NEAR COULLIE STAYS
STEEP IN PLACES
EXPOSED & DRAMATIC
Perched high on a rocky peninsula, with sheer cliffs rising up from the crashing North Sea on all its sides but one, Dunnottar is an impressive sight to make for, walking up from the picturesque harbour in Stonehaven, starting behind the dog friendly Marine Hotel (possibly after a fine local ale), it's a one hour walk there and back or take a longer trip further down the coast. There is parking near Stonehaven Harbour. Start the walk here.
FAMILY FUN | PICNICS
ST CYRUS BEACH & NATURE RESERVE
A walk along the beautiful swathe of sandy beach at St Cyrus beach offers a feast for the senses with towering volcanic cliffs, a waterfall, displays of wildflowers and a wonderful variety of insects and birds. Dolphins and whales are sometimes spotted offshore and seals are common in the sandbanks at low tide too.
Spring and summer are the best times to visit to see plants and breeding birds, whilst in winter you can spot wading birds.
Admire the excellent views from the clifftop at the village end. For a longer walk, here's a 4.5 mile loop to take it all in.
ADVENTURE | RUNNING | BIKING
ON YOUR DOORSTEP
COULLIE WOODS LEADING TO DRUMTOCHTY, FETTERESSO & CAIRNGORM NATIONAL PARK
The Coullie Woods lie at the top of the hill from Coullie Stays, a ten minute walk from the front door. Leading into Drumtochty and Fetteresso Woods the area provides a secluded place to run or walk with only the birds, deer and occasional mountain biker for company.
Head up on your gravel bike and venture to Aboyne, Ballater and The Cairngorm National Park in one direction or Stonehaven the other. The area is also full of mountain biking trails.
FLAT | FAMILY FUN
LADY KENNEDY'S GROUNDS
DUNNOTTAR WOODS, STONEHAVEN
Dunnottar’s mix of trees, wildflowers, wildlife and the treasures left behind by its previous owners, The Kennedy Family, make this a fun walk for all the family. Look out for Lady Kennedy’s Bath, the Shell House and find out about the spooky history of Gallow Hill.
EASY | PRAMS & LITTLE ONES
A LITTLE ADVENTURE
DENLETHEN WOODS, LAURENCEKIRK
This is a peaceful small wood with clearings cut through the trees offering views of the surrounding countryside. Keep an eye out for red squirrels and roe deer and enjoy a little adventure into the thick of the woods on one of the many little trails coming off the main path - it's too small to get lost. The main path is ideal for the infirm, little bikes and buggies but still enjoys the sights and sounds of the woods.
BIRD SPOTTING | VIEWS
FOWLSHEUGH NATURE RESERVE
A colourful coastal cliff top walk over grassland to view thousands of seabirds with a stunning backdrop of 30-metre sea cliffs should not be missed. Although the seabird experience is limited to May to early August, Fowlsheugh provides a great walk for all months of the year.
Spot gannets, razorbills, guillemots and kittiwakes flying around the cliffs, swimming, fishing and diving in the sea all around the bar of the cliffs. Grey seals and dolphins are often spotted in the sea. Take the binoculars! There is a lovely bird hide towards the end of the trail, which overlooks the breeding ledges - a good place to spot the puffins, earlier or later in the day, and to take shelter.
Parking is limited making an earlier or later visit advisable too. Take care with pets and kids due to the unprotected cliffs.
MODERATELY EASY | OPTIONAL STEEP SECTIONS TO RIVER
PICTURESQUE RIVER WALK
BLUE DOOR/ROCKS OF SOLITUDE, EDZELL
Walk along a splendid river gorge on the North Esk river in Glen Esk. On the way there's lots of pretty waterfalls and interesting geological formations as you head through the area known as the Rocks of Solitude.
The walk can be joined in the village, to the right of the P.O. or at the Blue door here , where it continues north passing the picturesque spot where the Burn of Kirkton flows into the North Esk. A little further on you'll come to the Loups Bridge where you can see the Salmon Leap and the remains of the suspension bridge.
Continue north to the Rocks of Solitude and Doulie Cottage where you turn south to Woodburn and Brackens Lodge. The route then rejoins the river at Gannochy Bridge and heads back into Edzell. Refresh at the Glenesk Hotel's Fairview Restaurant with traditional fare or for a good breakfast, cakes and more vegetarian options Sinclair's is a great choice.
PEACEFUL | ADVENTUROUS
INVERBERVIE & GOURDON
Starting at the pebbley beach at Inverbervie’s Bervie Bay, this walk enjoys both peaceful woodland and the North Sea coastline. This can be a shorter or longer walk, if you continue on to Johnshaven. It takes in beautiful views, secluded pathways full of butterflies and birdsong, the historical town of Inverbervie and harbour town of Gourdon.
Alan Rowan gives a detailed guide to this walk here