Coastal wanderings: Magnificent Muchalls

Muchalls is a wee village south of Aberdeen, just beyond Aberdeen’s urban sprawl, although it is fast approaching there. It was a fishing village with clifftop cottages but now it’s mostly Aberdeen commuters. Most people drive past on the A90 without noticing unless they are going to the Muchalls Bistro, a decent country restaurant.

But Muchalls is one of Scotland’s hidden gems. If you park at the end of the road and take a 5 minute walk down the path to the coast, you are rewarded with absolutely magnificent coastal scenery. This afternoon, I had a couple of hours to spare and so I headed there with my camera.  The weather wasn’t perfect – more cloud than sun but there were enough sunny periods to make the trip worthwhile.


Muchalls- cliff view with sea stacl
Looking south towards Doonie point from the cliff path. Wild flowers were everywhere today.


Cliff scenery
The view from the wonderfully named peninsula – Grim Briggs


Rock with pool
The rocks on the beach have been fantastically shaped by the sea. This one had a wee pool of water caused when a stone gets trapped and is whirled around by the sea, eventually making an indentation that can fill with water.


Stack 4
Sea stack. Ever since I first heard of stacks in a geography lesson in school, I’ve been fascinated by them and way they have survived while the cliffs around them have been eroded away. This is the stack to the south of Grim Briggs that you can see in the photos above.


view south to Doonies Point
Doonies Point is (I think) the distant headland. Tufts of sea pinks added a wee bit of colour.


Red campion and bench
There are a number of benches on the path where you can sit and admire the view including, sadly, a memorial bench for a student who died while climbing on the cliffs. This one obviously isn’t used much and the wild flowers were growing through it.


Stack and rock
A vista of rocks. This one at the front has obviously been bent and twisted by geologic processes.

Concrete blocks
My last picture here is a bit strange – these are on the path down to Grim Haven (where I guess the Muchalls boats were launched). They look like 2nd world war tank traps but given the cliffs here, it is inconceivable that anyone would try and land and bring a tank up the path. I liked the contrast between the brutality of the concrete and the wild flowers. If any blog reader knows what these were for, I’d love to know.


4 thoughts on “Coastal wanderings: Magnificent Muchalls

  • July 24, 2015 at 1:52 am

    Thank you for these wonderful photographs and hello from America. Back in the 1970s, I earned my master’s in history from Aberdeen and have a photograph I took looking out the window at a cut in the cliffs as the train quickly passed by on the way north from Edinburgh. I traveled that route a number of times and had my camera ready for the 1-2 glimpse through the cut with the view of two cliffs framing a sea stack and the North Sea beyond. I never knew the name of the area but I assume this must be it as elsewhere on the web I found a photograph of the railway viaduct at Muchalls that appears to be very close to the sea.

    Thanks again for the wonderful views!

    • August 20, 2015 at 11:21 pm

      Yes, the viaduct at Muchalls is close to the sea and you maybe can see the stacks. I mostly take the train from Stonehaven so don’t travel on this bit of the line.

      I walked from Muchalls to Stonehaven along the cliffs – new post on that today.

  • July 27, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    The blocks were used all along the east coast to pevent an amphibious landing at obvious places. Troops fron occupied countries such as Poland laboured on them. Triangular blocks (dragons teeth) in long lines can also be found well inland such as at Newmilne ( Guildtown ) near where I live at perth
    regards john

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