Geology & Wildlife: The Stunning Kincardineshire Coast

SUMMARY: The Kincardineshire sea cliffs, south of Aberdeen, are up to 70 metres high and are designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest to help protect the tens of thousands of sea-birds that return to nest here each year. A walk along this beautiful coastline not only allows us to view and photograph these birds at close quarters, but also provides the opportunity to investigate the geological processes behind this spectacular scenery. Binoculars and telescopes can be provided.

DURATION: Single Day (can be extended to up to three days)

HIGHLIGHTS & KEY LOCATIONS: Spectacular sea cliffs and coastal geomorphology. Thousands of nesting guillemots, razorbills, fulmars and kittiwakes. Possible sightings of puffins, dolphins and seals. Dunnottar Castle perched atop a precipitous headland.

ITINERARY: After collection from your hotel we will travel to the old fishing hamlet of Crawton, where we will leave the vehicle and don our walking boots. From here we will explore the RSPB Fowlsheugh reserve (as featured on the BBC’s Naturewatch) photographing the cliff nesting seabirds and clifftop wild flowers, all the while scanning the sea for seals and dolphins. We will also take the time to explore the more accessible cliffs outside the reserve, to investigate and discuss the geological processes behind the interbedded sequence of conglomerates and lava flows which form this dramatic coastline.

In the afternoon (lunch can be taken at a local fish restaurant) we will visit Dunnottar Castle, a photogenic stronghold with a significant place in Scottish history, but also an excellent example of how geology influenced Scotland’s defences along the north-east coast.

NB. This tour involves walking over broken ground often in exposed locations; it is, therefore, only suitable for the reasonably fit and is unsuitable for anyone without a head for heights.


OVERNIGHT STOPS & ACCOMMODATION: Why not extend you tour with an overnight stay in 4* accommodation or at a boutique restaurant with rooms? Extra days would allow further exploration on foot of differing coastal landscapes, nature reserves and geological features, such as the sand dunes of St Cyrus or Lunan Bay, the internationally recognised RAMSAR site of Montrose Basin, or the geo-diversity walk between Auchmithie and Arbroath.

PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES: Dunnottar Castle, seabirds, seascapes, wildflowers

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