New Aberdour Beach
Inspired by author Ailish Sinclair’s blog post, I recently visited New Aberdour beach. Given that it was December, the weather wasn’t great and the tide was too far in to visit some of the caves, apart from ones closest to the shore. I’ll definitely be back for a visit in the nicer weather, and after checking the tide times!
About New Aberdour Beach
The beach is about halfway between Banff and Fraserburgh. It’s a shingle and sand beach situated in the small cove. At the East end of the beach, there’s a couple of limestone caves, the most easily accessible of which is covered in graffiti! The beach and caves also featured in the 2016 remake of the film Whisky Galore.
In the middle of the beach is St Drostan‘s Well. St Drostan is believed to have landed at the beach in the 6th century AD, and the nearby church is named after him. He also founded Deer Abbey and is mentioned in the Book of Deer. Upon his death in Glenesk, his remains were moved to the church at New Aberdour.
Towards the West end of the beach, over a small stream, stands a memorial to Jane Whyte who, in October 1884, helped rescue 15 members of the crew of the stricken ship William Hope that had run around on the beach. For her bravery, she was awarded the RNLI Silver Medal for Bravery, and a Board of Trade bronze medal of gallantry. The memorial stands on the site of her house.
Given that Local Hero ranks highly on the list of my favourite films, it’s no surprise that I’ve been to Pennan a number of times, although not for quite a while. The last time I was there I had lunch in the Pennan Inn (definitely much smaller than it the film!), before it closed for a while, changed colour, and then recently reopened as a gallery and B&B.
Pennan nestles between two headlands and is another of the small fishing villages dotted along the Moray Firth coast, a few miles east of Crovie. Like Crovie, it’s basically a line of white houses at the bottom of a cliff. Unlike Crovie, you can drive right down into the village, and there’s a car park at the western end. In common with a lot of the fishing villages, many of the houses are built gable-end onto the sea to minimise the effects of the elements.
The village shot to fame as the fictional village of Ferness in the 1983 film, Local Hero.
The film’s red phone box is still in the village, although not in the original position – it was installed several years after the film was released as the one in the film was just a prop.
In 2007, the village was been hit by mudslides and in 2009 the only road in and out of the village has been closed due to a massive crack in the rocks. Work has taken place to strengthen the rocks to prevent a repeat.
At the east end of the village, there’s a small harbour that would have been home to the village’s fishing fleet, but today houses a small number of pleasure boats.