1. From Aberdeen: Coastal Villages of Aberdeenshire
The first part of our journey is to make our way through the Aberdeenshire countryside to the coastal villages of Gardenstown and Crovie. Built into the red sandstone cliffs the villages have a quaint and remote atmosphere. The village of Gardenstown recently celebrated their 300th naming anniversary, so there is a lot of history in this small village balanced on the edge of the hillside. There are walks along the coastal path that will take you to Crovie, the smallest and most remote of Buchan cliff-foot fishing villages, it comprises a single row of houses, most gable-end to the sea. Pennan came into existence as a fishing village in the 18th century and the people of Pennan were dependent on the sea for their livelihood. Pennan became famous in the 1980s for being used as one of the main locations for the film Local Hero, and representing the fictional village of Ferness. Film enthusiasts have come from all over the world to make a phone call in the red telephone box which featured in the film. New Aberdour beach is a small but interesting beach, with limestone caves once used to help conceal contraband smuggled into the northeast by fishermen and business men who had a thriving economy along the craggy coastline. One of the caves was also home to an infamous cave dweller, "Jock". Fraserburgh means 'burgh of Fraser', after the Fraser Family that bought the lands of Philorth and built their castle at Kinnaird Head. Kinnaird Castle was later altered become one of the first lighthouses in the northeast of Scotland in 1787. You will have some time to walk around the headland and see the lighthouse for your self. Fraserburgh has some several impressive civic buildings and very ornate civic fountain as well as being home to Scotland's largest shellfish port. William Hay, 18th Earl of Erroll, established the fishing community of Port Erroll, later becoming Cruden Bay in the 1840s. The long pink curve of the Bay of Cruden sands and scenic cliffscapes have long attracted visitors. An iconic attraction in Cruden Bay is the ruin of New Slains Castle perched on the edge of the cliffs. Most of the building was constructed and extended between 1597 and 1664 but the castle fell in in ruin in the late 19th century and was eventually abandoned in the 1920s. Collieston was the first safe harbour in over fifteen miles of beaches and dunes stretching north from Aberdeen. The numerous sea caves and small coves with shingle beaches provided ideal terrain for smugglers. Learn about notorious smuggler Phillip Kennedy and his exploits while trying to outrun the excise man. With several stories about shipwrecks and sunken submarine there are countless stories to tell about this little harbour just a stone's throw from the bustling city.