(048) Banff Harbour-Whitehills Circuit (Aberdeenshire)

Route Summary
A good shoreline walk taking in an old golf links and fine beach, and eye-catching old harbours at both Banff and Whitehills. There are some wonderful coastal views to enjoy along the wide sweep of Boyndie Bay, and from higher viewpoints on the route at Whitehills and Banff.

Duration: 3.5 hours.

 

Route Overview
Duration: 3.5 hours.
Transport/Parking: Frequent #35 Stagecoach bus service to/from Aberdeen. Check timetable. Small car-park at start/finish of walk.
Length: 9.920 km / 6.20 mi
Height Gain: 122 meter
Height Loss: 122 meter
Max Height: 40 meter
Min Height: 0 meter
Surface: Smooth. Mostly paved coastal path and pavements.
Child Friendly: Yes, if children are used to walks of this distance.
Difficulty: Medium.
Dog Friendly: Yes. On lead in built-up areas and public roads.
Refreshments: We can recommend The Gallery at the harbour in Whitehills. Serve snack as well as full restaurant meals. Other options in Whitehills and Banff.

Description
A good leg-stretching outing along the pleasant sweeping coastline between Banff and Whitehills. On the basis of our experience, the main section over the Banff Links and by Inverboyndie Bay is popular with local people of all ages due to it being on the flat and on a good paved pathway. Whitehills, established as a planned settlement in the 18thC, makes for an interesting mid-point on the route, with its harbour (now converted to a marina) and old fishing village, where the attractively painted and distinctive fisher cottages are set out, gable-end to the sea, around the pretty bay. On the return leg the walk takes in the “Red Well”, an unusual domed enclosure over an iron-rich spring that may have its origins in Roman times. The Inverboyndie area, just inland of the present-day caravan park at Inverboyndie Beach, is believed to have been the site of a 10thC battle between the Danes and the Scots. The local place name “Swordanes” (once applied to a hotel, now a row of white-washed terraced villas), is understood to refer to a field occupied by one section of an invading Danish army in a battle with the Scots at Inverboyndie in the 10thC. Many skeletons with signs of violent injuries have been found buried in the area surrounding the ruined St Brandon’s Kirk (13thC, or earlier). Banff, with its many old buildings, always makes for a pleasant and interesting visit. Founded in the 12thC, its isolated landward position made for prosperity based on coastal trade and a reputation as a lawless centre for smuggling. Banff’s inner harbour was built in 1775, with the outer pier added in 1816 by renown civil engineer Thomas Telford. Look out for the pattern of vertically-laid stones, popular as a harbour building method at the time. There are a number of useful information boards all along the route.

Links:
Photos from walk
Download Route Guide  (PDF with illustrated Waypoints)
Download GPX file  (GPS Exchange Format)
Access Walk on Viewranger
Access Walk on Wikiloc  

 

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