If I Were to Visit Aberdeen, part 3 – Bullers of Buchan

Exploring the best places in nature around the world.

The name “Bullers of Buchan” refers both to a collapsed sea cave and to the adjacent village. Located twenty-five miles (40 kilometers) north of Aberdeen, Scotland, in the Cruden Bay along the North Sea, this collapsed sea cave forms an almost circular chasm — also known as “the pot” — some 98 feet (30 meters) deep, where the sea rushes in through a natural archway.

Bullers of Buchan. If I Were to Visit Aberdeen, part 3.

This is such a geological beauty!

The name “Bullers” has been thought to be derived from the French “bouillir,” meaning “to boil,” as the water in the pot appears to boil during stormy weather, but another explanation says that the word is a Scots word for “rushing water,” relating to the sound made by the waves crashing in through the archway opening into the pot.

It’s not just amazing geology you’ll find here. At any given time, flocks and flocks of birds are known to inhabit the area. The cliffs at the Bullers of Buchan provide a nesting site in spring for colonies of seabirds, including…

kittiwakes and puffins,

Kittiwakes at Bullers of Buchan. If I Were to Visit Aberdeen, part 3

Puffins at Bullers of Buchan. If I Were to Visit Aberdeen, part 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

fulmars and shags,

Fulmars at Bullers of Buchan. If I Were to Visit Aberdeen, part 3Shags at Bullers of Buchan. If I Were to Visit Aberdeen, part 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

razorbills and guillemots,

Razorbills at Bullers of Buchan. If I Were to Visit Aberdeen, part 3

Guillemots on Bullers of Buchan. If I Were to Visit Aberdeen, part 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

…along with herring gulls and great black-backed gulls.

Herring gulls at Bullers of Buchan. If I Were to Visit Aberdeen, part 3.

Black-backed gulls at Bullers of Buchan. If I Were to Visit Aberdeen, part 3.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eider ducks may also be seen there as well as gannets, which are frequently seen passing en route to their colonies north and south of the Bullers.

Eider ducks at Bullers of Buchan. If I Were to Visit Aberdeen, part 3.

Gannets at Bullers of Buchan. If I Were to Visit Aberdeen, part 3.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grey seals may be seen in the bay or on the rocks at the shore, and dolphins are often seen passing by in the distance.

Grey seal at Bullers of Buchan. If I Were to Visit Aberdeen, part 3.

Dolphins near Bullers of Buchan. If I Were to Visit Aberdeen, part 3.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Though the trail leading to the Bullers, and areas around Cruden Bay, is considered an easy hike (even for Grandma), it’s not safe for small children. The cliffs are dangerous. It’s very windy there, and sometimes you are only about a foot or so from a cliff edge. Also, don’t walk too close to the edge to look over or take pictures — even if it looks solid. The grass is slippery, and the edges can give way due to erosion.

The coastal footpath along Cruden Bay, leading past the Bullers of Buchan to the nearby village of Boddam, has a warning sign.

Coastal Footpath to Boddam. If I Were to Visit Aberdeen, part 3 (Bullers of Buchan)

It says: “Coastal Footpath To Boddam. These Cliffs Are Dangerous. Please Keep To The Footpath. Keep Dogs Under Proper Control.”

For you thrill seekers out there, however, the steep rocky cliffs in the area is popular among rock climbers. It’s definitely for the advanced/experienced. So, don’t try to make this your first climb as it’s not a very soft landing if you fall.

Rock climber near Bullers of Buchan. If I Were to Visit Aberdeen, part 3.

The area is also a popular sightseeing spot. The Bullers of Buchan lie on a coastal footpath which leads north to Longhaven Wildlife Reserve (part of the Scottish Wildlife Trust) and south to Slains Castle.

Slains Castle from a distance. If I Were to Visit Aberdeen, part 3 (Bullers of Buchan)

Slains Castle is supposedly the inspiration behind Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Apparently Bram Stoker stayed at a hotel in the Cruden Bay area while writing and was pretty obsessed with the castle. He called it “the castle of the dead.” Those that have been there admit it’s really creepy — and also pretty cool!

Slains Castle. If I Were to Visit Aberdeen, part 3 (Bullers of Buchan)

It’s sometimes referred to as New Slains Castle, and Lord only knows why. It was constructed in the 16th Century and is currently a roofless ruin. There are stairs up to nowhere and super creepy stairs down to dark, dark, cellars and perhaps tunnels, even. So far no one I’ve met who’s been there can confirm the actual presence of said tunnels. It’s just here-say so far. Each person has admitted to making it only to the bottom of the steps (if that far) before they turn around and high-tail it back up into the daylight! It’s apparently too creepy for detailed exploration.

It’s just as well. I doubt it’s safe to go down too far anyway based on what the rest of the castle looks like.

Inside Slains Castle. If I Were to Visit Aberdeen, part 3 (Bullers of Buchan)

I wouldn’t want to be here after dark, either.

As mentioned earlier, the small hamlet of cottages here is also know as Bullers of Buchan, and was historically a fishing village launching small boats from the bay below (the slipway may be seen at low tide). Most people visiting the geological Bullers aren’t even aware of the cottages until they stumble upon them.

Bullers of Buchan village. If I Were to Visit Aberdeen, part 3.

I’m sure a village this size would be hard to notice. There’s only eight houses from the looks of it!

I found a video of a cute, funny, and quick little historical tour of both the village and the Bullers by a guy whose parents actually lived there over 50 years ago! It’s a pleasant watch, and he records it in a way that makes you feel like you’re the one on the tour.

I would definitely visit Bullers of Buchan if I were to travel to Aberdeen, Scotland.

See also:
If I Were to Visit Aberdeen, Part 1 (Balmedie Beach)
If I Were to Visit Aberdeen, Part 2 (Linn o’ Dee)
Spectacular Scotland
Scotland!

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