(050) Balmedie Country Park-Blairton Burn Circuit (Aberdeenshire)

Route Summary
A short but enjoyable coastal walk through a special sand dunes system and on a wide sandy beach. There are good views of the recently constructed Menie golf course and the Aberdeen wind farm turbines, just offshore. The beach section can be extended in either direction.

Duration: 1.5 hours.

Route Overview
Duration: 1.5 hours.
Transport/Parking: There are a number of Stagecoach bus services that stop in Balmedie. Check timetables. Walking to the walk start-finish point from the bus-stop will add 3 km, in total, to the walk. Free car-parks at start/finish of walk.
Length: 4.810 km / 3.01 mi
Height Gain: 41 meter
Height Loss: 41 meter
Max Height: 17 meter
Min Height: 0 meter
Surface: Moderate. Mostly on grassy paths, sand and board-walk. The route is not suitable for an off-road mobility scooter due to narrow paths with deep sand, and steps.
Child Friendly: Yes, but only if children are used to walks of this distance and overall ascent.
Difficulty: Easy.
Dog Friendly: Yes, but must be on lead on short public road section and in car-parks.
Refreshments: Options in Balmedie and Aberdeen.

An easy walk through the dune system, and on the fine sandy beach at Balmedie Country Park. The route initially heads north, leaving the Country Park boardwalk to cross an impressively large area of open sand dunes, where the natural marram grass environment is constantly shifting with the wind and seasons. The next section takes a path along the top of the dunes, high above the beach, to reach the outflow of the Blairton Burn at the southern end of the Menie links golf course, recently built on the Foveran SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest), once described as one of the most exceptional sand dune systems in Britain. The still controversial golf course development by the Trump International organisation was approved on the basis that the potential economic benefit would outweigh environmental harm. The mid-section of the walk returns, south, along the golden sands of Balmedie Beach where there is a good view of the Aberdeen wind farm turbines. A total of 11 turbines make up the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC). The 11 turbines are the most powerful in the world with a total generating capacity of 93.2 MW. It is estimated the wind farm will produce the equivalent of more than 70% of Aberdeen’s domestic electricity demand. The route along the beach then crosses the Eigie Burn outflow, before turning inland to cross the dunes again at the estuary of the Millden Burn. There are a number of interesting WW2 buildings in this area, remnants of a centre for destroying unexploded ordinance. This short walk can readily be extended both north and south along the beach.

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


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