July 29

Day 5 Portsoy to Cullen

If anybody fancies a go at any of these strolls please download any of the gpx files if you like. They include the errors we made in trying to find paths and also where we were talking too much and didn’t check the map often enough. I know that everybody goes on and on about taking a map with you but you need one on these strolls as the path sometimes disappears over a cliff edge. Anyway back to today.

I may have mentioned the patent waterproof kilt which Janet designed to be donned in a trice. I have discovered a second use for this invaluable garment.

However, after my favourite breakfast of smoked haddock, poached egg and a massive lump of butter this morning we set out from the very picturesque fishing village of Portsoy.

The harbour is worth a visit, particularly during the boat festival. Keen observers will have noticed that the boat festival wasn’t on as we passed through.

After a bit of hither and thither we found our way to the stroll start.


The route towards Cullen is beautifully marked and maintained with fabulous views. As we gently made our stately progress onwards I mulled over what I could say about today. I considered “We started and it was OK.” as everything was so serene, a stiff breeze but warm sun and an easily followed path.


Arriving eventually at Sandend we strolled along the lovely beach and found a nice place to eat our light lunch and sit for a moment without rucksacks.


The path onwards is clearly marked and we carried on through the village. A man walking his dog asked us if we were making for Findlater Castle and, that if we were, that the path was blocked off due to a landslide. He reassured us that it was possible to go through somebody’s garden and rejoin the path at the back of the house. To be honest we were a bit nervous about staggering about in a strange person’s garden in order to find the way to a blocked path. The nervousness lasted at least 30 seconds.


The path had fallen away but was easily passed.

As the path is now closed it has been neglected and is no longer the easily travelled path of the earlier section. It isn’t particularly difficult but needs care where the thing has washed away. Sticks make the job much easier, if you have them.

The path towards Findlater Castle is very much the same all the way. It is difficult underfoot but the views are great. Clicking the underlined text will tell you stuff about the castle.


We met a Norwegian couple out for a stroll too. They had nipped down to the castle for a coffee and were on their way towards Cullen themselves. We had always fancied a trip to Stavanger to hear the famous violin music. They knew nothing of it and seemed surprised at our enthusiasm for it.

The next high point on this stroll is Sunnyside. Sunnyside is a beach accessible only on foot or by boat.
Today’s stroll seems to have been punctuated alarmingly with official notices informing the stroller of impending doom if one foot is placed in front of the other. The path to Sunnyside beach was to be no exception to this rather dismal rule.


The path downwards to the beach had washed away but wasn’t too bad really. The path upwards was a bit more tricky. In places the shorter stroller of the two if us nearly disappeared in the undergrowth.


The path then passes behind the imposing Logie House.

Cullen, the home of the world famous Cullen Skink. Even though I ate fish for my supper last night, fish for my breakfast this morning I intend to eat Cullen Skink for my supper tonight. As we ate our breakfast this morning we were chatting to the couple at the next table. They were from Edinburgh. When I told the man that I enjoyed fish for my breakfast he told me that he eats fish twice a day.

Here are under the old railway viaduct. This is our bed for the night on the right. Tomorrow’s stroll starts up on the viaduct and will lead us to Fort Gordon.