The town of Macduff is less than a mile from its neighbour Banff and is linked by the seven-arch Deveron Bridge, but it may as well be in a different country. While Banff thrived as a trading port, Macduff became the hub of the area’s fishing industry when its new harbour was built in 1783. This development attracted a significant amount of sea traffic from the other side of the bay and led to Macduff emerging from the shadow of its near neighbour.
The centre of the town revolves around the harbour, where commercial fishing vessels continue to steam in and out of port and land their catch on the quayside. There is always a significant amount of activity at the local shipyard, where boats undergo construction or repair on the slipway.
Macduff is also home to the area’s lifeboat – manned by a volunteer crew whose members are primed and ready to respond to emergencies in the blink of an eye. This lifesaving vessel is owned by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which runs a seasonal shop at the lifeboat shed where gifts and souvenirs can be purchased.
Just a few steps from the lifeboat shed lies the award-winning Macduff Marine Aquarium – the jewel in The Banffshire Coast’s visitor attraction crown. It is a must-see for anyone visiting the area as it provides a fascinating insight into a world beneath the waves which only divers ever see.
All of the exhibits in the tank are found in the North Sea – a fact that surprises many visitors as the variety of fish, invertebrates and seaweeds is incredibly colourful and do not reflect the traditional image of cold and chilly waters. Feeding time, when staff dive into the tank, is a sight not to be missed!
Watch life go by sitting in the Macduff Maritime Garden, or take in the view from the top of the Hill of Doune. Another walk worth taking is the one which skirts past Royal Tarlair Golf Club and on to the old mineral spa well at Tarlair. Victorians would walk considerable distances to ‘take the waters’ here and although long-closed, the outdoor lido is one of the best surviving examples of Art Deco buildings of its kind in the UK.