THE SHIRE // Pennan

For a small, unassuming village on the coast of North East Scotland, getting to Pennan requires quite the adventurous spirit. Heading North out of Fraserburgh we followed the coastal road through Sandhaven and Rosehearty, towards New Aberdour. All winding country bends with sprawling greenery on one side and cliffs dropping off into the North Sea on the other, this is the Scottish landscape at its finest.. but travelling it is not for the faint hearted or weak bellied!

Once at New Aberdour the route aligns itself to the "main road" - the B9031 - for a short while, before a right turn takes you off to Pennan. If you thought the journey so far had been adventurous then you'll certainly be holding onto your hats (and praying that you don't meet anything coming the other way) as a single-lane, serpentine road spirals you down to the village almost 200ft below.
(Run a search for 'Pennan' on Google maps and use street view to follow the road for a hint at this experience.)

On reaching Pennan there isn't actually a whole lot to see.. but don't let that put you off because what is there is incredibly picturesque. A single row of houses (once owned by a handful of families, I'd imagine, but now  holiday homes for regular summer visitors) and a pub - the Pennan Inn - stand in a neat line along the coast, leading to a small harbour at one end. What traditionally would have been a drying space opposite each house is today brightly decorated with bunting or knitted fish mimicking the old habit of hanging fish out to dry, while the bright white buildings have been accesorised with rainbow-patterned gates and pastel window frames.

And then, of course, there's that phone box. The surprising main attraction in Pennan, the traditional red phone box is associated with the movie 'Local Hero' which was filmed in the village in the 1980s. The phone box seen in the movie was apparently a prop placed there and removed by the film company, with the current, fully-functioning phone box being added at a later date both for practical reasons and the demands of tourists who still indulge in a spot of pose-striking inside it today. Likewise, the Pennan Inn pulls in the tourists for its own association with the film and a small collection of actors' autographs can be found near to the bar.

For us, though, the movie connections held no draw and we were more content to walk the narrow street enjoying its nooks and crannies, to drink coffee or Irn Bru from the Inn, to eat a little picnic on the shore, and to get a bit snap-happy taking photographs before braving that single track back up the hill!

Mum and dad, pre-picnic.

I'm so fond of our Scottish landscape and I can't think of a more perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon!

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  1. I haven't been to Pennan for years, but I vividly recall that road! Lorna of Lorna's Tearoom Delights has recently blogged about Gardenstoun and Crovie, and had a nail-biting wait on the precarious edge of the road while a funeral procession came down the hairpin turns!

    Your parents look like the loveliest people ever!

    So glad you had such a nice day. The photos are lovely, especially the rainbow gate. I like it when people take trouble to make beautiful things that everyone can appreciate.