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Cruden Bay

Cruden Bay


The Bay of Cruden has a sweeping expanse of golden sands and dunes approximately 2.5km in length.  It is popular with day trippers, water sports enthusiasts and for sea fishing. The entire bay is a designated bathing water area with the sampling point towards the Northern end roughly half way between the two access points to the beach area. An electric sign displaying real-time bathing water quality predictions is available at this beach between June – September. 


Cruden Bay is thought to have been the site of a battle in 1012 where the Scots defeated the Danes. “Cruden Bay” is thought to menacingly come from the Gaelic “Croch Dain” (Slaughter of the Danes). The nearby Slains Castle, which was built in 1597, lies east of Cruden Bay and faces south on the cliffs. The original owners of the castle, the Earl of Errol, sold the castle in 1916 and since it has fallen into disrepair. The castle is rumoured to have given Bram Stoker the inspiration for Count Dracula’s castle, after he had a short stay in 1894. The Kirk in the village impressively dates back to 1012 AD, however there have been 3 different churches build on this site. The current church dates back to the 16th century around the time of the reformation.

Natural Space

Cruden Bay’s glorious beach is said to have a pink glow to the sand. It has a wide horizon and views that extend in all areas giving it a splendid panoramic feel. The beach is surrounded by cliffs and greenery.

The bay isn’t far south of the Longhaven Cliffs, which are known for their pink/red granite facing. Here, there are plenty of sea stacks and cliffs where seabirds nest.


Cruden Bay sits very close to the impressive ruins of Slains Castle and Cruden Bay Golf Course. The small village is set back from the beach, giving the beach a very rural atmosphere. Cruden Bay is 23 miles (37km) from Aberdeen en route to Peterhead.

Getting There

From Aberdeen, take the A90 to Peterhead for approximately 11 miles and then take the A957 – sign posted to Newburgh. Drive through Newburgh and follow the road for approx. 8 miles which will bring you into the village of Cruden Bay. At the village, the world famous Cruden Bay golf course is on the right hand side and at the bridge, directly opposite the Kilmarnock Arms, turn right towards the harbour. Approximately 200 yards on the right is the car park. From there, walk towards the harbour and the beach is sign posted on the right. Cross the burn by the  Ladiesbridge to access the bay.

Stagecoach Bluebird run Bus Service 63/60/61 from Aberdeen to Cruden Bay every day of the week.

Water Quality Information

This beach is a designated bathing water site. An electric sign displaying real-time bathing water quality predictions is available at this beach between 1 June - 15 September. You can also find out the daily prediction by visiting the SEPA website. Please observe local signage and only swim where it is safe to do so.


Toilet facilities are open Mon – Sat between 08.00 – 17.00 hrs and Sunday 10.00 – 17.00 hrs 

Contact Details

Aberdeenshire Council (Landscape Services)
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