Monday, 23 May 2011

On the Moray Coastal Trail

Lossie Beach:

Having read Cameron McNeish's description of the Moray Coastal Trail in the Scots Magazine, a two-day coastal daunder from Forres to Cullen (or vice-versa), we were keen to see it for ourselves.

Lossie Harbour:

Rather than doing the entire walk, we walked a taster from Lossiemouth to Findhorn. I don't know if this is the best bit of the trail, but it was certainly eye-openingly beautiful, a blazingly sunny day helping the seaside mood.

Covesea Light:

Directly on leaving Lossie, a broad, pure beach leads to the Covesea lighthouse, perched on a low cliff-punctured crag above sand-dunes and links, hosting the ubiquitous golf course.

Moray Coastal Trail:

We stopped for a sunbathe and bite to eat, a big yellow helicopter buzzing about just offshore. I waved at the pilot - wonder if they waved back?

Above Sculptor's Cave:

After Covesea light, the path climbs up onto cliffs as far as Hopeman, tumbling masses of gorse falling over the crumbling edges, gulls on sea-stacks, with cliff-riddled headlands and rocky foreshores constrasting with gorgeous, inacessible beaches.

Brilliant display of forget-me-not and gorse:

Green seas:

Don't you just want to find a way down to this beach and share its limpid waters with the gulls?

Inacessible beach:

Gulls on the beach:

On such a warm day it was a relief to reach Hopeman and have an ice-cream and top up our water supplies. But there was a fair way to go yet. Burghead was next - but on the way to Burghead, the highlight of our entire holiday occured.

Beach at Hopeman quarry:

The way to Burghead is less spectacular than the previous stretch, mainly walking along the bottom of an old railway cutting. But occasionally it opens out to the sea - and what was that out there? A pod of feeding dolphins, surrounded by gulls! If only I had a long lens to show you! There must have been over twenty dolphins, and my heart skipped a beat as one of them, then two simultaneously, leap entirely clear of the water in a display of joyous athleticism. We had paid for a boat trip a couple of days before to go out to see dolphins from Cromarty, but hadn't seen anything like this!

Beach huts, Hopeman:

Burghead is a pretty wee town, with fascinating Pictish remains: and we finished the day, sun and weather-beaten, in Findhorn, where we were staying the night. I haven't had as much fun on a day's walk for a very long time.

Findhorn evening:


Alex. said...

It`s been a long time since I was in that area.Beautiful part of the country,isn`t it ?
Seems to catch the good weather too.!

Robert Craig said...

Yes it's very nice, was very sunny when we were there - though a stiff wind blew all week!

Chris Souter said...

Pity you didn't find your way down to that "inaccessible" beach, it's lovely down there on the sands - I was there today. It is possible to clamber down the grass banks there (just), but I opted to hop my way along the rocks from the Covesea village area.

Robert Craig said...

Where there's a will there's a way! Hope you had as good weather as we had.