Balmedie is part of the Country Park and is a flat, sandy beach with sand dunes to the rear of the beach. One can walk either North or South for several miles. There is ample car parking, toilets and a volunteer run beach wheelchair service. Access is via the car park along board walks, through the dunes to the beach. There is also access for horses and parking for horse boxes.
Balmedie is a small growing village, not far north from Aberdeen. It is well known for its stunning, long beach with an impressive, natural sand dune system that stretches 14miles (23km) to Ythan Estuary. The sand dune system is the fifth largest in the UK and is constantly shifting and expanding. During the 15th century the dunes engulf a church and part of a village, which can still be partially seen amongst the sand.
The beach is an exciting place for WWII enthusiasts. It was used as a bomb cemetery; unexploded bombs would be cleaned and detonated in the foreshore. There are also still remnants of the defences of the war at the beach, including pillboxes, anti-tanks blocks and barbed wire.
Nearby, there is a 14th century listed country estate known as the Menie Estate. During WWII a minefield was laid from the estate to the shore as defence of invasion. Fragments of land mine were still found during the construction of the Golf Course.
Balmedie beach is a family friendly sandy beach with well-developed dunes. The dunes support a wide range of wildlife amongst the heavy marram grass, including 225 species of birds. There are two streams that cut through the sand dune to enter the sea that creates a habitat for wetland wildlife.
The beach is in Forvie Sands, which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), due to its interesting natural geography and wildlife. Further north along the beach there is Forvie Nature Reserve where the wildlife is active and plentiful including diving terns and oystercatchers. The UK’s largest colony of eiders breed here in the summer, pairs can reach 1,500.
Balmedie beach is found using the main road (A90) north of Aberdeen, it is only 8 miles (13km) from Aberdeen City centre which is easy to access via car and walkways. To the North of Balmedie is Newburgh which has the opening of the Ythan River and houses the Forvie Nature Reserve.
Balmedie Country Park offer amenities to beach and dune visitors year-round. Belhelvie Community Trust operate the Sand Bothy which occupies the old ranger service office and is open Saturdays and Sundays, April to October for refreshments. There are beach wheelchairs, operated by Balmedie Beach Wheelchairs as well as a Changing Places toilet and inclusive play equipment.
From Aberdeen, take the A90 north for approximately eight miles and turn right at the second turning for Balmedie. Take the second road on the left and follow this road for approximately one mile past the mushroom farm on the left. The car park for the beach is directly ahead. Stagecoach Bluebird bus service number 62 runs from Aberdeen to Balmedie. If you get off at Eigie Road Stop in Balmedie it is only a short walk to the country park from here. There is no national cycle route to Balmedie however there are many local cycle routes which are easily accessible online.
Water quality information
This beach is a designated bathing water site. Further information about water quality at this site can be found on the SEPA website. Please observe local signage and only swim where it is safe to do so.
Toilets are open daily from 7am to dusk.
Contact detailsAberdeenshire Council (Landscape Services)