(004) St Cyrus Beach and Cliffs Circular (Aberdeenshire)

Route Summary
A good leg-stretching walk in a visually stunning coastal landscape. The St Cyrus Nature Reserve is a very special place for plants and wildlife. The route takes in the old raised beach, a long stretch of golden sand, a waterfall, and wonderful clifftop views.

Duration: 2.5 hours


Route Overview
Duration: 2.5 hours.
Transport/Parking: X7 Stagecoach bus from Stonehaven or Montrose. Car park at the St Cyrus Reserve Visitor Centre.
Length: 6.790 km / 4.24 mi
Height Gain: 151 meter  Height Loss: 151 meter
Max Height: 67 meter  Min Height: 0 meter
Surface: Moderate. Mostly smooth beach and good paths. Optional diversion to waterfall at Waypoint 4 involves scrambling over some low rocks. We believe that the beach and return path along the grassy raised beach are accessible for off-road mobility scooters. Due to rocks and steep steps, the mid-section of the route from Waypoint 4 to Waypoint 9 are not accessible.
Child Friendly: Yes, if children are used to walks of this distance and overall ascent.
Difficulty: Medium to easy.
Dog Friendly: Dogs on lead or under close control at all times. 
Refreshments: The Old Bakery Cafe in St Cyrus village.

This walk explores the very special natural environment that makes up the St Cyrus Nature Reserve. The Reserve is a protective space for many species of birds (resident and migratory), butterflies and moths, and grasses and flowers. The St Cyrus beach is a huge swathe of golden sand running north from the mouth of the River North Esk. It is backed by an ancient raised beach made up of grasses and flower meadows. Above the old raised beach are vegetation-rich low volcanic cliffs that support diverse forms of plants and wildlife, most notably peregrine falcons. The route takes in a large section of beach, heading north towards a rocky headland where the remains of the 15th Century Kaim of Mathers Castle are prominent. At this point, depending on the tide, there is an option to scramble over foreshore rocks to the impressive Woodston Burn Waterfall. The mid-section of the walk ascends to the clifftop where there are stunning coastal views. Descending to the old raised beach, the homeward route takes in the ancient Nether Cemetery, dating back to the 13th Century. The Visitor Centre at the start and finish of the walk provides very interesting information about the Reserve, the wider area and the now discontinued salmon fishing industry.

Photos from walk
Download Route Guide  (PDF with illustrated Waypoints)
Download GPX file  (GPS Exchange Format) 
Access Walk on OutdoorActive
Access Walk on OSMaps 
Access Walk on Alltrails
Access Walk on Wikiloc  


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