Sandend Harbour Cottage
The conservation village of Sandend, between Buckie (12m) and Banff (8m) on the coast of the Moray, is a real delight. At the end of the wee road to the sea, its huddle of cottages, separated by a maze of little lanes, cluster between the sandy bay of the same name and the small fishing harbour, one of the oldest harbours in Scotland. The word 'picturesque' might have been coined just for this delightful seaside retreat.
There are no street names here - possibly because there are no streets! The old fishermen's cottages are just numbered '5 Village, 6 Village' and so on, and one of the most attractive of all is Sandend Harbour Cottage, 300 years old yet fresh, neat, comfortable and beautifully and newly refurbished for holiday letting, with the sea just yards away at the end of the lane.
Inside, there is a well equipped galley kitchen jauntily decorated in blue and white, with folding doors to a large dining room with Scandinavian stove. There is a further stove in the cosy sitting room, and upstairs, via narrow and quite steep cottage stairs are two bedrooms with coombed ceilings. The blue seaside theme is continued in the bedrooms and shower room. It's all very jolly and calculated to put you in exactly the right mood for a relaxing holiday.
Relaxation and chilling out are the order of the day here. There is marine and birdlife aplenty to be enjoyed, the beach itself for lazy days in the sun (for this is reputedly the sunniest part of Scotland) fishing off the rocks or pier, walking or cycling along the coastal paths or cycleways, both of which are easily accessed direct from the cottage, surfing or canoeing. Lovers of Scotland's national drink may be interested to know that a distillery and Visitor Centre have now opened within walking distance of the cottage (so you can sample to your heart's content with a clear conscience!)
The coast here is studded with attractions - excellent golf courses, cruises from Banff or Macduff to spot the abundant marine life closer to hand, the Moray Firth Wildlife centre at Spey Bay, Duff House at Banff, an outpost of the National Gallery for Scotland, and all the other quaint little villages along the coast, Portsoy, Cullen, Gardenstown, Crovie and Pennan to name but a few. Portsoy, 2.5 miles away, is famous for its boat festival at the beginning of July.
Inland, you can explore the delights of the Whisky Trail, or, for more serious walking, the Speyside Way. There are also numerous stately homes, castles and standing stones to be explored by those with an interest in history. Further afield, you can visit the historic battlefield of Culloden, and neighbouring Fort George, where you can also see the dolphins come through the narrows between it and Chanonry Point and continue on to Inverness, if a day in the city appeals. It will certainly make a change from the tranquillity and peace of Sandend!
Banff and Buckie have all facilities, while neighbouring Macduff has a marine aquarium.
Bed linen and towels are included but guests should bring their own beach towels. Heating is by electrical storage heaters and multi-fuel stoves. The first £20 of electricity is included (all included in summer). One dog is welcome by arrangement, but sorry no cats of budgies. Smoking is not permitted in the cottage.
Accommodation (sleeps 4):
- Kitchen with electric cooker, fridge-freezer, microwave, dishwasher etc
- Utility room with washer-drier
- Sitting room with multi-fuel stove, TV/DVD, iPod dock and CD player
- Dining room with multi-fuel stove
- Shower room with shower, WC and wash basin
- Double bedroom
- Twin bedroom