Geo-Trips :: Exploring the cliffs between Pennan and New Aberdour

Moray Firth Coast

A walk from Pennan, Mon, 29 Apr 2019 by Anne Burgess

This is a spectacular and little-visited stretch of coast. There is a waymarked path but it mostly follows old tracks inland from the cliffs. I set out to walk the cliff edge, but was advised by a farmer to divert inland to avoid a steep section overgrown with whins. I did so, but looking at the section in question I think it would have been feasible, so I will have to make a return trip.

Click the blue circles to see a photograph taken from that spot and read further information about the location. The blue lines indicate the direction of view. There is also a slideshow of this trip. ( )

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NJ8564 : Garden Park by Anne Burgess
Garden Park
Garden Park is the name of the whin-lined gully carved out by the burn that drains... more

NJ8564 : Waymark by Anne Burgess
Waymark
No prizes for guessing where the ends of this path are. It's about three miles in... more

NJ8564 : Path to Pennan by Anne Burgess
Path to Pennan
By following the path indicated by the rather damaged signpost you avoid walking... more

NJ8564 : Sheep at East Mains by Anne Burgess
Sheep at East Mains
I'm sure someone will tell me what breed of sheep these are - they have almost... more

NJ8564 : Gate on the Path by Anne Burgess
Gate on the Path
I am always happy to close a gate if it is closed when I reach it, as the sign on... more

NJ8564 : Grass and Whins by Anne Burgess
Grass and Whins
The rolling terrain here is the result of glaciation, with numerous meltwater... more

NJ8565 : Pennan Farm House by Anne Burgess
Pennan Farm House
The house is embellished by fancy window surrounds and a protruding stone over the... more

NJ8565 : Pennan Farm by Anne Burgess
Pennan Farm
The house stands above the steading, commanding magnificent views all round and in... more

NJ8565 : Pennan Farm by Anne Burgess
Pennan Farm
Long low traditional buildings around the farm yard at Pennan Farm.

NJ8565 : Pennan Farm by Anne Burgess
Pennan Farm
The traditional farm steading at Pennan Farm is complemented by a more modern... more

NJ8565 : Old Barn by Anne Burgess
Old Barn
This may or may not be a barn, strictly speaking. It stands a little apart from... more

NJ8565 : Pennan Farm by Anne Burgess
Pennan Farm
The 'panorama' format seems to emphasise the forlorn atmosphere of the abandoned... more

NJ8565 : Green and Brown by Anne Burgess
Green and Brown
The field on the right has been sown with grass seed, and the farmer is hoping for... more

NJ8565 : Redundant Machinery by Anne Burgess
Redundant Machinery
An assortment of old farm machinery lies rusting in the grass.

NJ8565 : Path to Pennan by Anne Burgess
Path to Pennan
The waymarking around the farm is in need of replacement, but when you find it the... more

NJ8565 : Clifftop near Pennan by Anne Burgess
Clifftop near Pennan
The red sandstone cliff hides Need Haven, but a series of shingle coves is visible... more

NJ8565 : Precipitous Gully by Anne Burgess
Precipitous Gully
All the gullies along this coast seem to be precipitous, none inviting a descent... more

NJ8466 : Pennan Bay by Anne Burgess
Pennan Bay
The village of Pennan is hidden below the cliffs on the left. The beaches are... more

NJ8565 : Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe) by Anne Burgess
Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe)
I watched, and followed, this Wheatear as if flew from post to post, accompanied... more

NJ8565 : Near Pennan Head by Anne Burgess
Near Pennan Head
One might be able to get at least part of the way down here, but I wasn't tempted... more

NJ8565 : Sandstone Pillars by Anne Burgess
Sandstone Pillars
Erosion has sculpted strange shapes from the soft Old Red Sandstone.

NJ8565 : Pennan Head by Anne Burgess
Pennan Head
The highest point here is Pennan Head. It's not always easy to get a view of it,... more

NJ8565 : Above Buckies Pad by Anne Burgess
Above Buckies Pad
The map names a feature on the shore here Buckies Pad, but it's not visible from... more

NJ8565 : Near Pennan Head by Anne Burgess
Near Pennan Head
Pennan Head is just visible at top left. The farmed land is crossed by the traces... more

NJ8565 : Precipitous Gully by Anne Burgess
Precipitous Gully
This is another of the steep gullies that characterise this stretch of coast. They... more

NJ8564 : Old Dyke by Anne Burgess
Old Dyke
The boulders in the grass at the side of the track are probably the remains of the... more

NJ8664 : Sheep above Clinterty by Anne Burgess
Sheep above Clinterty
These are Cheviot sheep, probably the most widespread breed in north-east... more

NJ8664 : Watering Hole by Anne Burgess
Watering Hole
I imagine that the water is piped from the pond a few hundred metres away, as the... more

NJ8665 : Quaynan Den by Anne Burgess
Quaynan Den
This den isn't named on the available maps, but I am fairly sure that's what the... more

NJ8665 : Wether Lairs by Anne Burgess
Wether Lairs
The map calls something Wether Lairs, but whether it is the slope beyond Quaynan... more

NJ8665 : Near Drostan Leack by Anne Burgess
Near Drostan Leack
Drostan Leack is an offshore rock, not actually in view from the cliff top. I'll... more

NJ8665 : Maw Craig by Anne Burgess
Maw Craig
This is one a fine series of stacks along this part of the cliffs.

NJ8665 : Sea Stacks by Anne Burgess
Sea Stacks
Oddly, these distinctive rocks appear to be unnamed, or at least if they have... more

NJ8665 : Strabackie by Anne Burgess
Strabackie
The nearer bay at the foot of the cliffs here is named Stracakie on the maps. The... more

NJ8665 : Maw Skelly by Anne Burgess
Maw Skelly
Looking west towards Maw Skelly, the smooth field at Wether Lairs, and Troup Head... more

NJ8665 : Triangulation Pillar by Anne Burgess
Triangulation Pillar
I don't recall seeing one of these with quite such a prominent plinth before. I... more

NJ8665 : Trig Point by Anne Burgess
Trig Point
A closer view of [[[6137334]]].

NJ8665 : OS Plaque by Anne Burgess
OS Plaque
This is the plaque identifying [[[6137334]]].

NJ8765 : Green Kaims by Anne Burgess
Green Kaims
Green Kaims is the name applied to the interrupted ridge of rock stretching north... more

NJ8665 : Strabackie by Anne Burgess
Strabackie
I've used Strabackie as the title because it's the name of the bay immediately... more

NJ8665 : Clinterty Trig by Anne Burgess
Clinterty Trig
[[[6137334]]] from the other side.

NJ8665 : Sea Stacks by Anne Burgess
Sea Stacks
Odd that these distinctive rock stacks don't seem to have names.

NJ8765 : Langlitterty by Anne Burgess
Langlitterty
The name Langlitterty appears to apply to the beach and the scree behind it.... more

NJ8765 : Green Kaims by Anne Burgess
Green Kaims
Green Kaims is the ridge of rock nearest to the camera. It looks as if it might be... more

NJ8765 : Green Kaims and Strabackie by Anne Burgess
Green Kaims and Strabackie
Green Kaims is the name applied to the prominent rock ridge closest to the camera,... more

NJ8764 : Towards Dardar Den by Anne Burgess
Towards Dardar Den
Dardar Den is a glacial meltwater channel at the far side of this field of spring... more

NJ8764 : Meltwater Channel by Anne Burgess
Meltwater Channel
To the right of the whins is a glacial meltwater channel created during the last... more

NJ8764 : Clinterty Farm by Anne Burgess
Clinterty Farm
The farm stands hih on the clifftop plateau, but far enough inland to escape the... more

NJ8764 : Clinterty Farm by Anne Burgess
Clinterty Farm
A view of the whole farm from the track leading to Pennan.

NJ8664 : Path to New Aberdour by Anne Burgess
Path to New Aberdour
The stile and the waymarker indicate the route of the path from Pennan to New... more

NJ8664 : Wayside Pond by Anne Burgess
Wayside Pond
This is the third, lowest and largest of three dammed ponds in a defile named on... more

NJ8664 : Pond by the Track by Anne Burgess
Pond by the Track
Looking across the north end of the artificial pond near Pouk Howe.

NJ8664 : Meltwater Channel by Anne Burgess
Meltwater Channel
One of the many dry gullies which developed as meltwater or subglacial channles... more

NJ8664 : Track to New Aberdour by Anne Burgess
Track to New Aberdour
The waymarked path between Pennan and New Aberdour follows an old road. It may... more

NJ8864 : Dour Burn by Anne Burgess
Dour Burn
This is the final pool in the Dour Burn, which doesn't flow across the beach, but... more

NJ8865 : Intertidal Rocks by Anne Burgess
Intertidal Rocks
There is very little land in this square - only a few tens of square metres - and... more

NJ8865 : Intertidal Rocks by Anne Burgess
Intertidal Rocks
There is very little land in this square - only a few tens of square metres - and... more

NJ8865 : Intertidal Rocks by Anne Burgess
Intertidal Rocks
There is very little land in this square - only a few tens of square metres - and... more

NJ8864 : Rock Stack by Anne Burgess
Rock Stack
This stack in Ceard's Cove is, according to the map, 7 metres tall.

NJ8865 : Rocky 'Panorama' by Anne Burgess
Rocky 'Panorama'
There is very little land in this square - only a few tens of square metres - and... more

NJ8865 : Intertidal Rocks by Anne Burgess
Intertidal Rocks
There is very little land in this square - only a few tens of square metres - and... more

NJ8865 : Intertidal Rocks by Anne Burgess
Intertidal Rocks
There is very little land in this square - only a few tens of square metres - and... more

NJ8864 : Rock Stack by Anne Burgess
Rock Stack
A view from high tide mark of the 7 metre tall rock stack in Ceard's Cove.

NJ8864 : St Drostan's Kirk by Anne Burgess
St Drostan's Kirk
It is said that there has been a kirk here since the 5th century, but this... more

NJ8864 : St Drostan's Kirkyard by Anne Burgess
St Drostan's Kirkyard
This kirkyard has numerous table-style graves, many now sadly more or less... more

NJ8864 : St Drostan's Kirk by Anne Burgess
St Drostan's Kirk
The ruined 16th century kirk stands on the site of an older kirk built probably in... more

NJ8864 : Tomb in St Drostan's Kirk by Anne Burgess
Tomb in St Drostan's Kirk
This mediaeval style tomb is so weathered that I cannot make out whose tomb it is.... more

NJ8864 : Doocot by Anne Burgess
Doocot
The doocot is built into the corner of the kirkyard. It is square in plan with a... more

NJ8864 : Greater Stitchworth (Stellaria holostea) by Anne Burgess
Greater Stitchworth (Stellaria holostea)
There are banks of Greater Stitchwort alongside most of the roads around here,... more

NJ7863 : Den of Afforsk by Anne Burgess
Den of Afforsk
Compare with [[[1889194]]], taken nine years earlier when the whins were in... more

All images © Anne Burgess and available under a Creative Commons licence external link.

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