Walk: Drowned by dunes at Forvie NNR

Aberdeenshire | Collieston | Half day walk | ★★★

[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 15th 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. Tern nesting areas are closed to visitors between April and August, though this shouldn't affect the route above.

[Hackley Bay (15/1/12)]

📌 Walk: Drowned by dunes at Forvie NNR ★★★
Start / finish at car park at Forvie Sands visitor centre, off B9003 just west of Collieston, G.R.: NK 034290 ///dolphins.tributes.lazy

▶ 13 km / 8 mi | ▲ 110 m | ⌚ Half a day | Easy
Features: Forvie NNR & visitor centre; Sand Loch; Hackley Bay; Forvie Church; Ythan Estuary
Terrain: Paths, tracks and beaches, unsurprisingly mostly sandy underfoot!

Route & map

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

Route credit: Scotland Off the Beaten Track
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On our visit

Wildlife: A few seabirds, but this wasn't the best day for spotting wildlife.
Weather: Cool and mostly cloudy, but dry.

[Dunes at Forvie NNR (15/1/12)]


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