Monday, 2 January 2012

RATTRAY HEAD AND FRASERBURGH

I love stormy seas. People may think I'm mad, but one of my favourite times on the coast is when there is a storm brewing and waves are crashing wildly against the shore. So Rattray Head, with its reputation for impressive swells brought about by the nature of the its geographical position, is just my kind of place. Rattray Head is also a magnet for birdwatchers, with wading birds and Arctic skuas. There is a lighthouse here built on a tidal platform in 1895 by David Alan Stevenson. A ruined 13th century chapel, St Mary, is all that remains of Old Rattray.

Fraserburgh, or "The Broch" as it is known locally, is named after its 16th century founder, Sir Alexander Fraser, 8th Laird of Philorth. Fraser was also responsible for the building of the castle to the north of Fraserburgh, which he built as a Town House complete with a long room with a minstrel gallery, and which incorporates the Kinnaird head Lighthouse built in 1787 by Thomas Smith, which has been turned into the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses, with a Heritage Centre next door. The oldest building in Fraserburgh is the intriguingly named Wine Tower which contains an impressive collection of large pendants, and which features chambers with vaulted roofs. Fraserburgh is one of the biggest fishing ports on the east coast of Scotland, and is actually situated at the mouth of the Moray Firth. In the late 1900s there were over 800 fishing boats based here, though that number has since diminished. The Seashore Centre has a live webcam for armchair coast viewers.

For a list of events in Fraserburgh, see here.

Map of the area.

'Fraserburgh Harbour' photo (c) 2011, Bernt Rostad - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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