Rewalked by Richard Hallewell
This is a beautiful area, starting in the moorland hills to the north of the Cairngorms, passing northwards through the hilly, wooded farmland of Strathdon, and ending at the string of towns and villages – Portsoy, Banff, Pennan – on the rocky coast of the Moray Firth. In the north-east corner are the flat lands of Buchan, and the great fishing ports of Peterhead and Fraserburgh. The walking is terrific and varied, though it tends to be overshadowed by the higher hills to the south and west. Personal highlights include the coast walks passing the fishing villages of Crovie (see left) and Pennan, the dunes south of St Combs, the wooded circuit around the splendid Duff House, and the low ridge walk beside Glen Buchat. In addition, there are a number of short walks laid out through the grounds of the fine castles and houses in the area which are ideal for families.
It is a while since we looked at this book, so small changes have needed to be made to most of the routes. In addition, some of the older waymarked routes around Huntly and Strathdon have been removed (as they can no longer be followed on the ground) and replaced by three more recently waymarked routes from Strathdon. That aside, the major problem at the moment is with the classic coast walk between Portsoy and Cullen, where the section between the village of Sandend and Findlater Castle is currently closed due to erosion and there is some further erosion on the path down to Sunnyside Beach. There is a diversion in place for the path to the castle; beyond that, please take note of any new signs on the ground. The route has been left in the book because it is a classic, and it is assumed that it will be re-opened in due course.
In general, if you have an old edition of this title it would be a good idea to get a replacement. If you have yet to visit the area, I can highly recommend it.