(119) New Aberdour Beach-Pennan Path Ramble (Aberdeenshire)

Route Summary
This is a fine leg-stretching walk taking you high above the North Aberdeenshire coast. In summer you will be surrounded by wild flowers and butterflies. The pink rocks and arch at the beach are attractive. There is historical interest associated with Celtic missionary, St. Drostan.

Duration: 3 hours.


Route Overview
Duration: 3 hours.
Transport/Parking: Stagecoach #74 Stagecoach service from Fraserburgh. Check timetable. If arriving by car, heading west on the B9031 take a right turn (toward the sea) after passing through New Aberdour and follow signs for beach. Large free car-park at the walk start/end point.
Length: 8.030 km / 5.02 mi
Height Gain: 198 meter.
Height Loss: 198 meter.
Max Height: 160 meter.
Min Height: 7 meter.
Surface: Moderate. Mostly on good farm access roads. A section on a grassy track which may be a little overgrown in summer.
Difficulty: Medium.
Child Friendly: Yes, if children are used to walks of this distance and overall ascent.
Dog Friendly: Keep dogs on lead near to farm animals.
Refreshments: Options in Fraserburgh.


This “there and back” coastal walk visits the unusual rock arch tunnel at the attractive shingle beach at New Aberdour before a continuous ascent between fields on the old right of way path to Pennan to reach a high vantage point where there is a fine view down to Pennan Bay and Troup Head. On the return leg there are good views back along the rugged North Aberdeenshire coast toward Rosehearty. The rock arch tunnel through the Old Red Sandstone cliff at New Aberdour beach is unusual and photogenic. At low tide you will be able to walk through the tunnel to the sea side. All along this area of beach there are low flat platforms of polished Old Red Sandstone rock in pink hues that reflect the sunlight in a very visually pleasing way. These are, of course, covered up as the tide advances. Just back from the beach is St. Drostan’s Well. The original well is reputed to have been used by early Celtic missionary, St Drostan, for baptism ceremonies. The current structure, built in the 19th C, features a pink granite basin and cover carved with a scallop shell motif. In the early stages of the route away from the beach there is an opportunity to check out the old church of Aberdour, also known as St. Drostan’s Kirk. It probably dates from the 16th C, although it is built on the site of an earlier church and incorporates some earlier stonework. The church is surrounded by a graveyard which has many old gravestones, including some from the mid 15th C. It is believed that there has been a church or chapel on this site since St. Drostan founded the original here in around 590. Drostan was one of the twelve companions who sailed from Ireland to Scotland around 563 with St Columba. He is believed to have been particularly active in the Buchan area.

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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