Bullers of Buchan

For millions of years, Mother Nature has shaped the dramatic coastline of Aberdeenshire, creating spectacular sights such as the Bullers of Buchan, a collapsed sea cave north of Cruden Bay. The origin of the name of this 30-metre deep, circular chasm – known as ‘the pot’ – is unclear: a derivative from the French bouillir, meaning ‘to boil’, a reference to the tumultuous waters in the pot during stormy weather; or from Old Scottish for ‘rushing water’, an allusion to the unmistakeable sound of the waves as they roll powerfully into the chasm through an impressive natural archway.

Once a fishing village, the tiny hamlet nearby shares the name, but it is the drama of the coastline that seizes the imagination. Rarely is a place as breath-taking in the height of summer as in the bleakness of winter; but whether you visit when the clifftop is beautifully scattered with wildflowers – heather, campion, and orchids – or on untamed days when fierce waves send the pot into a seething, swirling oblivion, the Bullers of Bucan simply cannot fail to impress.

GETTING THERE AND OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Arriving by car

The Bullers of Buchan is situated off the A975, 2 miles north of Cruden Bay. From Aberdeen, travel time by road is approximately half an hour via the A90.

Car parking is available but note that there are no visitor facilities. 

Arriving by bus

Take Stagecoach Bluebird service X63 from Aberdeen to Peterhead, with a journey time of approximately 1 hour. Alight at Longhaven for the Bullers of Buchan.

Arriving on foot

The Bullers of Buchan lies on the highly popular Buchan coastal footpath, affording fantastic coastal views. From the Bullers of Buchan, the path heads to Slains Castle and Cruden Bay to the south, and the Longhaven Wildlife Reserve to the north.

Many of the footpaths in the area are uneven, near the cliff edge, with no fencing. Extreme caution, therefore, must be exercised, particularly if walking with children or dogs.

THINGS TO SEE AND DO NEARBY

  • Explore the imposing ruins of Slains Castle, reputedly the inspiration for the Transylvanian castle in the horror novel Dracula, the writing of which began in nearby Cruden Bay. Perched on the cliff overlooking the North Sea, Slains Castle is, despite its ruined status, impressively large, with a 16th century tower house at its core.
  • The Bullers of Buchan is an important nesting site for colonies of seabirds, including guillemots, razorbills, puffins, fulmars, and kittiwakes. Other marine wildlife, including grey seals and dolphins, may also be observed in the bay or offshore.
  • Longhaven Widlife Reserve is also a fantastic viewing point for a host of wildlife, including seabird colonies and marine animals. It’s also one of the best places to see natural rock formations, including stacks, caves, and arches.

PLACES TO EAT AND DRINK

With no facilities in the Bullers of Buchan itself, head to Cruden Bay or Peterhead for a fine choice of eateries.

The Kilmarnock Arms Hotel in Cruden Bay offers traditional Scottish and English dishes, sourced from local produce, as well as a comprehensive range of vegetarian and gluten-free options, and prides itself for its warm welcome.

For light bites at lunch, visit the Buchan Braes Hotel in Peterhead, where sandwiches, home bakes, and hot dishes are served in the relaxed atmosphere of The Lounge.

For speciality coffees and a light bite – sandwiches, salads, wraps, and bagels – Symposium Coffee House in Peterhead or Ellon is well-worth a visit.

DID YOU KNOW…?

In 1900, the Great North of Scotland Railway opened a halt at Bullers O’Buchan for visitor access to the site. The station was closed in 1932.

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