Visit Cullen and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Cullen, Moray. This ancient royal burgh is the undisputed queen of Moray's Firth coast resorts, for reasons which must be apparent to anyone at first glimpse of the place. Even the railway, normally no bringer of beauty, has contributed to its spectacular picturesqueness by a long curving viaduct, under which the main road passes from the square to the sea-town at cliff-top altitude, framing a delectable view of headland and harbour; gaily-painted fisher cottages, close-packed, with gable-ends to the shore; and the virginal-white sands stretching for nearly 2 miles to the headland of Scar Nose, at the West end of the bay. Some bays can be monotonous, but not Cullen Bay, thanks to its profusion of isolated rocks: the Three Kings, the Bow Fiddle, Boar Crag, and Red Craig. Its sands are said to sing, though they are not so gifted in this way as the sands at Sunnyside in Logie Bay, to the East. Give them a glancing blow and they respond with a sonorous “Woo, woo, woo”, due to the friction of their uniform spherical grains.
Modern Cullen was built between 1820 and 1830 to plans by George MacWilliam for the Earl of Seafield, to replace the ancient burgh clustered around the old parish church in the immediate surroundings of Cullen House, about 1½ miles South. Cullen's first extant charter was granted by James II in 1455, although there was probably a royal castle there in early feudal times, and it may have been there in 1327 that Queen Elizabeth, the second wife of Robert I, died. He endowed a chaplaincy at the Church of St Mary of Cullen to pray for her soul. The existing old parish church (St Anne's Aisle) dates from 1536, to which was added in 1543 one of the last Collegiate Churches to be built before the Reformation, although a solitary round arch survives to indicate a building of the period 1180—1280. There is a particularly fine sacrament house on the North wall, and near it an elaborate sculptured monument to Alexander Ogilvy, by whose donation the Collegiate Church was erected.
Within a stones throw of the church is Cullen House, a home of the 13th Earl of Seafield, who succeeded his well known and popular mother, the Countess of Seafield, on her death in 1969. The main part of the house dates from c. A.D. 1543, but an East wing was added in 1711, and alterations and additions were made in 1858 by David Bryce. The front hall has walls covered in linenfold oak panelling and a fireplace of 412 Dutch tiles. The fire-irons are from Findlater Castle, the ruined 15th century stronghold on a cliff-top 2 mile East, where the Ogilvys lived until 1511. The main stair, with delicate wrought-metal balustrade, rises to the first floor beneath a beautiful ceiling by Robert Adam, which came to light only in 1946, when a layer of oak panelling was removed. An immense carved overmantel by Grinling Gibbons, a set of Dutch glassware given by Queen Anne to her maid-of-honour, Anne Smith, who married the 20th Laird of Grant, and the painted ceiling in the Second Salon are among the highlights in a house of many treasures. The ceiling, hidden from view for over a century, until it came to light in 1880, is a riot of decoration dominated by brilliant blue, and at the same time a flamboyant declaration of Jacobite sympathies.
Nearby towns: Banff, Buckie, Keith
Nearby villages: Aberchirder, Arradoul, Auchenhalrig, Bogmoor, Boyndie, Broadley, Clochan, Cornhill, Deskford, Drybridge, Findochty, Fochabers, Fordyce, Gordonstown, Ianstown, Mill of Tynet, Nether Dallachy, Newmill, Portgordon, Portknockie, Portsoy, Rathven, Sandend, Spey Bay, Upper Dallachy, Whitehills
Have you decided to visit Cullen or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Cullen bed and breakfast (a Cullen B&B or Cullen b and b)
- a Cullen guesthouse
- a Cullen hotel (or motel)
- a Cullen self-catering establishment, or
- other Cullen accommodation