Geo-Trips :: Formartine and Buchan Way Part 1 - Fraserburgh to Strichen

Aberdeenshire

A walk from Fraserburgh, Wed, 14 Oct 2020 by Anne Burgess

The Formartine and Buchan way is 68 miles of cycling and walking routes using the trackbed of the former railway lines from Dyce to Peterhead and Fraserburgh.

We left a car in Strichen and a second one on the Esplanade in Fraserburgh, and made for the harbour because the map suggests that the route starts there. In the event we did not find the railway trackbed until we had reached the dunes south of the Esplanade!

From there is was easy level walking to Strichen, mostly dry underfoot apart from a couple of short sections where there was shallow water running down the path. The path passes through gently undulating farmland, and then skirts the south side of Mormond Hill.

(If you view the slideshow version of this trip, then because of the way the search works, it will also include a few extra images that I took after we had returned to Fraserburgh and my companion had retrieved her car and set off for home.)

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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NJ9966 : Fraserburgh Harbour by Anne Burgess
Fraserburgh Harbour
The harbour has a very busy look about it, between creels and both large and small... more

NJ9966 : South Harbour by Anne Burgess
South Harbour
This is the inner basin of the South Harbour, which dates back to the early 19th... more

NJ9966 : The Warld's End by Anne Burgess
The Warld's End
This elegant house at 11 Dalrymple Street caught my eye instantly, though it was... more

NJ9966 : Dalrymple Hall by Anne Burgess
Dalrymple Hall
Built in 1881-1883 and named after Captain John Dalrymple, who owned the land... more

NJ9966 : Former Railway Building by Anne Burgess
Former Railway Building
This is the only remaining building associated with Fraserburgh Station. I... more

NJ9966 : South Kirk by Anne Burgess
South Kirk
This was originally a Free Kirk, built in 1878-1880 to a design by John Bridgeford... more

NJ9966 : Sports Ground by Anne Burgess
Sports Ground
A recent addition to the amenities of Fraserburgh.

NJ9965 : Scruffy Shed by Anne Burgess
Scruffy Shed
The satellite view shows a long shed extending past the gate, the demolition of... more

NK0066 : Fraserburgh Beach by Anne Burgess
Fraserburgh Beach
The view northwards from outside the café on the Esplanade.

NK0065 : Crossing the B9033 by Anne Burgess
Crossing the B9033
It had taken us a little while to find the Buchan and Formartine Way, but having... more

NK0065 : Golf Club House by Anne Burgess
Golf Club House
The club house on Fraserburgh Golf Course.

NK0064 : Field of Sheep by Anne Burgess
Field of Sheep
You don't need to go far from Fraserburgh to get into the countryside. I imagine... more

NK0064 : Philorth Station by Anne Burgess
Philorth Station
The platform is instantly recognisable as a relic of the railway. The line crosses... more

NK0064 : Philorth Home Farm by Anne Burgess
Philorth Home Farm
The extensive buildings of the Home Farm are left of centre, beside the trees that... more

NK0164 : Wet Fold by Anne Burgess
Wet Fold
According to the map, the name of this field is Wet Fold. The rough vegetation... more

NK0163 : Field Drain by Anne Burgess
Field Drain
The flat land here is drained by numerous ditches, all of which required bridges... more

NK0163 : Former Railway Bridge by Anne Burgess
Former Railway Bridge
This bridge carried the railway line over one of the ditches draining the flat... more

NK0163 : Field Drain by Anne Burgess
Field Drain
The ditch is culverted downstream of the former railway bridge to allow farm... more

NK0163 : Rest Stop by Anne Burgess
Rest Stop
This is one of several simple benches, all carved 'Fraserburgh Rotary Club', to be... more

NK0163 : Water of Philorth by Anne Burgess
Water of Philorth
This is quite a short river, rising near Rathen and entering the sea just a couple... more

NK0163 : Water of Philorth by Anne Burgess
Water of Philorth
This is quite a short river, rising near Rathen and entering the sea just a couple... more

NK0163 : Mill Haugh by Anne Burgess
Mill Haugh
A haugh is a water meadow, and therefore always flat. This haugh has been bisected... more

NK0163 : Flooded Field by Anne Burgess
Flooded Field
It looks as if it's not unusual for this corner of the field to be underwater, but... more

NK0163 : Flooded Field by Anne Burgess
Flooded Field
It looks as if it's not unusual for this corner of the field to be underwater, but... more

NK0163 : Milltown by Anne Burgess
Milltown
Milltown stands a few matres above the flooded land beside the Water of Philorth.

NK0163 : Bairnie Hill by Anne Burgess
Bairnie Hill
The low-lying land beside the former railway is shown on the map as wet, and... more

NK0162 : Road Crossing by Anne Burgess
Road Crossing
There was originally a bridge carrying the railway across the minor road near... more

NK0163 : Overgrown Pond by Anne Burgess
Overgrown Pond
This looks like an artificial pond, and we wondered if the bloack of stone on the... more

NK0162 : Ankerhus by Anne Burgess
Ankerhus
A smart new house beside the Buchan and Formartine Way.

NK0162 : Fireplace by Anne Burgess
Fireplace
We were curious about this piece of masonry beside the railway line, but on... more

NK0162 : Rathen Station by Anne Burgess
Rathen Station
The platform of Rathen Station survives but is very overgrown.

NK0162 : Buchan and Formartine Way by Anne Burgess
Buchan and Formartine Way
Looking back towards Fraserburgh from the site of Rathen Station.

NK0162 : Rathen Station Building by Anne Burgess
Rathen Station Building
It looks as if the station building is being renovated.

NK0162 : Buchan and Formartine Way by Anne Burgess
Buchan and Formartine Way
The path descends from the railway embankment to cross a minor road near Invernorth.

NK0162 : Former Railway Line by Anne Burgess
Former Railway Line
After Invernorth the railway begins to climb gently. This section of the route was... more

NK0162 : Water on the Path by Anne Burgess
Water on the Path
There must be a blocked drainpipe because there is water running down the path for... more

NK0161 : Lootingstone by Anne Burgess
Lootingstone
There's a new house almost visible from the old railway line here.

NK0161 : Smooth Sow-thistle (Sonchus oleraceus) by Anne Burgess
Smooth Sow-thistle (Sonchus oleraceus)
The Sow-thistles here seem to have gained a new lease of life, and are flowering... more

NK0161 : Chewing the Cud by Anne Burgess
Chewing the Cud
At least I assume that's what these cattle were doing, because they just stayed... more

NK0161 : Ditch at Ardglassie by Anne Burgess
Ditch at Ardglassie
Probably also a boundary between farms, as there's no obvious gate giving access... more

NK0161 : Overbridge by Anne Burgess
Overbridge
This is the most northerly overbridge still extant. It is of standard design, with... more

NK0160 : Rushy Ground by Anne Burgess
Rushy Ground
From the density of the rushes, it looks as if this bit of ground may be too wet... more

NK0160 : Concraigs by Anne Burgess
Concraigs
I think the ruin beneath the leftmost clump of trees is Cairns of Concraigs, and... more

NK0160 : Old Dykes by Anne Burgess
Old Dykes
Even the fence that superseded the nearest dyke are looking slightly the worse for... more

NK0160 : Pond near Craigellie by Anne Burgess
Pond near Craigellie
A small artificial pond beside the railway line, with a complement of Mallard... more

NK0160 : Howe of Concraigs by Anne Burgess
Howe of Concraigs
That looks like a very dense thicket of whins - a place to revisit in spring when... more

NK0160 : West Lodge by Anne Burgess
West Lodge
This lodge is beside what was the west drive to Craigellie House.

NK0160 : Road Crossing by Anne Burgess
Road Crossing
The signpost is at the access point to the old railway line from the B9107.

NK0160 : Former Railway Bridge by Anne Burgess
Former Railway Bridge
This is the only surviving bridge between Fraserburgh and Strichen that has a... more

NK0159 : Stephen Puttick Memorial by Anne Burgess
Stephen Puttick Memorial
The stone plinth by the side of the Buchan and Formartine Way bears a... more

NK0159 : Direction indicator by Anne Burgess
Direction indicator
This is the toposcope on [[[6639579]]]. I was unable to see from this spot any of... more

NK0159 : Field Boundary by Anne Burgess
Field Boundary
The boundary is also the line of a ditch which drains into the Ellie Burn.

NK0159 : Ruins at Spillarsford by Anne Burgess
Ruins at Spillarsford
These ruins are shown as buildings on the Victorian maps, but not specifically named.

NK0159 : Towards the Ellie Burn by Anne Burgess
Towards the Ellie Burn
The ditch here is a headwater of the Ellie Burn.

NK0159 : New Houses by Anne Burgess
New Houses
A small development of new houses near Spillarsford.

NK0159 : Cortes Village by Anne Burgess
Cortes Village
A small group of mainly 20th century houses close to the A90.

NK0158 : Main Road Crossing by Anne Burgess
Main Road Crossing
This is where the Buchan and Formartine Way crosses the main A90 trunk road.

NK0158 : Lonmay Station by Anne Burgess
Lonmay Station
That crumbling masonry lurking in the vegetation is one of the platforms of Lonmay... more

NK0158 : Lonmay Station by Anne Burgess
Lonmay Station
There is a length of old railway platform hiding among the raspberry canes.

NK0058 : Former Railway Line by Anne Burgess
Former Railway Line
Part of the former railway to Fraserburgh, now the Buchan and Formartine Way.

NK0058 : Bales at Nether Cortes by Anne Burgess
Bales at Nether Cortes
Ready to be collected and stored.

NK0058 : Cottages by Anne Burgess
Cottages
A pair of semi-detached cottages beside the road that runs parallel to the old... more

NK0058 : Near Nether Cortes by Anne Burgess
Near Nether Cortes
There is a road hidden somewhere between the Montbretia and Rosebay on the former... more

NK0058 : Countryside at Cortes by Anne Burgess
Countryside at Cortes
The camera's 'panoramic' function makes it look as if there is a bend in the... more

NK0057 : Path near Smithyhillock by Anne Burgess
Path near Smithyhillock
Part of the former railway line to Fraserburgh.

NK0057 : Old Railway near Smithyhillock by Anne Burgess
Old Railway near Smithyhillock
Part of the Formartine and Buchan way towards Strichen.

NK0057 : Trackside Hut by Anne Burgess
Trackside Hut
Presumably used by railwaymen as there is no evidence of there having been a... more

NK0057 : Near Kilbirnie by Anne Burgess
Near Kilbirnie
The hedge on the left is of Fuchsia magellanica, and must be a splendid sight when... more

NJ9957 : Watery Path by Anne Burgess
Watery Path
This was the only section of the route that was wet for more than a few metres,... more

NJ9957 : Wet Walking by Anne Burgess
Wet Walking
This was the only part of the path that was wet for more than a few metres, but it... more

NJ9957 : Bridge at Satyrhills by Anne Burgess
Bridge at Satyrhills
A bridge of the standard design used on this section of the former railway. It is... more

NJ9957 : Formartine and Buchan Way by Anne Burgess
Formartine and Buchan Way
The trackbed of the former railway line from Fraserburgh. We were entertained here... more

NJ9956 : Trackside Hut by Anne Burgess
Trackside Hut
This must have been a railwaymen's hut because there's no sign of a station here.... more

NJ9956 : Inside the Hut by Anne Burgess
Inside the Hut
I suppose if it was a wet day and you wanted somewhere to shelter for a while, it... more

NJ9956 : Railway Bridge by Anne Burgess
Railway Bridge
The road over this bridge is the access to Whitehills Farm. In the distance are... more

NJ9856 : Mormond Stag by Anne Burgess
Mormond Stag
I was hoping that the sun would make an appearance to illuminate the stag, and it... more

NJ9856 : Mormond Hill Masts by Anne Burgess
Mormond Hill Masts

NJ9956 : Fields on Mormond Hill by Anne Burgess
Fields on Mormond Hill
Arable land extends part of the way up to Mormond Hill.

NJ9956 : Drainage Ditch by Anne Burgess
Drainage Ditch
This is one of two ditches that combine to form the Kilbirnie Burn.

NJ9856 : Common Hemp-nettle (Galeopsis tetrahit) by Anne Burgess
Common Hemp-nettle (Galeopsis tetrahit)
This is one of the few plants whose seed heads are actually more interesting than... more

NJ9856 : Formartine and Buchan Way by Anne Burgess
Formartine and Buchan Way
The forestry on the left hides almost all of the rest of this grid square from... more

NJ9856 : Overbridge by Anne Burgess
Overbridge
This is one of very few bridges that carry a public road over the former railway... more

NJ9855 : Mormond Station by Anne Burgess
Mormond Station
AS usual on this route, it's the presence of a platform that alerted us to the... more

NJ9855 : Mormond Station House by Anne Burgess
Mormond Station House
Good to see a station house in habitable condition.

NJ9855 : Exit from the Railway by Anne Burgess
Exit from the Railway
This is similar to the gates at the points where the Formartine and Buchan Way... more

NJ9855 : Artificial Pond by Anne Burgess
Artificial Pond
The pond seems to be surrounded by berms or banks.

NJ9855 : Mormondside Farm by Anne Burgess
Mormondside Farm
The farm is beside the minor road that passes Mormond Station. The larger farm... more

NJ9855 : Railway Bridge by Anne Burgess
Railway Bridge
The bridge crosses a fairly insignificant field drain. [[[6640610]]] can be made... more

NJ9855 : Farmland near Mormond Hill by Anne Burgess
Farmland near Mormond Hill
This is from the former railway near Mormondside. The farm in the distance is... more

NJ9855 : Cattle beside the Buchan and Formartine Way by Anne Burgess
Cattle beside the Buchan and Formartine Way
We think the cattle are Friesian heifers.

NJ9855 : Remains of a Dyke by Anne Burgess
Remains of a Dyke
The dyke, built mainly of field boulders, has more or less collapsed, and the... more

NJ9755 : Path Waymarker by Anne Burgess
Path Waymarker
The path indicated is to Smiddyhill, only 600 yards away. One look at... more

NJ9755 : Path to Smiddyhill by Anne Burgess
Path to Smiddyhill
This is the path indicated by [[[6640805]]]. It looks very wet and boggy. Good for... more

NJ9755 : Overbridge by Anne Burgess
Overbridge
This bridge, of the standard design used on all the bridges on this section of the... more

NJ9755 : Formartine and Buchan Way by Anne Burgess
Formartine and Buchan Way
Part of the trackbed of the former railway to Peterhead. The new house on the... more

NJ9655 : Sheep at Dencallie by Anne Burgess
Sheep at Dencallie
A small flock of sheep catches a sray bliknk of sunlight below the farm buildings... more

NJ9655 : Pedestrian Ramp by Anne Burgess
Pedestrian Ramp
There are few bridges on this part of the former railway where the railway goes... more

NJ9655 : Pond near Dencallie by Anne Burgess
Pond near Dencallie
The ground north of the former railway here is obviously very wet, and several... more

NJ9655 : Bridge at Clayfords by Anne Burgess
Bridge at Clayfords
The standard design bridge gives access across the former railway line from... more

NJ9555 : Clayfords Cottages by Anne Burgess
Clayfords Cottages
Originally cottages for workers on Clayfords Farm.

NJ9555 : Trimmed Hedges by Anne Burgess
Trimmed Hedges
Neatly trimmed hedges beside the road to Clayfords Cottages.

NJ9555 : Electricity Sub Station by Anne Burgess
Electricity Sub Station
Beside the road from Strichen to New Leeds.

NJ9555 : Shed in a Field by Anne Burgess
Shed in a Field
We wondered what the reason for this shed and adjacent rough ground could be, but... more

NJ9555 : Formartine and Buchan Way by Anne Burgess
Formartine and Buchan Way
Looking east along the former railway line towards Clayfords.

NJ9555 : Elder (Sambucus nigra) by Anne Burgess
Elder (Sambucus nigra)
One of the splendid sprays of elder berries on a tree beside the former railway line.

NJ9554 : Bale Display by Anne Burgess
Bale Display
A work of agri-art by the Young Farmers, in a field between the B9093 and the... more

NJ9554 : Straw Tractor by Anne Burgess
Straw Tractor
We were quite impressed by this work of agri-art by the Young Farmers, in a field... more

NJ9554 : Straw Livestock by Anne Burgess
Straw Livestock
An amusing work of agri-art by the Young Farmers, in a field between the B9093 and... more

NJ9555 : Bridge East of Strichen by Anne Burgess
Bridge East of Strichen
This bridge is of the standard design like all its fellows between here and... more

NJ9554 : Access to Formartine and Buchan Way by Anne Burgess
Access to Formartine and Buchan Way
This is the crossing at the B9093 at the east end of Strichen, and it was where we... more

NJ9455 : High Street by Anne Burgess
High Street
The view up the High Street of the planned town of Strichen leads the eye to the... more

NK0066 : Fraserburgh Bay by Anne Burgess
Fraserburgh Bay
There is a fine sweep of sand south of Fraserburgh almost all the way to Cairnbulg... more

NK0164 : Fraserburgh Golf Course by Anne Burgess
Fraserburgh Golf Course
This part of the course is among the dunes north of the B9033.

NK0264 : The Bents by Anne Burgess
The Bents
Various grassy paths lead through the dunes to the beach from the Waters of... more

NK0164 : Bridge of Philorth by Anne Burgess
Bridge of Philorth
The masonry is reminiscent of railway bridges but there is no evidence of a... more

NK0263 : Pony at Lochlip by Anne Burgess
Pony at Lochlip
As soon as I arrived at the corner here, a trio of Shetland ponies came trotting... more

NK0263 : Pony near Lochlip by Anne Burgess
Pony near Lochlip
As soon as I arrived at the corner here, a trio of Shetland ponies came trotting... more

NK0263 : Looking towards Cairnbulg Mains by Anne Burgess
Looking towards Cairnbulg Mains
There is a wide uncultivated strip and hedgerow between the minor road and this... more

NK0162 : Invernorth by Anne Burgess
Invernorth
A new house next door to the farm buildings at Invernorth.

NK0062 : Water of Philorth by Anne Burgess
Water of Philorth
Looking downstream from the road bridge beside The Neuk.

NK0062 : Water of Philorth by Anne Burgess
Water of Philorth
Looking upstream from the road bridge near South School Croft.

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

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