Things to Do in Cullen and Portnockie

Things to Do in Cullen and Portnockie – This circular walk takes in the highlights of this seaside town, and occupied our kids for 2 hours, plus a host of other things to do in the area!                        *Contains affiliate links. 

Eat Cullen Skink / Cross the Viaduct / Castle Hill / Local Ice Cream / Cullen Harbour / Beach / Findlater Castle / Portnockie & Bow Fiddle Rock

For things to do with family in and around Fochabers visit here.

For family adventures in Morayshire click here.

For a history, ruins and heritage in Morayshire have a quick read here.

Things to Do in Cullen and Portnockie

Cullen, courtesy of VisitScotland/Damian Shields

Eat a Bowl of Cullen Skink – Things to Do in Cullen and Portnockie

We stayed at the Cullen Bay Hotel, which is a great place to dine as the owner/chef Ian Watson has won the annual Cullen Skink Awards in 2015 and 2017, plus lifted the trophy for ‘Cullen Skink with a Twist’ in 2014 and 2018. The sea views are excellent and the food here generally is exceptionally good – the seafood platter is absolutely epic (see pic at the bottom of the post!). Find a recipe for Cullen Skink here.

Cullen Bay Hotel is also a great starting point for all the activities outline below – guests and diners can park up in their car park and get walking.

Cross the Viaduct – Things to Do in Cullen and Portnockie

Leave the hotel and follow the path down to the iconic viaduct. Cullen’s viaduct is almost as famous as its soup, and you can walk right across the top of it. A strangely exhilarating experience.

Castle Hill – Things to Do in Cullen and Portnockie

Things to Do in Cullen and Portnockie

Castle Hill, Cullen, courtesy of VisitScotland/Damian Shields

Follow the path and on your right you’ll see Castle Hill for your family’s King of the Castle moment. A wee hill fort reward youngsters with great views over the town and photo opportunities.

Enter the Town gates and Visit the Main Square

From Castle Hill walk down a smart tree lined avenue into town, and through some very official looking town gates. In the main square visitors discover a host of independent curious shops, from galleries to antique/bric a brac shops, plus Rockpool Café, which is a friendly pitstop for lunch or a snack. Another potential stop is Cullen Ice Cream parlour – a sweet treat for little ones.

Cullen Harbour

From the main square head downhill under the town’s beautiful archways to the small harbour. Here, indulge in simple pleasures – my kids spent a good thirty minutes jumping over the waves. Plus I actually saw a ship called Dignity, as per the song.

Booking.com

Beachfront

Family Walk and Things to Do in Cullen and Portnockie Moray

Family Walk and Things to Do in Cullen and Portnockie Moray

From the harbour the scenery opens up to a sweeping stretch of golden sand. My kids can spend an inordinate amount of time on the beach, whatever the weather. The rock formations here also add a bit of drama, climbing and rockpooling opportunities.

Find the Cullen Gorilla & perhaps play Golf

From the beach, cut along the back of the golf course heading to the original starting point of Cullen Bay Hotel. For golfers, Cullen offers a beach side location for a birdie. And look out for the bizarre Gorilla head, a strange creation by Mother Nature that my eldest son spotted and was obsessed with.

Nearby – Hike to Findlater Castle

Findlater Castle – Courtesy of VisitScotland/NorthEast250/Damian Shields.

I haven’t undertaken this walk, fantastic as it sounds, because sources I read, and my pals who’ve tried it, describe the clifftop and castle ruins as relatively dangerous, and therefore no place for children. The ruins do look stunning so I’m highlighting this destination (or a 6 mile/3.5 hours hike from Cullen) for adults or those with sensible teenagers perhaps. Follow the route here.

Nearby – Drive to Portknockie

Family Walk and Things to Do in Cullen and Portnockie Moray

Bow Fiddle Rock

Head to nearby Portknockie to take in the sublime Bow Fiddle Rock. Relatively safe, but with some sheer drops it’s key to keep an eye on little ones.

Where to Stay

We stayed at the Cullen Bay Hotel. Rooms were simple and comfortable, but this hotel boasts excellent sea views and the food is wonderful. Home cooked favourites from slow cooked blade of beef, Balmoral chicken and epic seafood platters.

We also stayed at Cullen Harbour Hostel several years ago, so read an archive review here.

For things to do with family in Fochabers visit here.

For family adventures in Morayshire click here.

For a history, ruins and heritage in Morayshire have a quick read here.

If you enjoyed ‘Things to Do in Cullen and Portnockie’ we’d love you to subscribe here. Join the conversation on Facebook, or check out the bonny photos on Instagram. For any queries or opportunities please email scots2travel@hotmail.com. Featured image courtesy of VisitScotland/Damian Shields.

 

February 25, 2021

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