The locality of Gardenstown
The picturesque coastal village of Gardenstown (known locally as 'Gamrie') Gardenstown is easily accessible from Aberdeen along the A947 heading north via Banff or just three and half hours' drive from the airports of Glasgow (Prestwick and International) along M80. Again from the Scottish capital of Edinburgh via M90 motorway in three hours time.
Gardenstowns main business is fishing; however, there is a tourist market too, partially due to the many local golf courses. Gardenstown has a pub and Restaurant The Garden Arms Hotel Tel 01261 851260, a bakery, a butchers, a post-office, a small art gallery and a very good fish restaurant (which only seats about 12 people and gets booked up well in advance) The Harbour Restaurant, Gardenstown Tel 01261 851690
"Gardenstown by day and night"
Apart from the film local hero. In May 2007, a TV series titled The Baron was filmed in and around the village. The series featured three celebrities Malcolm McLaren, Mike Reid and Suzanne Shaw — competing to be elected "Baron of Troup". During the filming, McLaren was thrown out of the village for unruly behaviour, leaving Reid and Shaw to contest the final election, which was won by Reid. The series was due to be shown on the network in August 2007; however due to Reid's death, transmission of the series was delayed until April 2008. Before his death, Reid had expressed a wish to have a new community centre built in the village; a number of donations have since been secured from his family and others, and this is likely to go ahead in the near future. Mike's widow, Shirley, retains the title "Baroness of Troup", which is hereditary.
"Picturesque is simply an under statement"
Various views of Gardenstown's harbour, coastline and Pennan Harbour
Photos Copyright © Doug Houghton
Aberdeenshire, Moray and their fantastic coastlines
Aberdeenshire has some of the most wonderful rural scenery to offer for you, along with the pretty local village of Gardenstown, there are also the coastal villages of Cullen, Findochty, Portsoy and Banff. So If you are looking for a relaxing holiday, somewhere to wind down and relax, then look no further, this accommodation offers you that and so much more.
The Moray Firth coast is also haven for wildlife, and you can often see dolphins, seals, otters, whales and falcons throughout the year. Roughly one half of its border consists of amazing coastline ranging from the awesomely rugged to the most wonderfully beautiful. The sunsets on the Moray coastline in themselves are renowned for their beauty as many a visitor will testify, its Northerley latitude and position making it a good place to even see the mysterious "Aurora Borealis" Northern lights
The next village is Crovie which you can walk too via the amazing coastal path (below right)
The land border runs through tremendous countryside, craggy mountains and desolate moors all indicating the feast of wonder and enjoyment held within an area of outstanding natural beauty. Aberdeenshire is awash with history and historic buildings, Neolithic stone age circles, iron age pictish carved standing stones, vitrified forts and medieval castles and keeps. Spend time touring the Moray cost, 16 miles away, with its picturesque fishing villages. fishing heritage centres, sea aquarium and historic harbours.
Just a short distance away the Cairngorm National Park has an excellent selection of Skiing walking and cycling trails including hill, forest and river walks.
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Views of the Moray Firth coastline, its harbours and golden sands
Further afield the local market town of Turriff gained burgh status in 1512. Over the years, Turriff has developed as an important market town and service centre for the agriculture sector. Modern day Turriff is still the main centre for its rural farming hinterland, with a range of local shops, swimming pool, golf course, caravan park and sports centre. The cottages are close to nearby Turriff and give easy access to golf, shooting, fishing, shopping, pony trekking, historic buildings, castles, whisky distilleries (The Whisky Trail) and some of the most wonderful scenery that rural Aberdeenshire has to offer for you and your family. Turriff Show is perhaps best known for the 'Turra Show'. Dating from 1864, this annual two-day agricultural show in August is one of the largest in Scotland, regularly attracting around 40,000 visitors per annum, and serving to highlight the importance of agriculture to the local area. Turriff Golf Course is a well-established parkland course with wonderful views. Founded in 1896 and extended to 18 holes in 1976, its lush, green fairways have been sympathetically laid out on the southern banks of the River Deveron.
"Pennan (the scene of local hereo) and it's famous red telephone box"
Skiing holidays in Scotland
Skiing in the Cairngorms are within easy reach and on a clear, sunny day and with good snow, you can enjoy some decent skiing. However, at weekends, in conditions like these, expect the slopes to be very busy. Glenlivet ideally placed in the Cairngorms, offers easy access to both alpine (downhill) and nordic (cross-country) skiing, as well as the increasingly popular snowboarding.
The high season is from January to April but it is possible to ski from as early as November to as late as May. (3 and 7 day Special prices available...please ask for details of availability)
The Lecht ski resort
Within and easy 60 minute drive you can reach the Lecht ski resort www.lecht.co.uk Tel (01975) 651440. This fantastic activity centre is best suited to beginners and intermediates, featuring an exellent Dry Ski slope. The longest natural run being 900m, there is also a network of short lifts on both sides of the A939 Cockbridge–Tomintoul road. Straddling the A939 on the famous Cockbridge to Tomintoul road, the Lecht 2090 sits feet above sea level amid the beauty of the Eastern Cairngorms. This natural playground offers exciting outdoor activities throughout the year from Deval Karts / ride (incl. Uplift), Quad Bikes / session, Fun Karts / session, Kiddie Karts / session, Chairlift / return ride, Summer Ski or Board.
Resort altitude: Top: 793m - bottom: 643m. Lifts in area 14
Up to date snow reports also the www.lecht.co.uk/wap
Wildlife and Nature
The sandy coastlines of Morayshire and Aberdeenshire stretch from Stonehaven on the East coast to Nairn in the west. Short stretches of cliff run from Hopeman to Covesea and from Portknockie to Findochty and populations consist of Fulmars and Kittiwakes with a smaller number of Shags and Black Guillemots. The best rocky shores are between Burghead and Hopeman, at Lossiemouth and between Portgordon and Findochty.
Inland the areas then extend southwards to the Cairngorm mountains. Nearly half of the land exceeds 250m altitude and is therefore upland in nature. With the higher hills exceeding 600m including the arctic-alpine Cairngorm plateau, home to Ptarmigan, Snow Bunting and Dotterel. The extensive lower moorlands hold a good variety of scarcer species such as Merlin, Twite, Ring Ouzel and Whinchat. Golden Plovers are locally numerous, joined by a few Dunlin in wetter bogs.
The extensive woodlands are largely composed of conifer plantations and in many areas these are sufficiently mature to have been colonised by Crested Tits, Siskins and crossbills. Capercaillies survive in small numbers. The younger moorland plantations hold breeding Black Grouse and Short-eared Owl and the birchwoods of the upland glens ring with the song of Willow warblers, Tree Pipits, Redstarts and Spotted Flycatchers in spring.
Winter waders include Purple Sandpipers in the muddy estuaries and the wide expanse of Findhorn Bay. In the Lossie and Spey rivers a wide variety of wildfowl, gulls and terns feed and roost on the estuaries and fishing ospreys are a regular feature in summer.
Offshore, Burghead Bay and Spey Bay are well known for their flocks of wintering sea ducks with impressive rafts of scoters, Long-tailed Ducks and Eider. You will find some great viewpoints along the way, in particular looking over the broad sweep of Cullen Bay with its lovely golden sand and the Fiddle Rock - a curiously shaped rock formation - and past the opening known as the Whale's Mouth.
Fishing the Rivers Deveron, Spey & Findhorn
Two wonderful rivers, the Spey and the Findhorn, lend much to the character of the area and many smaller rivers and streams drain the interior into the Moray Firth. Typical breeding species are Dipper, Grey Wagtail and Common Sandpiper. Goosanders inhabit the smaller upland tributaries with a few Red-breasted Mergansers breeding on the lower reaches. There is relatively little standing water in Moray & Nairn but Lochs Oire, na Bo, Loy and Spynie provide winter wildfowl interest; Loch Spynie in particular holds a spectacular winter goose roost, and a rich wetland breeding bird community in summer. The Deveron River, situated at Turriff is mid way between the river mouth at Banff and the headwaters above Huntly and offers the angler some of the finest salmon and trout fishing in Scotland. Bookings can be arranged via Frank and Carol Henderson, Turriff Tackle & Trophies Tel
01888 562428. Aberdeenshire also supports two other fine rivers the Dee and the Don and sea fishing can be obtained on the Moray Coast.
Aden Park (left) and the historic listed
Cullen viaduct (right)"
Each year the village of Braemar, Scotland invites people from all over the world to attend the Braemar Gathering and Highland Games. The Gathering is always held on the first Saturday in September and it is perhaps the most famous and finest Highland Games anywhere. It features the finest Pipe Bands, pipers, Highland dancers, and athletes in a beautiful setting surrounded by hills. The patron of the Gathering is Her Majesty the Queen