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Main Street, Buckpool
Main Street, Buckpool

Buckpool started life as one of a series of small fisher villages along the stretch of coast either side of the mouth of the Burn of Buckie where it flows into the Moray Firth. These all later grew together to form Buckie.

End of the Speyside Way
End of the Speyside Way
Seafront Cottages
Seafront Cottages

Until it was renamed in 1886, Buckpool was known as Nether Buckie. Like those in the other villages its fishermen had traditionally drawn their boats up on the shoreline - often sheltering them between the houses nearest the sea which stood gable end on to the shore for protection.

Main Street
Main Street
Star Inn
Star Inn

In 1857 the local laird, Sir Robert Gordon of Cluny, built a harbour at Nether Buckie, intended to be the main port for this stretch of coast. It quickly ran into problems of silting, said by some at the time to be due to the way the flow of the River Spey entered the Moray Firth some five miles to the west.

Whatever the reason, by 1877 John Gordon of Cluny was spending £60,000 on building the huge Cluny Harbour a mile to the east of Nether Buckie in what is now the heart of Buckie itself. Nether Buckie, or Buckpool as it became, rapidly found itself marginalised as the focus and the fishing fleet moved away.

Perhaps because of this, you can get the impression that little has changed in Buckpool - apart from the name - since the late 1800s. The main street carrying the A942 along the coast is especially well preserved.

There have been changes, though. A search for Buckpool's old harbour turns up some fine harbour walls, which contain a park laid out here when the harbour was filled, in the 1970s. This gives a slightly sad air to the seaward side of the village, which seems to have turned its back on the sea since losing its harbour.

Buckpool's old harbour actually sees more visitors than you might expect. The last few yards of the Speyside Way lead around its edge en route to the sign and the pair of stones which tell you that you have completed the walk.

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