On The Shore

You don't always have to look out to sea to catch a glimpse of our fantastic marine life as many marine creatures can be seen close to the shore. The most frequently spotted marine mammal here are common and grey seals which are often found hauled out on the rocks, basking in the sun or just chilling out with the rest of their group.

It's easy to tell common and grey seals apart by their faces. Believe it or not, common seals have faces almost like dogs and their nostrils meet at the bottom in a V-shape, while grey seals have a distinctive hooked nose a little like a human Roman nose!

Good spots to see seals include Pennan, Boyndie and Troup Head where they frequently haul out at low tide. Spring is a very good time to look out for common seals as it's their breeding time. As with all wildlife, we do ask that you respect the seals and not get too close when they are on the rocks. It's not unusual for mothers that feel threatened to abandon their pups and while they may look cute and cuddly, seals are wild animals with a sharp set of teeth.

Banffshire boasts some of Scotland's most stunning beaches. Whether you are looking for long stretches of golden sands or dramatic rugged rocks, you will find both extremes on our coastline. But don't expect to jostle for position as there are no mass crowds - just plenty of space where you can relax and have time to take it all in. Sandend is something of a surfer's paradise, with some of the best waves on the UK coast.

You might be lucky enough to spot an otter scurrying around for food on the shore, and for a truly traditional seaside experience grab a net and explore the rockpools - Crovie, Banff Links, Whitehills and Sandend are excellent spots - where there are lots of sea-dwelling beasties.

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