As Codys family was spending the week in Cullen and had a spare bedroom, we went up over the weekend to join them and had such a lovely time!
Cullen sits up on the Moray coast about a 3.5h drive from Edinburgh and is a classic seaside fishing village.
We were staying in an AirBNB called Dalrymple Cottage. It was a three bedroom (two double beds and one twin room) cottage in the lower part of Cullen by the beach. It was quite a quirky cottage as the top two bedrooms have angled ceilings so even if you are 160cm (5″3) like me you’ll need to duck to even get in. I quite like this though because it means it will be a stay to remember and the design of the cottage felt very modern and fresh, yet rustic and cosy. The master bedroom also had a bath right next to the bed.
The rest of the group was staying in another AirBNB which had more of an old-fashioned design but it had a lovely wooden terrace up on the hill which gives a beautiful view of the beach – perfect for outdoor summer dinners or drinks in the sun! If you instead are looking for a hotel then check out The Seafield Arms Hotel which you will find on the Cullen high street, about a 5-10 minute walk away from the harbour and beach.
There’s plenty of things to see in the surrounding area, either in walking distance or driving distance. If you are looking for distilleries you are right on the doorstep to Speyside which has plenty of them, but the closest ones are Glenglassaugh, Glendronach and Knockdhu. You’ll find the Speyside distilleries I have visited here.
My top things to do in Cullen
I made a wee list of things to do in Cullen beforehand from recommendations on Instagram and from friends so thought I would share the ones worth doing here below for you!
You can’t go to Cullen – the home of Cullen Skink – and not try this wonderful Scottish soup with haddock, potatoes and onions. It’s such a hearty feel-good soup and I tried the one at the Rockpool Café (can be worth booking in advance as it can be quite busy) which was just delicious and not “fishy” at all. The Rockpool Café also do afternoon tea, that needs to be booked in advance, so next time I’m passing by I’d love to try that as well. If anyone in the company doesn’t fancy Cullen Skink there’s also croque monsieur, burgers, salads and sandwiches.
Bow Fiddle Rock
The Bow Fiddle Rock is about an hour walk away from Cullen. We walked along the beach and then there’s stone stairs taking you to the top of the cliff and on the other side you’ll find this oddly shaped rock that jots out of the water. If you are there on a sunny day like we were, then the colour of the water is mesmerising and we even saw dolphins swim past just as we got there. Definitely worth the walk as it’s such a scenic route as well.
Homemade ice cream from the ice cream shop
My friend had recommended the ice cream shop and it didn’t disappoint. Located on the high street and even the vanilla was delicious on its own. I also tried blueberry and rum & raisin which were both lovely, but the blueberry was outstanding.
Fish & chips
For lunch on our first day we went to Linda’s Fish’n’chips for an easy stop before heading back to the cottage and it was such a nice one! The fish wasn’t dried at all and I even liked the chunky chips (usually I prefer skinny fries as chunky ones often are dry or slightly raw). There’s something about having fish by the seaside which makes it so much more quaint as well. There’s benches in a little green area on your way towards the harbour where you can sit down and eat whilst enjoying the view. If we come back I’d love the opportunity to try even more seafood.
I had no idea there were so many antique shops in Cullen! About 5 fairly big ones only on the Main Street and there’s a massive one behind the church which has a quirky – and a bit creepy – salvage yard full of odd and beautiful things. In one of the other shops I found an antique soup spoon and two vintage whisky posters that I bought but I could’ve spent hours combing through all of the shops for treasure.
Sticky toffee pudding from The Seafield Arms
On our last evening we went for dinner at The Seafield Arms. I had their beef burger which was lovely and about £20, so towards the higher price bracket, along with a crisp white wine and for dessert we shared a sticky toffee pudding which was the highlight of the evening. It was just so lovely and a great balance between the heated cake and the cool ice cream which was from the local ice cream shop. Would definitely recommend stopping by just for the sticky toffee pudding! Just like the Rockpool Café, the Seafield Arms also offer an afternoon tea so that’s on my list for next time.
Wild water swimming
Any time I’m near water I can’t help but wanting to go for a swim. On our first day we went paddle boarding in the harbour, which went much better than my first time earlier this year. There’s also paddle boarding lessons if you fancy trying it for the first time. We wore wetsuits but the water wasn’t actually so bad so the next day we went in wearing only swimsuits after our walk to Bow Fiddle Rock which was lovely. The beach is only sand as well so no worries about bumping in to any marine life on the bottom. Just be careful with the tide as it’s very quick and stay safe.
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