Five things to do in and around Cruden Bay
Cruden Bay, a small village just 26 miles north of Aberdeen, attracts tourists throughout the year because of its literary associations, its magnificent sandy beach and its golf courses.
This blog takes a look at five ways in which visitors can while away the hours in and around Cruden Bay.
About one kilometre east of Cruden Bay is the imposing Slains Castle – now in ruins but still a very imposing sight.
Technically New Slains Castle (the old castle was destroyed in 1594), the building of the impressive tower house began after 1597, but work continued over the years – with gardens added in the 1890s.
It has been suggested that the majestic castle inspired Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, after the author visited Cruden Bay in 1895. Some suggest that an early draft of Stoker’s novel had Dracula come to Cruden Bay, not Yorkshire.
While you can still visit the castle, it is not as impressive as it once was: after being bought over in 1913, the roof of the castle was removed to avoid paying taxes.
Since 2007, plans have been in the works to convert the castle into holiday flats – although these plans are currently on hold.
As you walk past the cliffs between the sand dunes on the beach and Slains Castle, you will notice the remnants of World War Two bunkers.
The lower floor of these Pillbox FW3/22 look-out posts and communication bunkers are still technically accessible through metal ladders, but these do pose a risk so it is recommended that you keep your curiosity to peering down into the dark.
As well as history buffs, the bunkers are also a place for those interested in ghosts, as people claim to have seen the ghosts of soldiers marching past the castle.
Bullers of Buchan
For those looking to stretch their legs and take in dramatic scenery, take a walk to the Bullers of Buchan – a collapsed sea cave. Care needs to be exercised in accessing the area.
The rough coastal walk, which takes you past Slains Castle, is approximately five miles, and is the perfect place to spot seabirds such as puffins and razorbills, as well as wild flowers.
A bus route is in operation on the main road, if you don’t wish to complete the whole route on foot.
Bay of Cruden
If it is good weather, visit the Bay of Cruden itself – a 2.5 kilometre sandy beach.
Popular with water-sports enthusiasts, sea fishers and local day trippers, the whole bay is a designated bathing water area, and in the summer, an electronic sign displays the real-time water quality predictions.
The beach itself also has a famous history – it was where the first flight across the North Sea started. The flight by 26 year old Norwegian Tryggve Gran in 1914, which took four hours and ten minutes, is commemorated with a statue.
Cruden Bay Golf Club
Voted one of the top 100 golf courses in the world, Cruden Bay Gold Club’s traditional links offers a fantastically scenic experience.
At just 6395 yards, the course is quite short – but don’t expect it to be easy! The natural defences of wind and terrain make this a testing course, where imagination and skill play a big part. You’ll not be bored during your round.
For true golf lovers, there are a range of other terrific links courses nearby - including Trump International, Murcar and Royal Aberdeen.