Coastal Walk: Lossiemouth to Hopeman
Date: Monday 16th June 2014
Company: Myself and Cuillin
Distance: 10.4km, Ascent: 180m
Time: 2Hrs 40Mins

After a good day out on the hills yesterday traversing the Five Sisters of Kintail, I decided to swap hills for coast today to continue my exploration of the Aberdeenshire/Moray Coast. Having previously covered the stretch of coast from Pennan to Lossiemouth, my next section of unexplored coast would be from Lossiemouth to Hopeman: Coastal Walks index

I drove from home to Lossiemouth where I parked in a small car park opposite the Moray golf course.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

After passing through the golf course, we continued onto the beach. We then walked along the sand in the direction of Covesea (pronounced Cow-see). Cuillin really enjoyed the walk along the sands. I recalled walking this section of coast in the early 1980s with my grand-parents.

Beach alongside Moray golf course:

Looking back towards Lossiemouth:

Covesea Skerries Lighthouse apparently contains accommodation that can be rented on a weekly basis. It is managed by the Covesea Community Trust.

Covesea Skerries Lighthouse:

Covesea Skerries Lighthouse:

The beach beyond Covesea Skerries Lighthouse is nicer and cleaner than the beach before it. I stopped for around ten minutes on this stretch of coast to watch the Sand Martins nesting in the dunes. As well as Sand Martins there were also numerous Swallows.

Beach beyond Covesea Skerries Lighthouse:

Looking back to Covesea Skerries Lighthouse:

Looking towards Covesea:

It was interesting to see the rocks at Covesea, as I have not previously visited this part of coast and this climbing crag.

Rocks at Covesea:

At Covesea there is a nice sandstone pavement with many excellent rock pools. I will definitely be revisiting with Becky.

Sandstone pavement and rock pools at Covesea:

I continued beyond the sandstone pavement for a short distance before clambering up some rocks to reach a grassy slope above. I managed to find a way up to the Moray Coastal Trail avoiding all the gorse bushes.

If following this route it would be easier and safer to join the Moray Coastal Trail before the sandstone pavement, especially if the tide is coming in.

Covesea cliffs:

The Moray Coastal Trail at Covesea is along a good quality path. Once onto this path, we made fast progress towards Hopeman.

On the Moray Coastal Trail:

Covesea coast:

I believe the building in the next photo may be a Coastguard Lookout Station.

Lookout station at Covesea:

Following the Moray Coastal Trail:

Beyond the grit track, the Moray Coastal Trail is along a grass track. There are lots of wild flowers and insects. It was lovely to watch all the bees and butterflies. I saw Red Admirals and Peacock butterflies today. Cuillin was also really interested in the noise being produced by a cricket/grasshopper.

Foxglove close-up:

Clashach quarry is fenced-off with a number of Health & Safety signs warning of the danger.

Clashach Quarry:

Clashach Cove:

Looking back along coast:

As we approached Hopeman, I could see numerous coloured beach huts above the East Beach.

Approaching Hopeman:

Hopeman huts:

Hopeman East Beach:

Just beyond the beach huts, a jet from RAF Lossiemouth flew past. I think it was a Tornado.

Tornado (zoom):

We stopped for a short break at the harbour before continuing up to the main road.

Hopeman Harbour:

As it was now very hot, and our water supply was dwindling, I decided to use public transport to return to the car instead of walking back. We caught a bus from Hopeman to Elgin Bus Station then another bus from Elgin Bus Station to Lossiemouth.