NEW : See my campaign to establish a National Coastal Path here
DIRECTIONS:From Pennan the route takes you along the B9031 to Middleton and then cuts down towards Crovie and Gardenstown via Stonewells farm. Follow the headland round from Crovie to Gardenstown and then climb back up the hill to reach the 9031 again. Follow the B9031 all the way to MacDuff and then follow the main road past the harbour and over the bridge at the river Deveron into Banff. Follow the cycle route to Byndie Bay and then enter Whitehills. Go around the headland and then follow the minor road up to meet the B9139 which should be followed all the way, passed Scotsmill and into Portsoy.
I woke up early in my spot just above Pennan village and set off early about 7.30am. The next three days were in glorious sunshine and it felt that spring had arrived in earnest. As I walked from Pennan over the hills to Gardenstown and Crovie, the heavy scent of the gorse bushes which were in full bloom filld the air. The gorse or whin bushes as they are known in Scotland have yellow flowers and the scent they exude on a warm spring day smells like coconut oil. It is such a strong aroma that it has always reminded me of spring and the coming summer. I passed through Gardenstown and headed back up the hill for a fairly long stretch along the minor road that would take me into MacDuff. The car drivers were very considerate and gave me plenty of room as they passed me. I decided out of curiousity to wave to all the car drivers that pulled over to the side of the road as they approached. I expected about half of them to wave back, but my surprise every single driver gave me an acknowledging wave. After about 3 miles I gave up as I was feeling like the Queen at the horse guard’s parade. MacDuff and Banff lay on either side of the river Deveron and there is a lovely old bridge that connects the two towns. The impressive looking Duff House stood back next to a golf course. By the time I had reached Macduff I had done about 12 miles but it was only midday so I decided to press on. However I was starting to develop blisters even although I was wearing supposeldly blister free socks. I had arranged to meet Audrey who was driving up later at Portsoy which was another 10 miles away. I plodded on across Boyndie Bay through Whitehills and headed for the B9139 which would take me on to Portsoy. I passed on the hill what I’m sure would be the first of many wind farm sites. I hadn’t realiswd how massive these wind structures were and the noise as the huge blades turned around sounded like the wind filling sails on a yacht. About 5 miles to go I was really struggling with blisters. I had blisters on both heels, on both of my small toes and even on the sole of my left foot. I was hobbling along by the time I got to Portsoy and unfortunately the state of my feet made the next three days difficult but the weather was perfect and made up for it. I can only surmise that the problems I had this time was because I walked 22 miles on my first day and maybe because my feet were sweating a lot in the heat.