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Cruden Bay is a village on the east coast of Scotland. 

Here you will find many ways to spend your days. From sport to culture, from history to relaxation...

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On the coast of Cruden Bay lie the remains of New Slains Castle. The original castle has been reconstructed may times since its construction in 1597 by the Earl of Erroll. The ruin you see today is the inevitable result of the castle’s location and various misfortunes becoming the owners over time. The owners, the Earls of Errol, were an influential family in the Cruden Bay area for many years and prospered after William Hay (the 18th Earl of Errol) married the daughter of King William IV. Overtime the Hays fell upon hard times and in 1919 the castle and contents were sold to Sir John Ellerman. He gave up the castle in 1925 and the roof was removed to avoid paying taxes. The castle is famous for many reasons, partly because it was a place where celebrities were entertained on numerous occasions in the 19th Century. Most notable being, Bram Stoker and it is believed the castle is the inspiration for the setting of the tale in Count Dracula (1897). The Crown (2016 -) fans will also recognise Slains Castle. In Season 1 the castle stood in for Castle Mey when the Queen Mother goes to Scotland. Slains Castle (otherwise known as Old Slains Castle) is a ruined castle near Collieston in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It is not to be confused with New Slains Castle, a separate building located five miles to the north-east. Built in the13th century, it was partly destroyed in 1594.

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Golfers at Golf Course


In a remote and beautiful area of rolling and massive sand dunes, a few miles to the north-east of Aberdeen lies a brooding seaside links like no other. The Cruden Bay Golf Club is a part of the very fabric of the golfing folklore of Scotland and a club with a long history. It was founded in 1791 at Port Errol and remained on that site for more than a century until it moved to its present location among the dunes in 1899. Tom Morris laid out the original course in the days when the only way to move ground was with pick, shovel, toil and sweat. He fitted the holes in where he could and made an interesting and wonderful job of it. It has been said by one eminent chronicler that you may never publicly have more fun in broad daylight than at Cruden Bay. Only 2 hours drive from St Andrews. Rated 61st best course in the world by the US Publication, Links Magazine, rated No 2 in 2012 for Top Fun Courses in Great Britain & Ireland by Golf World Magazine. Awarded top course in Scotland at the 2012 Golf Tourism Scotland Awards.


This dramatic coastal walk passes the impressive ruins of Slains Castle, the inspiration for Dracula, and reaching the Bullers of Buchan, where there is a massive blow hole with several natural arches. A bus can be caught from the main road to return to Cruden Bay; alternatively those looking for a much longer walk could continue on the coast path to Boddam, or walk back the same way. Rough coast path, muddy in places with unprotected cliff edge.

Hiking in Sunset

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Kiting With Birds


The southern end of Cruden Bay hosts a fantastic sandbar break, frequented by kiters and diehard windsurfers who want clean waves and a deserted beach. A great playground for kiters in a SE breeze as it usually catches more wind and waves than anywhere else. The main drawback is a long walk in, but it's well worth the effort when it's working. Although the beach faces SE and should work well in SW winds, the bay itself is surrounded by high cliffs, but launching at Whinnyfold in the S can overcome this. Make sure you can get back to the beach, as there are few emergency landing sites around here.


Cruden Bay Hatton Circular Ride 30km This is a pleasant, short, circular road bike route with breathtaking views over the North Sea and a short hop from Dracula’s Castle. More properly known as Slains Castle, the building provided inspiration for Bram Stoker’s most famous novel after the author stayed in the nearby hotel, The Kilmarnock Arms. Early drafts had Dracula coming ashore at Cruden Bay after his sea voyage from Transylvania. Cruden Bay itself is an attractive village and the beautiful beach, accessed via the white Cruden Bay timber footbridge, is definitely worth visiting.

Mountain Biking
Motorcycle touring in Vietnam


Close your eyes and throw a dart at a map of Scotland, and chances are you’ll hit a great road – either wriggling, vice-like tarmac, scenery from God’s own gallery or, most likely, a combination of both. Everyone has their own definitions of a great road – for some it’s a wide open, fast and flowing A-road; some prefer tighter corners and more gradient, and some riders like the really squirrelly single-track stuff with humps, bumps, yumps and blind bends. Some like riding at a decent lick picking the right line and some prefer a more leisurely pace, admiring the scenery. And some are two-up on mega-tourers, some solo on sportsbikes. Scotland’s roads cater for it all.


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