(098) Banff-Macduff Ramble (Aberdeenshire)

Route Summary
This gentle stroll makes for an interesting exploration of the historic coastal towns of Banff and Macduff. There are fine views at several points on the route, punctuated by information boards with lots of fascinating facts about the development of the two settlements.

Duration: 3.25 hours.

 

Route Overview
Duration: 3.25 hours.
Transport/Parking: Frequent #35 Stagecoach bus service to/from Aberdeen/Elgin. Check timetable. Free public car-park at walk start/end point.
Length: 9.920 km / 6.20 mi
Height Gain: 205 meter.
Height Loss: 205 meter.
Max Height: 61 meter.
Min Height: 3 meter.
Surface: Mostly smooth. This walk is mostly on pavements or similar. The section approaching and leaving the Temple of Venus at Waypoint 15 is on rough paths.
Difficulty: Easy.
Child Friendly: Yes, if children are used to walks of this distance.
Dog Friendly: Yes, but keep dogs on lead on public roads.
Refreshments: We can recommend the Knowes Hotel in Macduff (between waypoints 9 and 10 on route). Other options in Banff and Macduff.

Description
This is a pleasant coastal walk taking in some fine shoreline views and many of the notable points of historical interest in the linked towns of Banff and Macduff. From the higher points on the route, on a clear day, you will see across the Moray Firth to the Caithness coast, where the conical hill, Morven, typically stands out, 90 km away. There are a number of useful information boards all along the route, detailing the rich history of the towns. The walk starts at picturesque Banff Harbour, whose built origins go back to Guthrie’s Haven, in 1625. Progressing along the shoreline, there is an attractive sandy beach at the western mouth of the River Deveron, leading up to the handsome 7-arch Banff Bridge. Completed in 1779, Banff Bridge followed the construction of similar bridges at Coldstream and Perth, designed by the celebrated engineer, John Smeaton. Moving on to Macduff, the route passes the busy fishing harbour, where ship repair work is clearly still an important local industry. Just beyond the harbour is the Macduff Maritime Aquarium, a highly regarded visitor attraction where you can come face to face with all kinds of sea creatures that inhabit the Moray Firth. Reaching the furthest point on the walk, at a viewpoint with handy bench, we stop to look down on the now abandoned remains of the Tarlair Open Air Swimming Pool in a pretty cove. A victim of changing leisure habits, it opened in 1931, and was built in an innovative Art Deco style. The return leg takes a higher route through Macduff, passing the striking War Memorial. In an exposed position, the tall tower also acts as a bearing for mariners. Moving on to the headland on the eastern banks of the Deveron, we encounter the Temple of Venus, an intriguing 18thC monument built as part of the landscaped policies of Duff House. Returning to Banff, with its many old buildings, spanning the 16th to 19th centuries, makes for a pleasant and interesting end to the walk. Founded in the 12thC, Banff’s isolated landward position made for prosperity based on coastal trade, and a reputation as a lawless centre for smuggling!

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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