Balmedie Country Park Beach
© Martyn Gorman and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
At Balmedie Country Park, the flat, sandy beach stretches for miles along the coastline. Behind the beach is a truly extensive sand dune system stretching for around 14 miles, from Aberdeen in the south up to the mouth of the River Ythan near the town of Newburgh, making it the 5th largest sand dune system in the country. It lies within the Sands of Forvie Site of Special Scientific Interest. Many species of wildlife, including birds make the dune system their home. To ease access through the sand dunes, there are nearly 2 kilometres of boardwalk, which children might particularly enjoy walking on.
Balmedie is also home to some interesting World War II beach defences which protected this 12 mile long beach from Aberdeen in the South to the river Ythan in the North. The wind has eroded the sand to reveal the deep foundations on which these pill boxes were built.
The beach is unlikely to be crowded thanks to its rural location and its sheer size, making it easy to find a peaceful and secluded spot. Water sports are a common pastime on the beach, which often attracts surfers who come here for the swell.
The closest car park from the beach is North Car Park, found at the end of North Beach Road. The car park includes disabled spaces, toilet facilities, a ranger's hut and a children's playground. The beach is about 200 meters away and is accessed via a boardwalk. Facilities such as shops and places to eat can be found in Balmedie.