THIS column is dedicated to walking and ramblers' groups from across Scotland, where they can suggest the best routes to enjoy from their areas and further afield.

Cullen Bay and Portknockie Circular, Moray

By Tracy Chalmers, Scottish Women's Walking Group

Start: The Square, Cullen

Distance: 5 miles/8 kilometres

Time: 2 hours

Terrain: Sections along a beach, rough cliff path, tar and flat smooth path. A small section may not be accessible at very high tide.

Level: Easy with some elevation.

Access: Arrive by car or public transport. Stagecoach No 35 bus runs between Aberdeen and Elgin at regular intervals. Car parking is available in The Square in Cullen. Postcode: AB56 4RR.

What makes it special: A spectacular coastal walk with sandy beach, harbours, caves and incredible natural rock formations.

HeraldScotland: The picturesque backdrop of the Cullen Bay and Portknockie Circular walking route in Moray. Picture: Tracy ChalmersThe picturesque backdrop of the Cullen Bay and Portknockie Circular walking route in Moray. Picture: Tracy Chalmers

THE Cullen Bay and Portknockie Circular takes in some of the Moray coast's most amazing places, including Cullen and Portknockie harbours, the famed Bow Fiddle Rock, Cullen Beach, as well as caves and a viaduct.

There is an opportunity to have a wee paddle along the way on Cullen Beach. Towards the end, you walk along the disused railway line and top of the viaduct.

Route: Leaving from The Square in Cullen, start by walking down towards the viaduct. Once under the viaduct, keep going straight on down towards the harbour. The road veers to the right and be careful as there is no pavement on this section.

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Once you arrive at the harbour, take a left here. You will head towards the beach going over the Burn of Cullen by footbridge. This is where you start walking along the sands of Cullen Beach, passing "The Three Kings" as the three distinctive quartzite sea stacks are known.

The beach walk is approximately one mile long. When you come to the rocks and cliffs at the end, you will see a rough path between the golf course and rocks.

HeraldScotland: The picturesque backdrop of the Cullen Bay and Portknockie Circular walking route in Moray. Picture: Tracy ChalmersThe picturesque backdrop of the Cullen Bay and Portknockie Circular walking route in Moray. Picture: Tracy Chalmers

The path is a little rougher here. As you go between the rocks and round the corner there is a large cave that is worth exploring. Further along you come to Jenny's Well to the left and Whale Mouth Rock to the right.

There is then an uphill section with some steps. Keep following the path, admiring the views and keep an eye out for some of the many seabirds. There are plenty of benches on this stretch if you want to take a seat and rest your legs.

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When you come to a yellow and grey bench this is where you can get the best view of Bow Fiddle Rock. There are several paths if you want to get down closer for a better look and a great opportunity to take photographs.

Returning to the main path, walk along to a workshop area with a garage. Take a right here walking past the residential area. Continue on and look out for the views of more rock formations to your right.

HeraldScotland: The picturesque backdrop of the Cullen Bay and Portknockie Circular walking route in Moray. Picture: Tracy ChalmersThe picturesque backdrop of the Cullen Bay and Portknockie Circular walking route in Moray. Picture: Tracy Chalmers

The road will bend to the left above the harbour. Keep going until you come to a dead-end sign. Turn left here heading for the main road. Passing the war memorial, branch left and head towards the bus shelter.

Once past the bus shelter you will see the disused railway line path to the left. This is a relaxing stroll along a great, well-maintained path with views of the golf course on your return to Cullen.

HeraldScotland: The picturesque backdrop of the Cullen Bay and Portknockie Circular walking route in Moray. Picture: Tracy ChalmersThe picturesque backdrop of the Cullen Bay and Portknockie Circular walking route in Moray. Picture: Tracy Chalmers

Once back in Cullen, you will leave the railway line just after you pass Castle Hill. To the right there is a blue sign. Head along North Deskford Street, then take a left along Grant Street and return to The Square.

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Don't miss: Seeing the magnificent Bow Fiddle Rock in the flesh (so to speak).

Useful information: Scottish Women's Walking Group meet and walk together all over Scotland. Membership is free and open to all ages and abilities. For details of how to join, visit swwg.co.uk

Do you have a walk you would like to suggest? Email susan.swarbrick@theherald.co.uk