Day 260: Garmouth to Cullen

Distance: 13.97 miles

Ascent: 760 feet

Weather: Overcast Some Rain

Accommodation: Garmouth Hotel (Still with Dad)


Well today was a rest day but with the forecast terrible for tomorrow with Storm Ali expected to arrive, at the last minute I decided to walk some of tomorrows route today (set off about 10:30am). My Dad is around for today and tomorrow, so I quickly came up with a plan that I would walk to Buckie alone (about 6 miles), Dad would drive to Buckie where I would meet him and then walk to Portknockie together (about 6miles.)

As it was a rest day my washing was drying, and my stuff was airing, so for only the second time on the walk I left my bag behind and walked without it. The weather was overcast, though fortunately there was very little rain and today I would almost entirely be following the Moray Coast Trail. The day started by crossing the Spey Viaduct and then following the river back to the coast. Once on the coast the way was simple following the edge of Spey Bay Golf Club, then paths and pavement along the flat coast passing many seals, through Portgordon and to Buckie.

It had been easy so far and I met dad about 12:30, at first Dad decided he wanted lunch here but then changed his mind so we rejoined the coast path and walked by the large Cluny Harbour where lots of stuff (sand by the looks of it) was being unloaded. Near Portessie we passed a café and Dad decided this was time for lunch and I was very happy as I was starving. I ordered the most ridiculous hiking food, Cullen Skink with a pulled pork open sandwich which was lovely but not the best food to get walking again.

We left the road here and joined the coast path and it was lovely and flat which Dad liked. At Findochty there was a lovely little harbour and from here there was another flat path to Portknockie. I had thought we would finish here as we were working to the bus timetable to return to Dad’s car but I/we felt it was just early enough that we could do another couple of kilometers to Cullen (I only realised later that Cullen Skink originates from here which was strange as I had had it earlier at lunch) and still make the bus there.

This final path to Cullen was lovely as you rounded the corner and a long sandy beach appeared. Cullen itself was fairly interesting as due to its Topography the railway line had two very impressive viaducts. We arrived literally 5 minutes before the bus was meant to arrive but unfortunately half an hour later we were still waiting and finally the bus turned up just over 30 minutes late. We took the bus back to Buckie and then drove back to Garmouth.

A last minute decision to walk today but with the weather forecast terrible for tomorrow it was sensible and in fact it was a nice, simple walk that I think Dad enjoyed.

charles compton