(165) Old Portlethen-Findon Moor Circuit (Aberdeenshire)

Route Summary
A scenic coastal circuit. The pretty cove where boats haul out onto the shore at Old Portlethen kicks off the cliff-top section of the walk which ends at the wild area of moorland at Findon Moss. Check the safety note in our walk description before embarking on this route.

Duration: 2.5 hours.

Route Overview
Duration: 2.5 hours.
Transport/Parking: Frequent bus, and some train services, to Portlethen from Aberdeen. Check timetables. Park in the Parish Church car-park, off Cookston Road, at the start/end of walk.
Length: 7.260 km / 4.54 mi
Height Gain: 189 meter. Height Loss: 189 meter.
Max Height: 94 meter. Min Height: 10 meter.
Surface: Moderate. A mix of grassy paths, rough roads and tarred surfaces. Sections of coastal path a bit overgrown in summer months. Also, see Findon Burn safety note in walk Description.
Difficulty: Medium.
Child Friendly: Yes, if children are used to walks of this distance and overall ascent. But see Findon Burn safety note in walk Description. Ensure that children stay on the path beside steep cliffs.
Dog Friendly: Yes, on lead on public roads and near farm animals.
Refreshments: Options in Portlethen.

Description
This is a varied and scenic coastal walk from the commuter and commercial settlement at Portlethen, close to the city of Aberdeen. It is a variation and extension of our Old Portlethen Ramble walk. The route takes in farmland, an unusual expanse of coastal moorland, two old fishing villages, and a rugged coastline with steep cliffs, stony beaches and rocky inlets. Portlethen was originally a small fishing village. The haul-out inlet that serves as a safe haven now for “hobby” fishing craft is located in what is now called “Old Portlethen” or “Portlethen Village”, on a cliff-top position about 1 km east from Portlethen Parish Church, built in the 19thC, where the walk starts and ends. Our route eventually turns away from its north-bound coastal track, back towards Portlethen, at Findon Moss, an area of heather moor on a headland below the modern village of Findon. Findon (or ‘Finnan’) was once a fishing village. In the late 19thC around 30 boats were hauled out on the rocky shore, and around a 100 fishermen made a living from the sea. The style of smoked haddock, famously called the ‘Finnan Haddie’ originated here! The modern town of Portlethen is to the west of the Parish Church, much of it built between 1985 and 2005 on an area of raised bog. Only about one half of the original moss survives and is now recognised as an important nature preserve by the Scottish Wildlife Trust. The track of the ancient Causey Mounth road lies on higher ground near the moss. This important passage once connected the Bridge of Dee with Muchalls Castle and Stonehaven, and played its part in the turbulent history of Scotland.

Safety Note: At Waypoint 6, where there is a wooden footbridge over the Findon Burn, there is an Aberdeenshire Outdoor Access sign indicating that the next section of the path, over the bridge, has been damaged and walkers should proceed at their own risk. With appropriate care, we found that the path on the eroded bank of the burn is quite passable, but may not suit all walkers. Also, watch out for any broken planks on the bridge itself.

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

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