My New Year began in Findhorn on the Moray Coast, as many do for me (both my family and my husband’s family live here) so it seems fitting that my first blog post of 2017 is about this charming little village. I’ve written before about what Findhorn means to me but here are six things that I love the most.
Of course the beach is right at the top of my list. It is, quite simple, one of my favourite beaches in the world. I have been lucky enough to visit some incredibly beautiful beaches during my travels and although there were some that were truly spectacular no beach has ever nestled into the very folds of my heart like this one. Most likely it is because I have walked on this beach since I took my very first steps and memories of childhood, carefree summers and adolescent angst are intertwined with the scenery, written into the sand and stone. The first time I walked on the beach with my husband before we were even a couple; the day I walked along the shore with him on our wedding day, five months pregnant and in heels (not that easy!); the birthday I spent sitting on the dunes around a campfire with friends watching the sunrise; my son and daughter running into the waves last summer… If I have something on my mind I find solace in the soothing song of the sea; it is the place to which I retreat to think and be and switch off. Its clean, long stretch of sandy shore is ideal for walking away your problems and the view out towards a watery horizon comforts me like nothing else.
Lots of people walk along the front shore, round the point and along the back shore before looping back, but if you keep walking (you can walk all the way to Burghead which is a wonderful walk) there are fantastic sand dunes just past the car park on the back shore.
I love the range of houses in Findhorn, from the traditional fishermen’s cottages to the stunning architect-designed houses with lots of glass. It is lovely just to wander through the village lanes, admiring the houses and the seaside theme of the exteriors and gardens (boats planted with flowers and transformed into seats, driftwood gates, collections of stones and shells…). These tucked away lanes have buckets of charm. I also love the eco houses in the Findhorn Foundation (more below).
(I had to include a photo of my parents house, pictured below, which was built in the 1700s and originally an old smiddy).
My favourite place to eat and have a coffee in the village is The Bakehouse. I LOVE the food here (organic, locally sourced, homemade) and its friendly, welcoming atmosphere. We often go for lunch but I also love taking a book or my notepad (on more rare occasions these days!) and sitting with a coffee. In the summer they open in the evenings as a pizza restaurant. There is a bakery next door which produces all the baked goods for the cafe (and you can buy bread direct from the bakery before the cafe opens). It is run by the lovely Jan and David (tell them I say hi if you visit).
The view from the other side of the bay
Both my family and my husband’s have little boats that we can use when we’re on holiday (I know, so lucky) and we try to take the littles over to ‘the other side’ (the Culbin Forest) when we’re there and the weather’s good. This was one of my favourite things to do as a child on holiday here, my mum or dad rowing us over with a picnic and towels. It’s usually really quiet over on the shores of the forest and I love looking back at the village from out on the bay as it’s not a view you often see.
North 58 Adventures start their trip with a little tour in the bay and you can also take a water taxi from Findhorn Marina.
The Findhorn Foundation
When I say I am from Findhorn the first thing people usually ask about is the Foundation, quite often thinking that they are one and the same. The Findhorn Foundation is a spiritual community and eco-village, located just outside the village of Findhorn. I worked as a student in the Phoenix Stores (a health food shop with books, crafts, clothing, candles etc) and in one of the offices as a graduate back from my travels, and I find such a sense of peace there. My husband and I did a pottery course one winter years ago, and every time I’m home I go to the Phoenix Stores to stock up. I love walking or cycling around the Foundation, it is such a calming place to be. (And the Phoenix Cafe is rather lovely too).
I can’t tell you how many photos I have on this computer of Findhorn sunsets; all different and all beautiful. It is my favourite place to watch the sun go down. You can see the back shore from my parents’ house (just) and quite often I will be sitting relaxing when I see the colours of the sunset and leap up with my camera, running down to the beach. This first picture below was the night before my wedding day, nearly five years ago, and is one of my favourite photos.
I have never been lucky enough to be in Findhorn when the Northern Lights have lit the night skies, and I hope one day I might be able to witness the merry dancers here.
Have you holidayed in Findhorn? Do you have any memories of visiting the area? I’d love to hear your comments or questions below.