Seascapes and Coastal Places

Quite apart from awe-inspiring lighthouses in hair-raising locations, there are three stunning coastlines inviting you to capture your best-ever views.

Aberdeen City Centre, the ‘Granite City’, busy harbour, oil capital, east coast of Scotland. On our walking tour you will be introduced to Aberdeen’s fascinating history through its architecture; would combine with visit to the Maritime Museum and a drive to St Machar’s Cathedral with its beautiful interior, or to Aberdeen’s fabulous Winter Garden in Duthie Park

Applecross peninsula: spectacular views over to Skye, award-winning restaurant; see also Spectacular Routes. More info

Caithness coastline (Pentland Firth), e.g. Dunnet village to Dunnet Head Lighthouse including Mary-Ann’s Cottage (see Museums), John O’Groats harbour facilities including choice of restaurants; views of Stroma from Canisbay Church (see Cathedrals), visit to Castle of Mey (see Castles), Thurso surf, Scrabster HarbourMore info

Caithness lighthouses (tour of the three most northerly), built mostly by three generations of the Stevenson family; the famous novelist Robert Louis Stevenson was a descendant. More info

Dornoch Firth: sandy beaches, internationally designated Loch Fleet: Ramsar site for migrant/wintering birds, seals at Skelbo, accommodation in Dornoch – foodies’ paradise, golf courses, Carnegie connection, beautiful cathedralMore info

Findhorn Village with renowned Bakehouse/Café, on the Moray Firth shore; Findhorn Foundation (separate from the village), famous for alternative lifestyles. Hotel accommodation at Ardersier; B&B/AirBnB in Findhorn ecovillage.

Lossiemouth: A charming old fishing town not far from Elgin in Morayshire, complete with highly commended, if rather busy, East Beach. Nice eateries. The West Beach is just as lovely, with Covesea Lighthouse, long beach walks and the very welcoming Ponderosa Beach Café. More info

NC500 (see also Spectacular RoutesMore info

Rosemarkie Beach, Black Isle, with Rosemarkie Beach Café. Amazing vistas, erratics on the beach, views of dolphins; miles of walking on beach or path above beach; walk or dolphin shuttle bus to Chanonry Point dolphin nursery.

Seaboard Villages, Easter Ross, right by the eastern shore; Pictish carved stones in Hilton/Balintore, Shandwick and Nigg. Would combine with visit to Tarbat Ness Lighthouse and/or Discovery Centre. Enchanting coastal villages, practically at sea level. Sculpture of Little Mermaid of the North at Balintore. More info

Summer Isles: views from Ardmore Bay on way to Ullapool and again from road to Inverewe Gardens from Ullapool. Further info

Thurso (north coast of Caithness) town centre walking tour, would combine with visit to Caithness Horizons Visitor Centre (see Museums). Hotel accommodation. More info on Thurso here.

Ullapool: historical harbour town; Stornoway ferry point on Loch Broom; excursions to Summer Isles; good museum, shops, catering and accommodation, award-winning fish n’chips restaurant. More info

Wick (east coast of Caithness) town centre walking tour and Telford Trail (Pulteneytown); would combine well with visit to Wick Heritage Centre (see Museums) and/or Old Pulteney distillery (see Whisky); excellent catering and accommodation facilities on both sides of the river.