Our top five...
This beautiful little bay has a fascinating variety of coloured stones which would interest any geologist. If you’re the kind of family that like whiling the hours away by launching stones into the water, then this is the place for you. Walking to the left of the beach itself, you can peak round the corner to have a lovely sea-level view of Pennan; and of course you can enjoy a bird’s eye view of the village by climbing up the hill to Fort Fiddes, of great archaeological interest and site of an old Pictish Fort. There’s ample parking and a well-tended path to the water.
We couldn’t say it better ourselves: “Britain's largest dune loch is a joy to visit any time of year. In winter, thousands of wild geese, swans and ducks fly in, including 20 per cent of the world's population of pink-footed geese – it's a sight you'll never forget.” In winter, take a trip to the Loch before sunrise – seeing the pink-footed geese taking off with the rising sun is nothing short of breath-taking.
It’s not just the destination; the drive to New Aberdour Beach is fun too – winding country roads going up and down hill with a huge variety of roadside farms, wee hoosies and the kirk to enjoy on the way. This is a popular beach, with good reason. Shingle and sand, lots of space, some fascinating limestone caves to admire and explore, and a look out to that fabulous sky above the North Sea. Oh, with picnic benches and toilets too. What are you waiting for?
Take note of the ‘unsuitable for caravans’ sign as you drive down to Pennan – this wee village is at sea-level, which is no mean feat if you consider the cliffs around it! Made famous by the cult film Local Hero, Pennan is a well-preserved reminder of a bygone age, when folk lived off and from the sea as fishing families. Watch the film the night before, remake the scene at the original Telephone Box (now a Listed Building) and enjoy the atmosphere in the Hotel which is still open during the summer season.
Pack your walking boots and your binoculars; you are in for a treat. Drive across rolling hills, intermittent (stunning) sea views, through farmyards and ever increasing track roads, then follow the uneven paths on foot (everything is well sign posted) to discover Scotland’s only mainland gannet colony. The views of their nesting area are superb – watch them ‘fall’ off the cliff to swoop in glorious circles with their black wing tips on view for all to see. Absolutely fantastic. Well worth a visit, even if you’re not a bird-watcher, the views are spectacular.