The village of Cruden Bay is located on the North East coast of Scotland around 26 miles north of Aberdeen. The village sits in the Bay of Cruden which is home to a beautiful stretch of beach, connected to the village by the 94 year old Ladies Bridge. The beach's golden sand stretches to the south for around 2.5km and is popular with families, kite surfers, jet skiers and dog walkers.
On the Northern side of Cruden Bay lies the Harbour of Port Erroll which dates back to the 1870s. This was built to accommodate the fishing community that was established a couple of decades earlier. The harbour at its peak was said to be home to near 70 boats. These days, following the decline of the fishing industry in the area, there are only a handful still using the facility. The harbour has a number of picnic tables that have great views of the beach and the rocky cliffs to the North of the village.
One of the more popular walks is the cliff top walk to the North of the village. The car park just off the Main Street is the start of this coastal walk. The walk starts in a small wooded area with a small stream that runs through the middle. The stream is crossed prior to leaving the wooded area, which continues along the base of some rocky outcrops before heading uphill to the top of the cliffs. The views along the cliff is quite spectacular. Upon reaching this point, the main attraction Slains Castle comes into view.
The site of the castle was initially a 16th century tower house, built by the 9th Earl of Eroll. The site has gone through numerous reconstructions, the last being in 1837 when the site was built into a Scots Baronial Mansion. Nowadays the castle if just a ruin, plans to renovate the castle have been on hold for a number of years. It is said that the castle may have been the inspiration for the castle in Bram Stoker's Dracula, the author regularly visited the area over a 17 year period.
If you do decide to make a day of it and are looking for food, i would suggest checking out St Olaf's Hotel, for a meal. I had a meal there for a family celebration and was impressed with the food. I would highly recommend the Double Chicken Burger!