Day 86 The Lossiemouth Coastline

Tuesday 30 June 2015

Lossiemouth to Findhorn

16.5 miles

Dave and Cally’s house, Elgin

A hot and sunny day was in store and Cally was going to walk the first part with me from Lossiemouth to Hopeman. Dave drove us to have a look at Lossiemouth East Beach, looking beautiful in the morning sun, before dropping us off at the West Beach.  

Lossiemouth East Beach with the River Lossie flowing almost parallel behind the beach
Cally walks fast but I managed to keep up and it was nice to have some company. No need for a map when walking with a local! 

Me and Cally – stunning and deserted beach
Lossiemouth beach is unusual in having a lighthouse halfway along it just plonked in the dunes. It also has runway lights in the dunes that belong to RAF Lossiemouth and by 10 am we were being serenaded by noisy, but impressive, Typhoons. After about 2.5 miles the beach ran out and the path headed up onto the cliff top.  
The cliff top to Hopeman, covered in gorse
 
There were a couple of beautiful little coves that looked great for wild camping.  
Covesea
 The sandstone cliffs are perfect for developing caves and nooks and crannies.  

Me and Bobby guarding the entrance to a tunnel through the cliff at Covesea
We arrived at Hopeman in no time at all and we did walk past the one famous Prieshach hole on the Hopeman links golf course that makes several lists for best hole. Hopeman is a lovely little town, with a beautiful beach, and the first with beach huts that I’ve seen for ages.  

Hopeman beach huts
 Unfortunately Cally had to leave me here to go to work. It was getting hot and I was slower on my own. The walk from Hopeman to Burghead was mostly on a cycle track along the disused railway line. I past St Aethan’s Well, complete with dog bowls, but the water didn’t look very clean.  

St Aethan’s Well – good for dogs on a hot day!
  Burghead looks ugly from a distance as it is dominated by a factory on its edge; however, it is built on a promontary and I quite liked it.  

Looking back on Burghead from the headland, you can see the sea on both sides
    Its natural shape made it ideal for a fort and there is a great little museum about Burghead’s past as a Pictish fort. The museum also has a fantastic vantage point from where I could see all across the Moray Firth. Great for dolphin spotting (although I didn’t see any).  

The view across the Moray Firth to the Black Isle and beyond
I stopped at The Bothy cafe for a drink and some shade before I began my 7 mile hike along the Roseisle beach to Findhorn. The sun was shining and it was hot so I took my boots off and paddled in the shallows all the way along the beach. 

Walking along the Roseisle beach, paddling in the shallows
  Some areas are quite secluded as the beach backs onto a forest. I took the opportunity to strip off and go for a quick skinny dip at one point. The water wasn’t even that cold.  

The forest behind the beach (RAF kinloss is in there somewhere)
  At one point I thought I was never going to reach Findhorn. It is a long way on a hot day. Cally and the kids were there to meet me and there were lots of people on the beach here. Findhorn Bay is a vast, sheltered basin where the River Findhorn flows to the sea. It has the beautiful Culbin Forest on the West side. We stopped at the cafe for a bit of refreshment. It’s always windy at Findhorn. 

Stunning views in the sunshine
  The tide moves fast in the extensive bay as well. We didn’t see many hippies from the Findhorn Foundation today. It had been a good walk and I had managed to get my feet sunburnt.  

Coming over the dunes into Findhorn Bay

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