Coastal Walk: Balmedie Beach to the Bridge of Don
Date: Friday 28th August 2015
Company: Myself and Cuillin
Distance: 11.6km, Ascent: 105m
Time: 2Hrs 35Mins
I wanted to head for the hills today but wasn't particularly keen on the
forecast of heavy rain with risk of thunder. As has often been the case in
recent months, the weather was considerably better to the east.
I therefore ventured
east (again) to undertaken another section of north-east coast.
I drove to Bridge of Don, Aberdeen and parked up at the Donmouth car park. I then walked back onto the Ellon Road from where I caught the No 62 bus to Balmedie. This allowed me to walk from Balmedie to the Bridge of Don, with the car waiting for me at the end of the walk.
On arriving in Balmedie, I walked circa 1.5km from the village centre to reach Balmedie Country Park.
I have been to Balmedie Beach countless times previously but not for many years.
Balmedie Country Park is within a dune system that stretches 14 miles from Aberdeen to Newburgh. This is the fifth largest dune system in Britain. The excellent beach has previously won awards. The park also lies with a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
North of Balmedie lies the Menie Estate. A large part of this estate was purchased by Donald Trump in 2006. Despite much local opposition and Scottish National Heritage advising that the proposed golf courses would substantially damage habitat within the Site of Special Scientific Interest, planning approval was granted
Entrance to Balmedie Country Park:
Once in the Balmedie Country Park, we followed a pathway leading towards the dunes. We then ascended the dunes before making our way down onto the beach.
Sand dunes at Balmedie Beach:
Balmedie Beach from atop the sand dunes:
Aberdeen visible in the distance:
Once onto the beach, we walked along the wide expanse of sand towards Aberdeen.
On Balmedie Beach:
Cuillin very much enjoyed today's walk taking countless opportunities to chase gulls and to play in the surf.
Cuillin enjoying the surf:
Looking North (Peterhead Power Station was visible in the distance):
Cuillin burying an Edible Crab shell:
I was quite surprised at seeing so many boats sitting offshore today; I counted at least twenty-one. Not sure why so many?
Lots of boats offshore:
As we walked towards Blackdog, I could see many signs above the dunes warning of the rifle range.
Heading towards Blackdog:
4 of 21 boats offshore of Aberdeen:
Cuillin in the water again:
I have previously walked the stretch of coast from Blackdog to Bridge of Don but it was nice to walk it again today.
During my walks along the coast from Aberdeen to Inverness, I have passed countless WWII pill boxes. Today was however the first one that I have come across that was completely upturned.
An upturned WWII pill box:
At and around Blackdog, we saw many birds. There were numerous what I believe to be Sanderling, Great Black-backed Gulls, Eider, Cormorant, and more.
Blackdog is a hamlet circa two miles North of the outskirts of Aberdeen.
Cuillin chasing some Great Black-backed Gulls:
Approaching Blackdog Rock:
Browndog at Blackdog Rock:
Lots of boats offshore of Aberdeen:
From Balmedie to Blackdog, we encountered no other walkers. However from Blackdog to Bridge of Don, we met several walkers and a cyclist. Given the population of Aberdeen, I found it a bit surprising to see so few people on this great stretch of coast.
Passing another WWII pill box:
Following the WWII blocks towards Donmouth:
Having previously stayed in Aberdeen, I was now coming into very familiar territory.
Approaching the mouth of the Don:
Aberdeen from the mouth of the Don:
Looking towards the Bridge of Don:
There were at least six Goosander at the mouth of the Don (I think they are Goosander as opposed to Red-breasted Merganser!)
One of several Goosander at the mouth of the Don:
It was good to be able to walk in one direction only unlike many other sections of coast walked where an out and back has been required.
A nice walk along a great stretch of Aberdeenshire coast.