Exploring Scotland – Forvie National Nature Reserve

Honestly guys, the best gift I’ve ever been given was my walking boots. My boyfriend got me a pair for Christmas and I honestly don’t know how I survived being a Biology student for so long without them. They’re so comfy and perfect for trudging through the mud. We love a good hike, and my boots make it that bit more enjoyable!

Hiking boots/walking boots, waves, sea, water, splash

Did I mention that they’re waterproof too?

Honestly, this isn’t a post praising walking boots (but you should get some), I swear. If you haven’t read the last post (here) you wouldn’t know that I got a pretty awesome camera for my birthday but since a 15 minute trip to the beach I haven’t really been able to use it. Today I drove out to the Forvie National Nature Reserve in the beautiful village of Newburgh, Aberdeenshire, to go on a little hike and hopefully get a few good shots! Despite me and my zoom lens having a fair few disagreements (it really doesn’t like to be manually focused) I think I captured the essence of this really stunning national park!

This was probably the most basic route you could walk on, taking you through some farmer’s fields and then through some nice wild areas, before bringing you out on a little beach. At this time of year there are so many colourful wildflowers, it’s an amateur photographer’s dream! (even if I put my knee in a puddle trying to get a picture of a thistle…)

Forvie Nature Reserve is pretty big, but it’s main feature is it’s sand dunes which shift over time, meaning the landscape is constantly changing, even if you can’t tell. It lies on the estuary of the River Ythan, which is one of the most productive estuaries in the world (and I’ve been here for more field trips than I can count). The main wildlife you can count on are Eider Ducks, four species of Tern (Common, Arctic, Sandwich and Little, although some of these are seasonal), and many terrestrial bird species. It’s also a great place to watch seals. Head to the mouth of the estuary and you’ll spot plenty of grey and common seals basking in the sun and swimming in the water.

In amongst the grasslands and wildflowers are lots of scenic beaches, plenty of clifftops and even the remains of Forvie Village, which was abandoned in medieval times due to the shifting sands (but you can still spot the remains of the church, which was tactically built on the highest point and was the only building not swallowed up over time).

If you need a place to go for a pretty easy walk, see some scenery and a few spots of wildlife, this is the place to go. Just a 20 minute drive out of Aberdeen city, it’s an easy to get to, free activity for everyone!

Rachel xxx

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