Little archways and closes link Threadneddle Street to the pedestrian precinct of Drummers Corner in the town. It is here you will find interesting and unusual art work displayed on pinkish brick alongside the old stone walls. The wrought iron designed, created by Gray's School of Art Students in Aberdeen, depict the towns long history and Peterhead's Coat of Arms. Although the art work goes back to the towns seafaring days, the designs were added to the town during a period of improvemnt in 2001. A nice addition to these rather drafty closes.
Peterheads found its origins back in the eighteenth century when it formed the close knit community of Roanheads. This area located adjacent to the busy fishing harbour area and has little changed with time. It is my most favourite part of Peterhead featuring narrow little streets, with its nooks and crannies, white washed cottages sitting along side pink granite buildings. There is an abundance of nautical detail to enjoy here- a place with unique cosiness and a feeling of coming home.TBC
Buchanhaven used to be a separate village one mile north of Peterhead. Today it still retains its own character and remains a small fishing community with its independant local shops, local school and little fishing boats which fish mainly just offshore for lobster and crabs. It sits at the mouth of the river Ugie and prospered with the salmon fishing as they migrated up river from the sea. There is a nice sandy beach here with great view of the seascape and views towards Saint Fergus and its giant gas terminal the biggest in Europe. We met the locals here, the little cats, they must have thought we were taking a boat out - they arrived as soon as we parked the car but alas poor kitties no fish today!
Peterhead is Aberdeenshire's biggest town and saw its beginnings as a small fishing town in the early eighteenth century. Today it is one of Europes biggest fishing port with up to twelve vessels bringing in a catch of white fish daily with boxes numbering 3,000 and above on good fishing days. Although the boats are much larger and the ice house, fish factories and the fish market are all state of the art, modern facilities, old customs remain strong amongst the Captains and crew who still today risk their lives bringing fish to our tables. Some of the old customs which remain today are - Woman on board a ship make the sea angry so are bad luck, also on the long list of bad luck are Red haired people and Priests because they are dressed in black and is the colour of death. One custom which was very stong but has since died out is the purchase of a caul taken from the face of a new born - this would ensure that seamen would not perish by drowning. There is never much fish in our supermarkets at weekends because fishermen won't sail on a Friday but will sail on a Sunday but one day of the year regardless of which day it falls on no fishing boats will sail and that day is Christmas Day. I like the many seagulls love to watch the fishing boats both small and large and check out their registration to see which port they have come from - by the way Peterhead's is easy it is PH!
The Boddam bridge that never happened was meant to link the shingle shore to the lighthouse but was never completed. It is now known as the Boddam lum a Scottish word for chimney. There is little or no beach here in a place I refer to often as Boddam & Gomorrah but you can take a nice coastal walk behind the fish factories along a single path to see the sea which is always broody and dramatic and constantly changing with the tides and weather. I love being beside the sea when the weather is stormy and the sea salt tinges the air and your skin it really makes you feel alive.
There is not a lot about Peterhead on VT but someone once wrote that the best thing about the town was the way out via the by pass road. At that time I would have agreed but on looking a little closer I did discover while going to the supermarket something special on the bypass road. A little herd of five very young highland cattle awaited us with great curiousity. Since that day I did see another young herd between nothing and nowhere near Ellon, this reminded me of a recent news article which spoke of Highland Cattle being bred here in Scotland for the Russian Farmers. I did think they would be Highland bred but no they are very local to the blue toon and I do hope to watch them grow - some of the cows had straight horns while others have curved ones not sure which are the boys and which are the girls but they all sweet little coos indeed.
The Buchan Ness lighthouse stands at the most eastern point in the United Kingdom guarding shipping from the rocky coast. Designed by the Scottish Engineer, Robert Stevenson it was built in 1827. The distinctive red band was added in 1907. The lighthouse was automated in 1988 at this time the lighthouse keepers' cottage was sold, I remember too they turned off the fog horn at the same time, how I still miss its mournful sound to warn of impending fog! The tower is 35 meters tall and seems bigger than the little village it graces. Its light range is 28 nautical miles and it flashes every five seconds. The Buchan Ness is always a welcome sight for me while driving over Stirling Hill it just suddenly appears
Peterhead Lido was in the past a popular place to holiday in a caravan. When this type of holiday went into decline the town planners revamped the South Bay by creating a marina with a nearby childrens' play park. You can park in the large car park at the top or walk or indeed drive down the little road which leads to the Marina. It doesn't matter what season it is there is always something different to see here we spent sometime just sitting in the car (it was cold outside) watching the yachts being dwarfed by the NORDICA a giant diving support ship. This is a good place for spotting oil related ships from around Europe and sometimes you might just encounter a cruise ship here too.
The Peterhead Maritime and Heritage Centre is a good place to go to learn of the towns past its present and its future. Most of the multi sensory exhibits focus on the fishing industry and the oil industry, two very important industries which keep the town alive. We booked a guided tour and talk with the Centre's Guide for our school children and found it interesting, educational and a lot of fun too. They also have a cafe here serving hot and cold drinks along with snacks and meals. There is also a gift shop selling allsorts of goodies usually on a nautical note. Open June through to August Monday to Saturday 10.30 till 5.00 Sunday 11.30 - 5.00 Entry is free
Slains Castle is a ruined castle just north of Cruden Bay, and about 8 miles south of Peterhead.
It is located on top of tall sea-facing cliffs. Originally constructed in the 16th century, it was modified several times until the early 19th century. The castle has since falled into disrepair. It is widely believed to be Bram Stoker's inspiration for the castle of Count Dracula.
While it's "free" to visit, there are also no signs. However, you can see it from the road leading by Cruden Bay.