The River Deveron spews into the Moray Firth at Banff Bay, where Macduff on the east side of the bay and Banff on the west side stare across at each other. The little fishing town of Macduff started off as the hamlet of Doune, although there are signs of an earlier Neolithic Celtic settlement in the area. It was James Duff, son of William, who had bought the land in 1733, who came up with the name Macduff. The hamlet grew into a town with a fishing fleet largely going after herring, although the decline of the herring stocks required a diversification into other species. Another mainstay of the economy was shipbuilding.
Marine life in modern-day Macduff is a tourist attraction as well as a source of food. The town's aquarium is a showcase for the rich and varied wildlife of the Moray Firth, while the Puffin Cruises boat trips offer tourists a chance to see Moray creatures such as gannets, whales and dolphins, running 3-hour trips to the RSPB site at Troup Head, which houses the only gannet colony in mainland Scotland. Meanwhile, for walkers, the Speyside Way long distance trail passes through Macduff. Macduff and Banff jointly hold the COAST Festival, which takes place over the late May bank holiday weekend each year.
Map of the area.