Saturday, 11 April 2015

A wander down St Cyrus beach

My little holiday break continued yesterday with a walk down the lovely St Cyrus beach.  I've been here a few times but haven't been for quite a while. St Cyrus beach is up the East Coast of Scotland, south of Aberdeen and is part of the St Cyrus Nature Reserve which also include the cliffs and dunes. There's a large variety of plant species, over 300 have been found, and this has encouraged many different types of wildlife to live there too. With the shelter of the cliffs and the protection of the reserve, it's a thriving habitat for all the flora and fauna living there.

We wandered along the path down through the dunes, mindful to keep our dog, Keira on her lead as it is currently breeding season for the birds at the moment, many of them probably hidden away in the bushes and long grass lining our walk.  The views were beautiful and we pretty much had the beach to ourselves. The weather was perfect and Keira enjoyed getting off her lead for a while to chase her ball and dive into the waves.

As we headed along up the beach we came across some great rock formations jutting out of the water.  There was a cave that could be seen disappearing into the cliff as it came to a corner but unfortunately I couldn't get a photo of it as the tide was coming in.  At this end there was lots of driftwood and debris that had washed up.  We had a rummage through the stones and I found some brittlestar starfish remains which were so intricate.

I found out when I got home that just round the corner from where we were, on top of the cliffs, sits the remains of the Kaim of Mathers. A castle or tower house type building, built by the Berkley family sometime in the 15th century. 

We decided to have a rest for a bit, sitting on the rocks at this end before heading back along another path at the foot of the cliffs. Keira took to the opportunity to chew on a bit of driftwood.

We wandered past an old abandoned building which had possibly been used by fisherman. It would make a nice little holiday house if it was renovated.
As we continued along we found an old graveyard. As you've probably guessed from previous posts I like wandering around graveyards.  This one was particularly peaceful, sitting at the bottom of the cliffs and surrounded by a little wall. To enter there was a little set of steps at one end. A lot of the graves looked to be sinking into the sandy ground and there had been quite a few moles popping up all over the soft ground leaving their little hills behind. There were some interesting carvings on some of the graves and I was intrigued by the little hut at the far end.  I later found out that this was a watch house, built in the 1800s to look out for grave robbers as bodies were in high demand for the medical schools in Aberdeen and Edinburgh at the time. How grim!

After having a look around the graveyard for a bit we headed back towards the car park.  On the way we saw a deer but it was a bit too far away to photograph.  It seemed quite interested in watching us pass by though. By the time I got home my face felt like it had been completely refreshed by the sea air. Keira also seemed pretty happy to have had her run about beach. I think she would be over the moon if she had a beach to run around on every day.