Published: 16.05.2023

Collieston Holiday Guide

Visit Collieston, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Collieston can be found on the coast in between Cruden Bay and Newburgh.  Like many of the coastal villages in these parts it used to be a busy fishing port for herring, haddock and cod.   The small harbour is still there overlooked by rows of pretty houses built up the hill in the bay, some of which are holiday homes for escapees from the city. A small but pleasant sandy beach in the harbour provides a play area for children. 

There are tales of smuggling and storage of contraband in the caves.  The local graveyard offers an interesting walk and inspection of the tombs, some of which are extremely old and marked with skull and crossbones. The last village smuggler to be captured and killed by  Excise officials armed with cutlass was a certain Phillip Kennedy in 1798.  His grave and tombstone still stands.

A ship from the Spanish Armada carrying arms for the Earl of Erroll is said to have sunk in the bay in 1594. There are still connections with the Erroll family in the area.  The ruins of Slains Castle in Cruden Bay was owned by descendants of the family.  Cruden Bay primary school is called Port Erroll.

The narrow coastal road from Collieston to Whinnyfold and Cruden Bay is ideal for cycling.  Cars are few and far between although you may have to watch out for tufts of grass growing in the road and farmer's sheep dogs that attempt to round up stray  cyclists.

Birdwatchers will want to pay a visit to the Stevenson Forvie Centre,  Telephone 01358 751330. Owned by Scottish National Heritage, it offers displays, an audio visual presentation, a classroom and wildlife garden.  It's also the starting point for some of the walks across the Forvie Sands Reserve.  Birds can be observed from the bird hide overlooking the Waulkmill estuary. Visitors must keep to footpaths during the breeding season, April to August. 

If you have visited a place that you have particularly enjoyed, then please tell us about it.  Photographs would be most welcome.


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