With lots of ups and downs, this is an energetic hike that takes in the picturesque charm of an historic coastal village, wonderful coastal scenery, farmland sweeping down to the cliff-tops, and mature pine woodland. A couple of sections are steep, and may not suit all walkers.
Duration: 3 hours.
Duration: 3.5 hours.
Transport/Parking: Stagecoach buses from Aberdeen and Elgin pass through Cullen. Check timetables. Free on-street parking at walk start/end point.
Length: 8.850 km / 5.53 mi
Height Gain: 244 meter.
Height Loss: 244 meter.
Max Height: 103 meter.
Min Height: 5 meter.
Surface: Moderate. Mostly good surfaces. However, take extreme care on the cliff-side path near Waypoint 8 which is fairly precipitous at times. The steep path just after Waypoint 10 is slippy and uneven due to landslip.
Child Friendly: Yes, if children are used to walks of this distance and overall ascent. Take extreme care on cliff-side path near Waypoint 8 and after Waypoint 10.
Difficulty: Medium/Hard (some precipitous sections).
Dog Friendly: Yes. On lead on public roads and near to any farm livestock.
Refreshments: Options in Cullen.
This very enjoyable walk provides an unusual and interesting mix of coastal walking, combined with rolling farmland, pine woodland, and scenic open countryside. Cullen is an attractive large village with a long history, the original settlement having been made a royal burgh around the end of the 12thC. Nowadays, there is a clear distinction between picturesque and colourful Seatown of Cullen, the old fishing quarter, nestled into the broad bay, and the grander “New Cullen” rising uphill and inland. These were planned settlements, built in the 1820’s, as was the fine harbour, built by Thomas Telford to take advantage of the opportunities for trade and the booming herring industry. The impressive railway viaducts featuring near the end of the walk served the Great North of Scotland coastal line. Climbing to cliff-top level from the harbour and beach, the route first visits Port Long Hythe viewpoint where local features and the faraway hills in Caithness, across the Moray Firth, are identified. Dipping down to the coastal path along a sweeping rocky shoreline, we then take the slightly precipitous path over the shoulder of Logie Head where you are likely to meet rock climbers tackling the sheer faces of the rock stacks below you. Descending “The Giant’s Steps”, built, single-handedly, by a Cullen resident, we then progress along the coastal path to “Charlie’s Cave”. 100 years ago, the shallow recess in the rock was home to a French Navy deserter. The ultimately sad and unjust story of ‘Charlie’ is told on the info board. Leaving the coastline, our route then ascends through farmland, with great views of the Bin of Cullen hill, to a pretty little loch in a pine wood before returning to the village and, visiting the old “motte” at Castle Hill, with its commanding view over Seatown of Cullen, and the bay.