Duration: 3 hours.
This pleasant coastal walk provides for a gentle ramble along the coastline west of Buckie to reach Portgordon, returning at a slightly higher level on the route of an old railway line, and then higher still, around the Buckpool golf course. Once the most populous town in historic Banffshire, Buckie is now the 3rd largest town in Moray, after Elgin and Forres. It lies equidistant from Banff and Elgin on the sheltered Moray Firth coast and tends to enjoy a favourable microclimate, sheltered also by the Grampian Mountains to the south. The town of Buckie grew out of a number of small fisher “seatowns” huddled, gable end to the sea, close to the coastline. Originally, fishing boats would have been launched from the beaches, but as commercial fisheries began to expand a harbour was built at Nether Buckie (Buckpool) in 1857, to be effectively replaced by the much larger, more navigable, and safer Cluny Harbour, further east, 20 years later The impressive Cluny Harbour is still a busy fishing and boatbuilding centre. Although the fortunes of Buckie tend to rise and fall with the viability of the fishing industry, the many fine Victorian buildings in the town are testament to the wealth created here. The walk passes the original harbour (now filled in and transformed into a public park) on its way to the village of Portgordon. Near to the village are a series of rock and shingle beaches where large numbers of Grey and Common seals haul out to rest and socialise. Portgordon was established in 1797 by Alexander Gordon, 4th Duke of Gordon, as a fishing village. It became an important place for maritime trade, boat-building and fishing over the next 100 years, before its eventual economic decline. For more about its interesting history, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portgordon
Our website link: https://themackwalks.wordpress.com/2019/09/25/088-buckie-portgordon-gollachy-circuit-moray/
Track typesShow elevation profile
(1) Start the walk in Cluny Square(57.67636; -2.96527) https://w3w.co/evolving.baguette.repaidStart the walk from the lower left quadrant of Cluny Square in the centre of Buckie. After checking out the historical information board, go left and downhill to walk down the pavement of North High Street towards the sea. If you quickly cross to the other side of the road (with care) you will pass another information board about walking and cycling around the Buckie area.
(2) Left down Baron Street(57.67785; -2.96627) https://w3w.co/initiated.craftsmen.scoringIn about 185 m, at the bottom of North High Street, turn left to follow the shoreline along the pavement of Baron Street. (184 m)
(3) Right off Baron Street into Yardie Conservation Area(57.67869; -2.97005) https://w3w.co/cautious.grandest.secureIn 250 m, veer right off Baron Street onto a street passing through the Yardie* Conservation area. (438 m)
*Note: Yardie was one of the original individual fisher "seatowns" that came together to form the town of Buckie.
(4) Left out of Yardie Conservation Area(57.67746; -2.97391) https://w3w.co/labs.rankings.excavateIn 280 m, coming to the end of the Yardie area, turn left to return to the A990 road where you turn right to walk along the pavement and over the Burn of Buckie bridge into the Buckpool* area. Soon you will arrive at the old Buckpool Harbour which has been filled in to make a public park. Take the shoreline path through the park to appreciate the stonework in the old harbour walls. Now continue taking the coastal path, sometimes on pavement, but mostly on a hard sandy path, becoming shingle as you approach Portgordon harbour. Along the way you will pass a haul-out area for seals and an associated information board. For various reasons, please do not approach any seals resting up on the rocks and shingle foreshore. Be aware that Portgordon Harbour is 2.2 km from this Waypoint (4).
*Note: Originally known as Nether Buckie, Buckpool is now part of Buckie. Buckpool Harbour, built in 1857 by local laird, Sir Robert Gordon of Cluny, became unpopular due to silting and fishermen moved to the larger Cluny Harbour in Buckie once it was completed by 1877. Buckpool Harbour was filled in with stones from the neighbouring Yardie beach in the 1970s and landscaped into a park. The Harbour is now the start/end point of the Speyside Way walking route. [Wikipedia]
(5) Portgordon Harbour(57.66449; -3.01348) https://w3w.co/living.cutaway.extremelyAfter 2.2 km walking along the coastal path and passing the east end of Portgordon* Harbour, and information about the old fishermen's barometer, you will arrive at an information board about Portgordon. When you are ready, carry on walking along the pavement of the shoreline, past the harbour, on Hope Street/ West High Street/ Lennox Place. Carry on past the A990 junction that goes up Station Road, and onto Stewart Place, along the shorefront, for a short distance. (3.9 km)
*Note: Portgordon was established in 1797 by Alexander Gordon, 4th Duke of Gordon, as a fishing village. It became an important place for maritime trade, boat-building and fishing over the next 100 years, before its eventual economic decline. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portgordon
(6) Left off Stewart Street(57.66370; -3.02271) https://w3w.co/tests.width.spendersIn 600 m, at the 3rd lane along Stewart Street, turn left down the lane, away from the sea, then take the second left for a short distance along Garden Lane. (4.5 km)
(7) Right towards Earl Street(57.66322; -3.02178) https://w3w.co/sleeper.rationing.punksIn about 100 m, turn right off Garden Lane onto Earl Street and follow this road as it bends to you left to meet Station Road. (4.6 km)
(8) Right up Station Road(57.66292; -3.01992) https://w3w.co/verdict.herbs.numeralIn another 100 m, or so, turn right out of Earl Street onto Station Road and walk uphill on the pavement for a short distance. (4.7 km)
(9) Left onto old railway line path(57.66222; -3.01918) https://w3w.co/dunes.nosedive.proofsIn about 100 m, turn left at a cycle/walking signpost onto the old railway line path that proceeds back in the direction Buckie, at times overlooking the oldest part of Portgordon on your left side. Carry on taking this path for about 1.5 km. (4.8 km)
(10) Right and up towards golf course at Gollachy Burn(57.66875; -2.99767) https://w3w.co/slopes.buddy.ovenAfter 1.5 km on the old railway line path, and just after passing over a bridge over the Gollachy Burn, in an area where there was once a mill and a small community, turn right and uphill to take the path around the periphery of Buckpool Golf Course. (6.3 km)
(11) Left onto access road at Recycling Centre gates(57.66526; -2.99103) https://w3w.co/action.parsnip.appetiteIn 600 m, upon reaching the gates to the Buckie Recycling Centre, turn left to take the tarred access road back towards Buckie. Take care on this narrow road, and walk on the right side to face oncoming traffic. (6.9 km)
(12) Proceed onto St Peter's Road(57.67022; -2.98289) https://w3w.co/pods.dared.blendingAfter 1 km, with the golf course continuing on your left side, and now on Golf View Drive, at the x-roads with Barhill Road on your left/right and St Peter's Road straight ahead of you, cross over (with care) to follow St Peter's Road back towards the centre of Buckie. (7.9 km)
(13) Right at St Andrew's Square the left down West Church Street(57.67325; -2.97543) https://w3w.co/full.liquid.activeAt St Andrew's Square, veer right, then left to follow West Church Street, which will take you back to your start point in Cluny Square. (8.5 km)
(14) Finish walk back at Cluny Square(57.67634; -2.96510) https://w3w.co/shaves.requests.storeroomAfter 700 m you will have arrived back at the Buckie historical information board in Cluny Square where you started the walk. (9.2 km)
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