Saturday 21 March 2020

Hopeman to Forres along the Moray Coast Trail - I'll never take it for granted again!

Goldeneye from Hopeman West Beach

On the Saturday before locktown I took a stroll along the Moray Coast Trail from home in Hopeman to Forres - mostly in very splendid isolation...

Burghead from Cummingston

It's a walk I know well - some of it gets walked daily, some every few weeks, sometimes we get the bikes out - rarely do I put all the pieces together.

Looking back (E) towards Hopeman from the old railway line between Cummingston and Burghead

It's a lovely bit of coastline - we're so lucky to have it on our doorstep - and I'm glad I managed to take this walk on a bright, if chilly, March day, before this horrible virus changed all our lives in so many ways - It'll be a while until we can do this again.

So, please enjoy the photographs - and for the time being, stay home and stay safe :)

Burghead harbour

Counting blessings...

Looking back (E) towards Burghead

Looking back (E) along Burghead Bay - it's one big beach!

Roseisle Forest

In Roseisle Forest near the back of Kinloss Barracks

Burghead Bay from the Moray Coast Trail at the back of Kinloss Barracks

Views west towards Findhorn and Ben Wyvis from the back of Kinloss Barracks

Burghead Bay - views back (E) towards Burghead

Nearing Findhorn with views to Ben Wyvis

Ringed plover near Findhorn

Findhorn steps

Many seals on Culbin Sands from Findhorn

Findhorn village

Findhorn village

A good place for a coffee - looking over Findhorn Bay from the village
(Findhorn Bakery were still doing take out coffee - I was definitely ready for a hot drink and a slice of cake)

Findhorn Bay

Footbridge to Forres with views to  Nelson Tower on Cluny Hill

Near the summit of Cluny Hill

Nelson Tower

The view over Findhorn Bay from Cluny Hill, Forres - tides out!

Crocus in Grant Park, Forres

Cherry blossom above the Mossett Burn

Route:  Home (Hopeman),  Moray Coast Trail west via Cummingston, Burghead, Roseisle Forest and Burghead Bay, Findhorn beach and village, to Kinloss, fp beside B9089 to Forres, path across Grant Park, ascending Cluny Hill to Nelson Tower, descend different path to Grant Park, west along High Street to Tesco supermarket (NJ029587)

Statistics:  Distance: 29.5km  Ascent: 220m Time: 5 hours 45 minutes

Map:  OS Explorer 423 Elgin, Forres & Lossiemouth

Saturday 14 March 2020

Spey Bay to Cullen - the last bit of the Moray Coast Trail

The River Spey at Spey Bay

With everything that's going on at the mo, walking closer to home seems to be the order of the day - I've walked most of The Moray Coast Trail, but was just missing the last section between Spey Bay and Cullen.

(I walked the Forres to Findhorn and Findhorn to Hopeman legs when I did a little backpack with Rafe a few years ago - and Hopeman to Spey Bay, also with Rafie three years ago as a day walk)

Looking east across Spey Bay from Spey Bay village with views to the Bin of Cullen

So on a bright Saturday, after a bit of a mooch about the beach and the estuary at Spey Bay - I set off, east, along the trail...

Disused water tower as the Moray Coast Trail leaves the road in Spey Bay village

It was pretty well signposted for the entire distance - but I made quite a few detours, exploring villages, harbours, bays and around the cliffs and stacks.

The Moray Coast Trail, in the woods south of Spey Bay golf course

Here's a few pics...

A wonderful piece of coastline, varied and interesting, history, traditional fishing villages, wildlife, geology and great views. Loved it.

The old railway line on the way to Portgordon

The Burn of Tynet near Portgordon

Portgordon and Buckie across Tannachy Sands

Looking back (west) from Portgordon

Views east towards Buckie from Portgordon

The old ice house at Gollachy, near Portgordon

Not many seals at Portgordon today - there are quite often many grey and common seals here, perhaps the tide was wrong!

Ruined cottage on the shore near Buckpool

Buckpool Harbour

Buckie Harbour from Buckpool

Buckie Harbour

The Burn of Rannas - between Gordonsburgh and Ianstown

Old harbour at Bents Point (with Whale's Wig beyond)

A good place for lunch - the shore at Portessie

Views east over Strathlene Sands, Portessie

Strathlene Lido near Portessie

East from Craig Head

Moray Coast east of Craig Head

Views west from Strathlene Golf Course near Findochty


Findochty Harbour - The Mannie - memorial to those lost at sea

Views east from Findochty

Views east from Findochty

Looking back (west) to Findochty from The Moray Coast Trail

Looking east towards Tronach Head from The Moray Coast Trail

Near Tronach Head, between Findochty and Portknockie

Looking back (west) to Findochty from Tronach Head

Tronach Head, near Portknockie

The Moray Coast, west of Portknockie

Portknockie from the west

Portknockie Harbour from the Fisherman's Memorial

Bow Fiddle Rock, Portknockie

Bow Fiddle Rock, Portknockie

The Moray Coast near Portknockie

The Moray Coast near Portknockie

Cullen Bay - The Widdies and Toshie's Long Craigs

Descending into Cullen Bay and Toshie's Long Craigs

Another natural arch in Toshie's Long Craigs
Cullen Bay - Toshie's Long Craigs

Jennt's Well, Cullen Bay

Views east along Cullen Sands

Two of the Three Kings - Cullen (the other is on the shore behind some buildings!)

Burn of Cullen and viaduct

Cullen and harbour

Cullen railway viaduct over cottages

Cullen from the harbour

Cullen Harbour

Cullen Bay with the Bow Fiddle Rock in the distance

Cullen town centre

Route:  Spey Bay Dolphin Centre car park (NJ348654), east along Moray Coast Trail to Cullen and the end of the Trail (NJ511671) - with a bit of exploring around villages, harbours and bays.

Statistics:  Distance: 26km  Ascent: 375m  Time: 7 hours 45 minutes

Maps:  OS Explorer 424 Buckie & Keith and 425 Huntly & Cullen

Beinn Bhrotain and Monadh Mor

Setting off from Glen Feshie - it was chilly - before the sun had a chance to peep over the hills...  Off we go! Jim - Setting off near Auch...