Coastal Villages of Aberdeenshire

© Grampian Escapes & Tours Ltd

Aberdeenshire, Northeast Scotland

Coastal Villages of Aberdeenshire

Discover the northeast coast with our small group tour and we will visit some of the region's most dramatic coastline. Visiting a few of Aberdeenshire's most beautiful fishing villages, learn about its maritime past, influential characters and hero's

When: Mon, Wed & Fri (April - Oct) Departs 09:00 (Bookings must be made in advance)

Where: The William Wallace Monument in front of His Majesty's Theatre, Rosemount Viaduct

How long: 7.5 hours

Stop 1: Gardenstown & Crovie

The first part of our journey is to make our way through the Aberdeenshire countryside, to the coastal villages of Gardenstown and Crovie. Built into the red sandstone cliffs the villages have a special and remote atmosphere. From the lovely harbour and beaches you can look out over the Moray Firth and perhaps catch a glimpse of the dolphins that often swim in the bay. 

The village of Gardenstown recently celebrated their 300th naming anniversary, so there is a lot of history in this small community built on the edge of the hillside. Gardenstown harbour has a fleet of small fishing boats and you can occasionally see men preparing their lobster pots for the next catch, as well as the Salmon House which contains the Heritage Centre. There are walks along the coastal path which take you to Crovie, that dates from the 18th century, a time when the sea was the only mode of transport. The smallest and most remote of Buchan cliff-foot fishing villages, it comprises a single row of houses, most gable-end to the sea.

Stop 2: Pennan

Pennan seems to have come into existence as a fishing village in the 18th century. The people of Pennan were dependent on the seaand most families had small boats for their own personal use. Where the men would catch the fish, it was usually down to the women and children to try to sell it to clients in the country. 

Pennan became famous in the 1980s for being used as one of the main locations for the film Local Hero, and representing the fictional village of Ferness. Film enthusiasts have come from all over the world to make a phone call in the red telephone box which featured in the film. Today the village is mostly holiday accommodation and popular place for exploring rock pools and enjoying a restful break.

Stop 3: Fraserburgh & Kinnaird Lighthouse

The town name means, 'burgh of Fraser', after the Fraser Family who bought the lands of Philorth in 1504 and built the family castle at Kinnaird Head. The castle was later altered to become one of the first lighthouses in the northeast of Scotland in 1787. 

Stop 4: Peterhead

Scotland's largest fishing port, Peterhead lands a staggering amount of fish. We will be stopping here for lunch and why not try a scrumptious plate of fish and chips at the harbour where the catch is landed.

Stop 5: Buller's of Buchan

The name Bullers of Buchan refers both to a collapsed sea cave and the little hamlet nestled beside. The collapsed sea cave forms an almost circular hole, about 30 metres deep, where the sea rushes in through a natural archway.

The cliffs surrounding the Bullers provide nesting sites in spring for colonies of seabirds, including kittiwakes, puffins, fulmars, shags, razorbills and guillemots along with herring gulls and great black-backed gulls.

Stop 6: Crudenbay & New Slains Castle

William Hay, 18th Earl of Erroll, established the fishing community of Port Erroll in the 1840s, but the tidal nature of the harbour restricted the size of boats which could operate from it and the village missed out on the herring boom. Tourism provided another source of income for the village. Even before the coming of the railway, the long pink curve of the Bay of Cruden sands and scenic cliffscapes to the north were attracting visitors.

An iconic feature of Cruden Bay is New Slains Castle, perched on the edge of the cliffs. The castle is a blend of several different architectural styles and periods. Most of the building was constructed and extended between 1597 and 1664. The castle fell in in ruin in the late 19th century and was eventually stripped of all contents and abandoned in the 1920s.

Stop 7: Collieston

The village lies just north of the Sands of Forvie Special Protection Area. Collieston was established as a fishing village by the 16th century, and it provides the first safe harbour in over fifteen miles of beaches and dunes stretching north from Aberdeen. Fishing for herring, haddock, whiting and cod flourished in the 17th century and 18th century and was the foundation of Collieston's economy. The village became known for 'Collieston Speldings', salted and sun-dried haddock and whiting, a popular delicacy.

The numerous sea caves and small coves with shingle beaches provided ideal terrain for smugglers. Learn about notorious smuggler Phillip Kennedy and his exploits while trying to outrun the exciseman. With several stories about shipwrecks and sunken submarine there are countless stories to tell about this little harbour just a stone's throw from the bustling city. 

From £70 per adult

Departure days

  • Monday
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Friday
  • Saturday
  • Sunday

April — October

Contact details

Grampian Escapes & Tours Ltd

Woodstock House
Inverurie Street
United Kingdom
AB30 1XS

Tour information


  • Aberdeen


1 Day


  • Minibus


  • Small Group (1-16)


  • English


  • History
  • Landscapes
  • Wildlife

Tour prices

From £70 Per Adult

Book now

Prices are subject to change depending on season

Grampian Escapes & Tours Ltd

Tour company information

Grampian Escapes & Tours Ltd

We offer day trips around Aberdeenshire and pride ourselves on providing high quality tours in a welcoming environment so you can make the most of your experience. Whether that is getting away from daily life, sightseeing at a relaxed pace, or enjoying the company of fellow travelers and having a good conversations. We love combining the region’s showcase attractions with "off the beaten path" locations. That is why our tours include beautiful scenic drives, gentle walks and dramatic locations. From the mountains to the sea, there is so much to experience in the northeast of Scotland.

Opening times

09:00 - 17:00 Every day

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