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Marine Attractions

One of the finest visitor attractions on The Banffshire Coast is Macduff Marine Aquarium. It was once described by BBC's wildlife action man Steve Backshall as "an incredibly special place - in fact I think it's the best aquarium I've ever been to" - so it is well worth paying a visit to this award-winning attraction.

The main tank has no roof so it is open to the elements, but visitors tour the venue undercover and are enthralled with the displays and touch pools whatever the weather. It provides visitors with a unique view of a life under the waves of the Moray Firth which is only familiar to those who dive in the area. Home to hundreds of native fish and invertebrates as well as a living kelp reef - the only one of its kind anywhere in the UK - the aquarium also has an extensive programme of educational activities which runs throughout the year.

If you would like to see our marine life in their natural habitat, then a boat tour with our local operators - Guide Charters and Cruises, Puffin Cruises and Explorer BF21 - is simply not to be missed. We strongly recommend that visitors use tour operators that adhere to the Dolphin Space Programme - a code of conduct which respects the environment of all marine creatures on the Banffshire Coast.

Macduff harbour still operates as a commercial port and here you will be able to see boats steaming in and out. The ship building industry is still alive and well in Macduff too and it's not uncommon to see vessels on the slipway either being built or repaired. Next to the shipyard is the town's Royal National Lifeboat Institution, manned by brave volunteers who give up their spare time to aid those in danger at sea. There is a small gift shop where you can buy the charity's popular gifts, but opening times are seasonal.

Visitors can get a fascinating insight into Portsoy's links to the salmon fishing and boatbuilding industry at the Salmon Bothy museum. Portsoy also has a fantastic 17th century harbour - now the backdrop to the incredible Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Traditional Boat Festival - as well as a more modern harbour used by pleasure craft and small creel boats. Cullen's harbour, which is built to a design by Thomas Telford, is worth visiting; the jewel in the crown, however, is Whitehills Harbour and Marina - a modern development which offers 50 fully serviced pontoon berths, as well as plenty of visitor berths.

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