Coastal Walk: Scotstown Beach to Rattray Head (and back)
Date: Saturday 1st August 2015
Company: Myself, Becky and Cuillin
Distance: 11.8km, Ascent: 75m
Time: 3Hrs

On checking the forecasts this morning, the Blue Toon seemed to have the best chance of blue sky. I therefore drove to Scotston, a short distance North of Peterhead, to undertake a section of North-East coast.

Coastal Walk Index

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

From the Scotstown Beach car park, we made our way down onto Scotstown Beach. We arrived at exactly low tide and therefore had a considerable expanse of sand to walk along. The beach all the way from Scotstown Beach to Rattray Head (and beyond) is excellent; a very clean, desolate beach which we had completely to ourselves .

Approaching Scotstown Beach from Scotston:

Cuillin at Scotstown Beach:

During the walk we would be passing the St. Fergus Gas Terminal. St. Fergus receives approximately 25% of the UK's gas.

Looking towards St. Fergus Gas Terminal and Rattray Head lighthouse (in the distance):

Looking back along Scotstown Beach:

As we approached the St. Fergus Gas Terminal, I thought we would have to head a bit inland to cross the Annachie bridge. However at low tide the burn is completely cut-off from the sea, so we were able to continue walking along the sand.

At the burn there were literally hundreds of gulls and three Mute Swans.

Lots of gulls at the Annachie burn outflow:

St. Fergus Gas Terminal:


As we progressed along the beach adjacent to the St. Fergus Gas Terminal, we walked across a section of beach with lots of wave-formed ripples.

Ripples in the sand:

Looking towards Rattray Head:

As we passed the largest of the tower flares, I stopped to take a photo.

St. Fergus Gas Terminal Tower Flare (zoom):

Cuillin enjoyed being off the lead and playing in the waves.


A short distance before Rattray Head, we passed what looked like wooden stump remains of an old shipwreck.

Remains of an old boat:

Heading for Rattray Head:

The lighthouse at Rattray Head was constructed between 1892 and 1895; the original parrafin lamp was first lit in 1895. An electric cable was laid to the lighthouse in 1977 and in 1982 the light was fully automated and the keeper withdrawn.

Approaching Rattray Head lighthouse:

At Rattray Head lighthouse:

On reaching the lighthouse, we stopped for a brief rest before returning back to the car via the same route.

Rattray Head lighthouse (zoom):

Having a wee rest at Rattray Head:

We initially followed our own footprints back, until our inbound steps had been covered by the incoming tide.

Heading back to Scotstown Beach:

As we walked back we could see that the weather was changing. Unbroken blue sky was now interspersed with cumulus and to the West we could see nimbus clouds. We had caught the best of the weather.

Cuillin having fun:

Lots of cumulus clouds now overhead:

We reached the car exactly three hours from when we set off. I am already looking forward to walking the next section of coast from Scotstown Beach to Peterhead.