Through my blog posts, I’ve taken you to some of my favourite spots on the Moray Firth coast. But where is my favourite spot on the whole coastline? Where do I love like nowhere else?
It’s not the place I’d necessarily send tourists to, but there’s a big chunk of my heart with Clashach Cove engraved all over it.
We went today on a whim. We’d not been there in a few years because the minxes’ little legs got too tired, or they’d be distracted by all the other fun things along the way. Today, though, it was a cold, bracing, grey day that was made 100 times better by a walk along the coastal trail from the Hopeman East Beach beach huts around to the caves at Clashach Cove.
For the first part of the route, the views back to Hopeman are pretty. The expanse of sand that is the East Beach will certainly lure you away from the path (and usually does to us!). After you go past the first little hill summit at the first headland, there are lovely stacked rocks where the minxes have spent many happy times clambering and scrambling. But keep pushing on. Just past the next headland, you’ll suddenly see Clashach Cove.
The sea is always brisker here. The roar and splash of the green and white surf mixes with the deep thunder rumble of the round, large pebbles tumbling over each other. In summer, you’ll see some tiny wild strawberries. Today, it was also still a little too early to see any lemony primroses. Maxi Minx skipped around the gorse, looking for early flowers. Midi counted the different colours of the rocks: jaggy orange ones, big black blocky ones like a cobbled street, curved out brown and wavy yellow sandstone. Mini found interesting rocks to admire, with toddler-finger sized holes.
You don’t really see the beach of Clashach Cove until you’re on top of it, but it’s worth climbing down to its smooth sandy shore and long, sheltered grass bank that’s perfect for picnicking. Although seagulls nest in the cliffs to the east of the cove, they’re not too bothered by little girls scrambling around the caves. One arch leads to a hidden beach that has the biggest mussel beds I’ve ever seen. Today, though, the tide was in, so we dodged big waves instead, and explored the biggest cave, without a torch. Well, ‘we’ didn’t include Midi, who at just turned 5 has decided that she is no longer my fearless daredevil, but is suddenly afraid of the dark and heights.
On the walk back to the car, we were treated to the sight of the local dolphin pod, lazily undulating through the water, swimming alongside us as we walked back west. Jon thinks the pair who seemed inseparable were a mother and calf, but I’m not sure. One thing I do know is that we won’t leave our next visit so long!
About the Author
About Me & Mine
Hello! I’m Jay, married to Jon, living in North East Scotland with our 3 daughters: Maxi (10), Midi (8) and Mini Minx (6).
Favourite place in the world:
It’s hard to choose between the stretch of Moray Firth coast between Findhorn and Cullen, and Westray (a northerly Orkney island). Both have an amazing diversity of beautiful coastlines in a small space (empty, clean, sandy beaches; crystal-clear rockpools; crags, cliffs and stacks), fascinating wildlife, friendly people and endlessly interesting weather. Bar visits to friends and relatives, we’ve taken all our holidays in Scotland, north of where we live, for many years. We’ve still barely scratched the surface of this beautiful country.
Favourite things to do outdoors:
Rock-pooling and scrambling on local beaches; camping; walking in the gentler local hills; foraging for fruit and jam-making ingredients; and growing our own fruit and vegetables against the combined deterring efforts of our cat and the weather.