This beautiful bay, overlooked by the haunting ruins of the 16th century Slains Castle, was frequented by the novelist and creator of Dracula Bram Stoker, in fact it is thought that Slains Castle was the inspiration for Dracula, which was written in 1895. Two years later, the railway reached this area, opening the area up to tourism. A magnificent hotel was built, and golf courses were laid out, bordering on the fabulous sandy beach. A 1931 report of a serious fire at the railway station described it as having "commodious refreshment rooms, booking office, entrance hall and waiting rooms". The railway and hotel have gone now, but other hotels have been built, and the Cruden Bay Golf Club remains, billing itself as "a unique and unforgettable experience". As for the castle, it was announced in 2007 that the castle was to be converted into apartments, but this project is currently in the balance. Anyone wanting to visit the castle is warned to take care because of the dangerous surroundings, in fact as if to reinforce the dangers, it was reported earlier this month that a pensioner had gone missing in the area of the path from Cruden Bay to Slains Castle.
In 1914 Cruden Bay was the starting point for the first ever flight across the North Sea, when the Norwegian pilot Tryggve Gran flew from here to Stavanger. There is a memorial to him in the main street. St James Church dates from the 18th century, but there is a font which probably came from an earlier church built by Malcolm II in 1012, after a battle between the Scots and the Danes.
Map of the area.