Walk: Drowned by dunes at Forvie NNR
The barren sands between the coastal villages of Newburgh and Collieston have a starkly otherworldly feel. Colossal dunes dominate the landscape here, reducing you to an insignificant speck as you traverse the sands. Spare a thought for the fifteenth century inhabitants of the abandoned village of Forvie. The haunting, half-submerged shell of the Forvie Church is all that remains of the settlement, following a terrible storm in 1413 which drowned the houses in sand. The dunes are still moving, and this ever-changing environment is an important habitat for nesting terns. Exploring the length of the inland dunes along with the varied coastline helps you get a sense of the area's sheer scale.
|[Hackley Bay (January 2012)]|
Name: Walk: Drowned by dunes at Forvie NNR ★★★☆☆
Length: 13 km / 8 miles
Ascent: 110 metres
Points of interest: Forvie NNR & visitor centre; Sand Loch; Hackley Bay; Forvie Church; Ythan Estuary
Start / finish: Car park at Forvie Sands visitor centre, off B9003 just west of Collieston, G.R.: NK 034290 / dolphins tributes lazy
Route: Car park & visitor centre - Sand Loch - Hackley Bay via coastline - Forvie Church - Forvie beach to G.R.: NK 014254 - head west to River Ythan - north to track junction at G.R.: NK 004269 - Sand Loch via inland track - start
Terrain: Paths, tracks and beaches, unsurprisingly mostly sandy underfoot!
Wildlife today: A few seabirds, but this wasn't the best day for spotting wildlife.
Weather today: Cool and mostly cloudy, but dry.
Anything else? Tern nesting areas are closed to visitors between April and August, although probably shouldn't affect the route above.
|[Dunes at Forvie NNR (January 2012)]|
Route credit: Scotland off the beaten track