Coastal Walk: Aberdour Beach to Rosehearty
Date: Saturday 1st November 2014
Company: Just myself
Distance: 15km, Ascent: 280m
Time: 3Hrs 45Mins

A relatively late start today, with only a few hours to spare, so a nearby coastal walk was the order of the day.

Coastal Walks index

I drove to New Aberdour where I parked in the large car park down at Aberdour beach. I had two options from my starting point, i) head west to Pennan or ii) head east to Rosehearty. I opted to walk to Rosehearty.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

From Aberdour beach I made my way along the shore towards what looked like a couple of caves.

Aberdour beach:

On reaching the first low cave I went in and had a look around.

Small cave at east end of Aberdour beach:

On approaching what I thought was a second cave, I could see that it was actually a small arch.

Small arch at east end of Aberdour beach:

Next to the small arch was a second much larger arch. I progressed through this second arch to reach a small beach at the other side.

Large arch at east end of Aberdour beach:

As I continued along the shore I could see a number of arches and caves worn out of the red sandstone. I really enjoyed exploring the arches and caves.

Another arch:

I continued along the shore as far as was possible passing several small beaches. It is only possible to walk along this section of shore when the tide is out.

Small beach:

To get from one small beach to the next small beach I walked over slippery algae and seaweed-covered rocks.

Looking back towards Aberdour beach:

Looking back towards caves and arches from small beach:

The small beach in the next photo was as far as I could progress along the shore. I walked to the far end of this beach to just below Dundarg Castle before walking back circa 50m to ascend a grass gully which can also be seen in the next photo.

Approaching small beach below Dundarg Castle (ruin):

On looking up the grass gully, I could see a Roe Deer looking down at me.

Roe Deer at top of gully:

The ascent of the gully was straight-forward albeit a bit wet underfoot. From the top of the gully, I followed the fenceline for about one hundred metres to reach Dundarg Castle and the modern house next to it.

The modern house next to the old ruin castle is really nice. I did initially wonder if this house was the castle.

House beside Dundarg Castle:

Lion Rampant on house wall:

Beyond the nice house is the remains of what was Dundarg Castle. This castle was built in the thirteenth century and destroyed in the fourteenth century.

Dundarg Castle (ruin):

From the house, I followed a good quality grass path signposted "footpath" along the top of the cliffs. However this excellent path didn't last for long. The next short section of coast was a bit of an assault course. I had to negotiate gorse bushes, barbed-wire fences and gates.

Looking back to house and Dundarg Castle (ruin):

Beyond the end of the excellent path, it was initially easiest to stay on the farmland side of the fence. After walking along the edge of a couple of fields, it was then easiest to progress along the cliff-side of the fence.

Looking back to house and Dundarg Castle (ruin):

Looking back towards Pennan Head and Troup Head:


As I progressed towards Quarryhead, the terrain started to improve.

Stack en-route to Quarryhead:

Looking towards distant Rosehearty:

On reaching Quarryhead, I stopped to have a look at the small building.

Building atop Quarryhead:

Stack at Quarryhead:

From Quarryhead I walked the vehicle track for a couple of hundred metres before again following the cliff edge. Just beyond Quarryhead, I met two other walkers who were walking from Rosehearty to Quarryhead.

The walk from Quarryhead to Rosehearty was straight-forward with no difficulties encountered.

Ruin beyond Quarryhead:

Looking back to Quarryhead:

Looking back to Quarryhead:

Back onto the shore near Poukburn:

As I progressed along the shore, I passed a large rusty metal object. Not sure if it is the remains of a hull.

Rusting metal hull? on beach:

Approaching Rosehearty:

On reaching Rosehearty I visited the shop for a drink as I was walking today with nothing more than my camera. I then visited the bus stop with a view to catching the bus back to New Aberdour. On checking the times and establishing that the next bus was due in five hours I decided to walk back to Aberdour beach along the road.

Rosehearty harbour:

The walk back along the road from Rosehearty to Aberdour beach was approximately 7km in length. Nice quiet roads - only three cars passed by in nearly two hours.

Looking back to Rosehearty:

Walking back along the road towards New Aberdour:

Nice to complete another short section of coast. This only leaves the section from Pennan to Aberdour Beach to complete the coast from Forres to Fraserburgh.