St. Cyrus Beach (Ecclesgreig)
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St Cyrus, formerly known as Ecclesgreig Beach, is a wide expanse of sandy beach backed by spectacular red granite cliffs which tower above it. The beach is set within one of the most important botanical nature reserves in Scotland, being the northernmost limit for many of its flowering plants and insects, as well as home to over 70 different species of bird.
The beach itself runs along the coast for around 3 miles, backed all the way by the nature reserve, until it reaches the mouth of the River North Esk. To the north, it runs to a rocky outcrop, on top of which there was a castle where according to legend, a 14th century cannibal boiled the local Sheriff.
Traditional salmon fishing with nets can still be observed at times on the beach. The most popular pastime in the area is walking. Spring and summer are the best time for spotting wild flowers and breeding birds, whilst winter is the best time to see wading birds. There is also the possibility of spotting dolphins and whales in the surf, whilst seals sometimes come ashore along the sand. The cliff tops offer excellent views of the entire surrounding coastline.
A small car park can be found at the end of Beach Road from the town of St Cyrus, as well as some benches overlooking the beach. From here there is access down a path with steps, which descend the cliffs. Facilities such as shops and places to eat can be found in the village centre. A larger car park can be found along North Esk Park next to the Nature Reserve Visitor Centre along with toilets, and disabled spaces, with a path taking visitors across the dunes and down to the beach.