Extending from Moray’s western border near Nairn, along the Moray Firth and all the way around the right-angled wedge of Aberdeenshire, the North East coast of Scotland covers over 200 miles of coastline. Read on for my top five beaches along this stretch, from west to east, where you can spend the day foraging for shells, watching wildlife or just soaking it all in.
Findhorn has a beach of two halves. Surf down a steep shingle bank onto an expanse of fine sand, revealed at low tide. The bay here is known for its seals – depending on the tide they might be hauled out on the beach (if so then keep your distance) or bobbing in the shallows.
At the foot of Covesea Lighthouse is another sandy beach, running to nearby Lossiemouth. As the tide recedes on quiet winter days, you might see sanderlings feeding here. They move in sudden bursts like a breeze has swept them up.
A lesser-known spot, Sunnyside is close to the ruin of Findlater Castle. Perch on the hip-high bank or roll your trousers up and explore the rockpools that collect among the geometric rock formations.
The fishing village of St Combs, five miles southeast of Fraserburgh, has a curved beach facing east, making it a good sunrise location. The sand is the colour of Biscoff even on an overcast day, threaded with narrow water channels trickling into the bay.
Forvie National Nature Reserve is 13 miles north of Aberdeen and famous for its magnificent shifting sand dunes. Watch seals and a variety of birds on the River Ythan or venture north along the beach and join walking trails through mixed heather and marram grass.
Where’s your favourite beach? Let me know in the comments!