Once a royal burgh, the town of Rattray has long disappeared. What remains at Rattray Head today is a beautiful secluded beach, a lighthouse and lots of wildlife and plant life.
History of settlement in the area dates back as far as the 15th century BC and in 1563, Mary Queen of Scots made the town a royal burgh. However, dangerous waters in this area have always made fishing difficult and when a sandstorm in 1720 sealed off the sea inlet required by Rattray’s inhabitants, the town was abandoned and its buildings left to crumble.
Things to see and do
- Brave mid-winter storms to see some striking views of the sea battering the rocky coast
- Take a stroll among the dunes to see a hundreds of wildflowers including orchids in the spring and summer
- Keep a lookout for wildlife along the shore, including a local grey seal colony
Rattray Head Eco Hostel and B&B have a website with lots of information on the area, including details of public transport links.
St Combs to Rattray Head (9.5km/5.75 miles)