The Aberdeenshire coast is a truly magical place full of life, history and many hidden gems to explore and discover. You will never be short of new discoveries here, no matter what your outdoor or photography interests happen to be and this week, I'm going to show you exactly why you should visit and photograph this stunning coastline.
To coincide with this blog post, I have also made a video (with the same title) over on my Youtube channel and I'm even giving you all the chance to get your hands on my FREE e-book entitled 'A Photographer's Guide to the Aberdeenshire Coast'. This guide outlines all the best places to photograph landscapes and wildlife in the region, and gives you a concise description of what you can expect from each location.
Scotland is a country full of never ending discoveries but I believe that often those areas less traveled, can spark more unique and fun experiences for those who choose to venture to them. That is why I've decided to publicise this part of Scotland more widely, as I'd like to open up it's beauty and natural wonders to the world.
Lets begin with this top 5 countdown to wet your appetite for an Aberdeenshire coastal adventure!
At Number 5...
We have the stunning Dunnottar Castle beside Stonehaven. This location is on so many people's photography bucket lists and it is not hard to see why!
Situated on a 440 million year old rocky outcrop, this castle creates an incredibly unique and interesting backdrop for your photography adventure. This location really allows you to step back in time and into a world only seen and portrayed in fantasy films (only it's real!). The castle itself has changed many hands over the years and plays host to several stories well worth listening to.
As for photography, well the landscape speaks for itself doesn't it? There's a never ending list of possible photographic opportunities here. The great thing about Dunnottar is that there is a coastal path running right past it, allowing accessibility to many different compositions. There is also several rocks below the clifftops to shoot and this location looks incredible at sunrise.
A must visit on your Scottish photography adventure!
At Number 4...
We have the famous seaside village of Pennan. This location featured in the film local hero and opens up many photographic opportunities.
Due to its feature in 'Local Hero', this small fishing village is home to one of the most famous red telephone boxes in the world! The steep, winding road down to the village certainly makes the journey here seem like an exciting adventure.
The great thing about Pennan is that it looks great no matter what the weather. Sunny, blue sky days open up idilic landscape images, showing off the quaint and postcard perfect village. However, come on a stormy day and your images can be transformed into something of great power and interest. This location allows so much diversity and you're never short of things to photograph - An old harbour with colourful boats, to characterful cottages, to a pebble beach and a hilltop walk.
Pennan is never a boring place to visit for those photography enthusiasts and explorers out there!
At Number 3...
Is Forvie Sands near the village of Collieston. This amazing nature reserve is home to the largest sand dunes in Britain and allows for a fantastic day of exploring, photography and wildlife watching!
You could be forgiven for thinking that you're no longer in Scotland when visiting this location. This is a true gem, home to miles of sand dunes, heathland and a secluded bay. You'll never be short of things to see and photograph at this stunning national nature reserve. It is even home to a village hidden by the constantly moving sand - a great touch of history adding more wonder to this unique place.
The constantly moving sands formed by the wind that blows in from the North Sea, creates many leading lines and artistic patterns all along the beach. This is a great place to get creative and challenge your photographic mind. Don't forget your binoculars while you're shooting here - there's plenty of wildlife to see and discover too.
At Number 2...
We have Slains Castle, famous for its part in inspiring the Dracula novel. This cliff top castle is a place full of discovery and looks great no matter what time of day you visit.
Now a ruin, this location leaves much to the imagination, meaning it's a great place to get creative with your images. Narrow corridors, wide open windows, stairs that lead to nowhere and a phenomenal cliff top back drop - this location really is a place of dreams and fantasy!
Just like Dunnottar Castle, this location is home to a coastal path, allowing many different vantage points for photography opportunities. At sunrise this place looks stunning - towering over the cliff tops and creating a really powerful scene. At twilight, it appears spooky and full of character. You'll never bore of the oppertunities that present themselves here!
At Number 1 (Drum Roll Please)...
We have the truly unique Rattray Head beach and lighthouse! Built in 1895, this lighthouse is positioned on a rocky outcrop (only accessible at very low tide) and is surrounded by stunning sand dunes and plentiful wildlife.
The reason this has made it to the number one spot is because it is forever changing and opening up new photographic opportunities. You can also almost guarantee a great image here in all weather conditions. Come here at sunrise and you may be treated to a colourful scene that will take your breath away! Come here during a storm to see the sand whirl around you and the waves crash violently to shore. Come here on a moody grey day and you'll be treated with dark foreboding skies and much atmosphere. Or come here on a sunny day and you'll feel like your in paradise!
See what I mean - I never ending photographers paradise!
So...we reach the end of our journey around the best places to photograph along the Aberdeenshire coast. I hope that this blog will encourage you to get out and explore them for yourself in the near future. If you'd like to see more of these places, please check out my Youtube video which goes along with this blog:
Furthermore, if you'd like to learn about the other places to photograph on the Aberdeenshire coast, subscribe to my website now for your free e-book entitled 'A Photographer's Guide to the Aberdeenshire Coast'.
I also hold workshops in many of the places listed in the e-book, if you'd like to come along and learn more about them in person:
Thank you for reading and I hope you'll make it to the Aberdeenshire Coast to create your own photographic memories soon.
Best of luck!