Coastal wandering: Crawton to Catterline

I love coastal walking and, at one time, I thought I might write a guide to the Aberdeenshire coastal path. On paper, this goes from Portsoy to St Cyrus and it should be a fantastic walk. Unfortunately, however, it’s a coastal path in name only and lots of the walk is on roads (even the busy A90) which are a fair bit from the coast. I don’t much like road walking so I’ve given up on this idea.

We got dropped off at the Crawton road end on the A92 and walked down to the coast. When I walk on the coast, I make a point of sticking to the beach or the clifftops as far as is possible. I did this on this walk from the RSPB reserve at Crawton to the village of Catterline. It’s quite a short walk – about 3km with ins and outs around the coast. But we added a bit by going north before turning south so maybe 5k altogether.

Search for ‘aberdeenshire coastal path’ to find my other posts on walking the coastline.
 

We started at the reserve and walked north for a while to see if there were any puffins. There were a few gulls on the seabird cliffs but no puffins to be seen - I guess it’s too late in the year. We then turned south and followed the path back to the hamlet of Crawton. You head past the houses and at the last house, you head up the hill. The ‘path’ looks as if it goes through someone’s back garden but it doesn’t really. It climbs to the top of the cliffs then skirts a barley field. Good views looking back to Crawton. There is a path round the edge of the fields but at this time of year it is very overgrown so, fairly soon, we jumped over the fence and walked round the edge of the fields. This was easy when it had been cut, less so when the barley was up to our thighs. We struggled on through the barley and passed a coastal feature called the Garron then looked down on Trelong Bay. After a final struggle with the undergrowth where it was up to our chests, we arrived in Catherine with its strange conglomerate stacks. The Creel Inn at Catterline is a pub and seafood restaurant on the cliffs but unfortunately it was closed when we arrived in the late afternoon. So, we enjoyed the view in the sunshine for a while then headed back to the main road.

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