Cullen Bay opens out before you as you drive in from the West. There is a relaxing holiday atmosphere and it is very popular with locals and tourists alike. Ideal for taking it easy, Cullen offers lots of coastal walks with great views and points of interest. There are plenty of places to eat and an interesting range of small shops specialising in angling, antiques, gifts and collectibles. Population 1327.
Cullen Square is a busy place in summer with people coming to enjoy the atmosphere and the ice cream. The Old Market Cross sits on one side of the square, with the war memorial and small millennium gardens to the other side. The old town hall with its rounded corner hosts the tourist information centre and the occasional art exhibition.
The old railway viaduct that cuts through Cullen is an amazing feat of engineering. Now the trains are gone but you can walk or cycle along Cullen Viaduct and take advantage of the magnificent views across the bay and towards the cliffs. Follow the cliff top path to discover Bow Fiddle Rock to the West.
The harbour lies at the bottom of the steep hill. Now just a small marina, it was originally designed by Thomas Telford. To the East of the harbour there is a walk taking in the Giant’s Steps, Sunnyside Beach and Findlater Castle. Note the Pet Cemetery, a rare sight in Scotland.
Seatown sits on the front shore of Cullen Bay and is a mass of differently coloured fishing cottages: greys, pastels, blues, and pinks make it a photogenic place to wander. Many of the houses are built side onto the sea to protect the occupants from the elements. Small side paths hide forgotten courtyards.
Cullen Kirk lies on the outskirts of Cullen and makes a good walk from the Square with views of the imposing Bin Hill on the way. The ancient Kirk has a collection of centuries old tabletop graves with skull and crossbone symbols. One stone set into the wall commemorates the life of a sailor who was shipwrecked off the coast -
Perched on a cliff to the East of Cullen lies Findlater Castle. Built in 1455, it occupies a dramatic position and would have been difficult for enemies to attack. There is a coastal walk from Cullen, which takes in the Giant’s steps and Sunnyside Beach. Alternatively, if you are travelling by car, take the A98 towards Portsoy and follow the signs 2 miles on your left. At the car park follow the track and you will come to a viewing area. The castle itself is very unsafe so don’t attempt to reach it.