Friday 26 June 2015
Peterhead to Fraserburgh
Coral Haven Guest House
Another grey day. Will they ever end? It took me the best part of an hour to get to the centre of Peterhead so I stopped for a proper breakfast: a huge pancake with maple syrup and a coffee. It seems that bed and breakfasts in Scotland rarely provide a proper breakfast, at least the ones I stay at all seem to offer self-service cereals, and they’re not even cheap!
I crossed the Ugie River via the Birnie pedestrian bridge leading to Peterhead Golf Club, the 18th oldest in the world. Before the bridge was built by a benefactor in the early 20th Century the golf club had to provide a ferry-man to allow access from the town. Here an old lady enquires about my walk and told me I needed to stay land-side by the burn at the end of the golf course as the beach had sinking sand. I took her advice on board and wished I hadn’t. The burn didn’t even reach the beach and I ended up walking through yet more wet grass in the dunes and so my feet, socks and boots were soaked again. I was not happy.
I had to jump down a sand dune to access the beach and then it was a 3 hour walk, mostly along the beach, to St Combs. There wasn’t much to see today, only a few birds and no people. I took a detour into the dunes at Scotston to find a path that would lead me to a bridge across a burn just before a huge gas terminal. Annoyingly, the path over the bridge and beyond was overgrown so I was treated to another soaking for my feet and legs and several nettle stings. Another jump down a sand dune cliff was required to access the beach again. Amazingly, as I approached Rattray Head the sun came out for an hour and I got a nice view of The Ron lighthouse just off shore.
The wind dropped off a bit as I rounded Rattray Head and there was lots of seaweed on the shore.
At the next burn, coming out of Loch of Strathbeg behind the dunes, I took my boots and socks off and paddled across to avoid a detour into the dunes to find the bridge. I took the opportunity to sit down, eat my lunch and try to dry my feet and socks off a bit.
St Combs and Inverallochy were both grey towns with nothing going on. They were linked by a golf course that had some huge, grey and soulless-looking houses by the side of it. At Inverallochy I decided to get the bus the last 4 miles to Fraserburgh as my feet were getting sore from 2 days of walking with wet socks and boots. Standing at the bus stop it started raining; decision vindicated.
I arrived in Fraserburgh in time to collect my next set of maps from the Post Office and find my Guest House. This one does serve breakfast, hurrah.