Portsoy in the north east of Scotland
Portsoy is an old former fishing village with a picturesque 17th Century harbour. The water in the harbour is amazingly clear - you can see crabs scuttle across the sand on the bottom and flat fish skim their way just underneath.>
We watched in amazement as a group of youngsters aged between about 7 and 14, dressed in wet suits, enjoyed hours of fun diving off the harbour wall into the sea. These children still have the opportunity of a simple, innocent and carefree childhood that would be impossible in other parts of the UK.
Across from the harbour is a collection of handsome old buildings, including a pub serving food. There are also a couple of fish and chip shops in town. The fish is cooked whilst you wait and tastes wonderful. With two portions of haddock in a supper make sure that you complete your sightseeing and walks first.
The Portsoy Marble shop (Tel: 01261 842404) is housed in a smart building to one side of the harbour. It sells numerous mineral and crystal objects, local pottery and knitwear. Apparently, the Portsoy marble is actually polished serpentine. The shop also sells the most wondrous scented soaps.
Local artist and art teacher Margaret Harris paints a scene of the harbour. The scenic coastal towns and harbours would inspire many with an artistic inclination, and indeed Margaret can be contacted about painting courses held during the summer months.
Just off the main street of town is a sign for Loch Soy. Not so much of a loch as a boating lake, it's set in a park, with benches and picnic tables (shown below). It's a good place to eat your picnic or fish and chips. There is also putting for a little relaxation.
Alternatively, beyond the harbour, there is the beach to sit on and enjoy the view. If you're a camper or caravanner, then you will enjoy an unobstructed view of the sea from the camp site, just metres from the beach.
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