth of the herring fishing industry in the 19th century saw major expansion with more than 1000 drifters based there. Huge modern vessels from the long-distance pelagic fleet dominate the modern harbour. The Frasers’ castle was sold to the Northern Lighthouse Board in 1787 to be converted into Scotland’s first mainland lighthouse. In 1824 Robert Stevenson undertook a major re-design and improvement, uniquely still based upon the old castle. Fraserburgh is renowned for its long, golden sandy beach, backed by an extensive dunes system. On the walk, we reach a turning point at the Waters of Philorth Local Nature Reserve which includes the estuary of the Philorth and an ever-moving sand dune complex. There are also areas of reed bed, salt marsh and mud flats associated with the estuary, which is known for the diversity of its bird life resulting from the range of habitats. The return leg weaves its way through the sand dune system, skirting the golf course. At the end of the walk there is the opportunity to visit the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses (and Kinnaird Head Lighthouse itself), and the neighbouring Fraserburgh Heritage Centre (summer season only). See:
Book recommendations for this region:
Basic Equipment for Hiking
- Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
- Layered, moisture wicking clothing
- Hiking socks
- Rucksack (with rain cover)
- Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
- Hiking poles
- Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
- First aid kit
- Blister kit
- Bivy / survival bag
- Survival blanket
- Pocket knife
- Cell phone
- Navigation equipment / map and compass
- Emergency contact details
- The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
- For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
- Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.