The village was first built in medieval times and still has its 13th century church and 16th century castle at its heart. The origins of the village are believed to go back nearly 1400 years to the foundation of a church by the Pictish Saint, St Tarlarican (St Tarquin).
Sandend is a small coastal village 3.5 miles from Birkenhill Farm. It dates back to the 1600s and is one of the earliest fishing communities on The Banffshire Coast with cottages clustered around the small 19th century harbour. Despite its relatively small stature, Sandend is a magnet for surfers who travel from all over the country to ride the waves. The waves here are regarded as being amongst the best in the country. Sandend is also heavily used by kayakers and shore fishermen. Besides the fantastic swell, visitors to the beach will find the remains of anti-tank positions and pill box defences which were built during World War II to protect the area against German invasion.
Birkenhill Farm is just 3.5 miles from Glenglassaugh Distillery which is now back in production after lying dormant for over two decades. Distillery staff have a vast knowledge of the whisky industry and conduct Revival and Behind the Scenes tours. Visitors can bottle their own whisky and visit the gift shop.
Findlater Castle lies to the west of the beautiful Sandend Bay 4.5 miles from Birkenhill Farm. The ruins of Findlater Castle stand on a rocky promontory projecting out into the sea some two miles east of Cullen and a mile west of Sandend. Brown tourist signs direct you from the A98 to a parking area at a farm, Barnyards of Findlater, and from here it is a half mile walk along a good grassy path to the interpretive board on the cliffs behind the castle.
Half way between the car park and the cliffs is Findlater Doocot, a beehive doocot probably built here in the 1500s, which would have meant it stood here for the final century during which the castle was occupied. It was restored in 1992.
Portsoy and The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival
Portsoy has a number of restaurants and shops. The Boyne Hotel, The Station Hotel, The Shore Inn, Portsoy Ice cream shop and the Hook Line & Sinker takeaway.
The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival, is held at Portsoy with its stunning 17th century harbour – the oldest on the Moray Firth. Up to 16,000 people come to the Festival, which is now one of the region’s biggest visitor events. It places special emphasis on boat building, restoration and sailing, but it also showcases a wide range of arts, crafts, music and food.
National Cycle Networks within 1.5 miles
The Sustrans National Cycle Network route 1 and also The North Sea Cycle Route both run just 1.5 miles from Birkenhill Farm.
Durn Hill Bike Park and Club
Durn Hill lies just 2.5 miles from Birkenhill Farm. DH Farm is a bike park and cycle club located on Durn Hill. They run uplift days for fun and the development of downhill riding. Their tracks offer something a little different from the well catered for mountain bike tracks around Scotland. For those riders who like downhill and Jumps.
Forest Trails on the Doorstep
On the Southern boundary of Birkenhill Farm we also have extensive forests which contain over 15km of tracks suitable for walking and mountain biking. With the access only 100m from our gate.
Macduff Marine Aquarium
The Moray Firth is a haven for wildlife and at Macduff Marine Aquarium you will come face to face with all kinds of sea creatures that live beneath the Moray Firth waters.
The aquarium’s exhibits lead you from the coast, where you can explore the estuaries and the rocky shores, and then to the underwater world of the kelp reef. At the sea lab and touch pools you can get a feel for seashore life, before heading out to the deep reef and the seafloor.
Located in Banff, Duff House was designed by Scottish architect William Adam in the 18th century. In the house you can find a stunning collection of paintings and furniture, and there are plenty of walking opportunities in the parkland of the surrounding area. Facilities include car parking, a children’s play area, a shop and tearoom.
Cullen has stunning sandy beaches and seascapes, coast paths, a historic harbour designed by Thomas Telford, great shops and eateries and several take aways, including Chinese, Indian and traditional fish and chips all set against the stunning backdrop of old railway viaducts, Castle Hill viewpoint and the Bin of Cullen.