Guide to Cruden Bay for Cottage Holidays

Cruden Bay on the north east Aberdeenshire coast is a quaint former fishing village and a most pleasant location for a cottage holiday. Rows of fishermen's cottages line the narrow lanes near the harbour. The village has an excellent sandy beach set into the bay, backed by sand dunes which lead to the golf course. There are several pubs for meals out at lunchtime or evenings. Even if you stay in self catering cottages in Aberdeenshire or harbour cottages in Cruden Bay, you can relax some evenings and eat out.

View holiday cottages in Cruden Bay

holiday cottages in Cruden bay

Cruden Bay was a popular place for people to visit in years gone by.  It has a lovely beach of golden sand set in a sheltered bay, a picturesque fishing harbour with quaint fishermen's houses, a superb 18 hole golf course, several attractive and interesting walks plus a selection of pubs and  hotels for meals and refreshments.  High tea at 5 pm is highly recommended.

There is an attractive an interesting walk that can be begun from the car park just off Main Street, in the village.  It goes through a small section of woodland where the trees are bent against the winter gales and then proceeds along the bank of a stream to the right and takes you along the cliffs to the ruins of Slains Castle of Dracula fame.  Apparently Bram Stoker, author of Dracula was inspired to write the story following a visit to Cruden Bay and Slains castle in eerie, misty weather.  People familiar with the area will know that the haar or mist can arise even on a hot summer's day, and especially after very hot weather.  

The fairly extensive ruins are dramatically perched on the edge of a sheer cliff.  Children should be supervised at all times when exploring the ruins.  Dogs have been known to run into the cliffside 'rooms' and disappear over the side of the cliff.

The cliffs at the back of Slains Castle have been weathered into strange shapes.  the 'two eyes' or 'twa een' is one such rock formation and is a popular spot with locals  fishing for mackerel. 

 Behind the castle, the walk goes past Smuggler's cove where contraband was brought ashore under cover of darkness in the past. The south facing side of these cliffs is covered with yellow primroses in late spring. Sea pinks, broom and many other wild flowers are a delight to behold in late spring and early summer.  

If you enjoy wild flowers then you should make a point of visiting Cruden Bay in late May.  Instead of just taking the cliff walk, take a short detour following the stream down the ravine.  The banks of the stream are edged with yellow iris and blue  forget-me-nots -  there are primroses in abundance.

Bird watchers will adore the coastal area.  Small rocky islands just off the coast and the cliffs are breeding grounds for numerous sea birds.  Puffins and seals can be spotted in season.


Cruden Bay Slains CastleOther nearby coastal spots worth a visit are Bullers of Buchan for their majestic cliffs which are about 2 miles away from Slains Castle going towards Peterhead, and  Whinnyfold, which is a couple of bays away from the end of Cruden Bay beach.  A steep path takes visitors down the side of the cliff into a pebbly bay. 

A sandy bay lies a short walk along the cliff top towards Cruden Bay.  These quiet and remote beaches are ideal for barbecues on the beach using driftwood .  Children will love to discover the sea anemones, crabs and myriads of other small creatures that live in the rock pools.

Click here for a list of Scottish self-catering holiday cottages and apartments.




Self-catering log cabin holidays in Dinnet, Royal Deeside,  Scotland

self-catering log cabins aberdeenshire north east scotland

Stay in a holiday lodge within the Royal Deeside Woodland Lodges collection and enjoy days out visiting Cruden Bay and other picturesque fishing villages on your self-catering holiday. Situated in the heart of Royal Deeside within the Cairngorms National Park, these wooden cabins are located within the small rural village of Dinnet. Each lodge has 2 bedrooms and can accommodate up to 4 people and each is a comfortable cosy retreat.

With a great choice of outdoor activities available close by including walking, bird watching, wildlife watching, cycling, fishing and mountain climbing, you’ll never be short of choices with a holiday in Aberdeenshire.

On days out discover Balmoral Castle which is just 10 miles away, Scotland’s Castle Trail, explore the Aberdeenshire coast and discover attractive villages like Cruden Bay and head out in to Cairngorms National Park to enjoy a host of outdoor activities.



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