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11 things to do in and around Banff and Macduff

There's plenty to keep you busy - including visiting Duff House and Macduff Marine Aquarium

Macduff Marine Aquarium awaits. Image: Jason Hedges
Macduff Marine Aquarium awaits. Image: Jason Hedges

From staying at a caravan park to exploring a heritage trail, there is plenty to keep you busy in and around Banff and Macduff over the coming weeks.

Visit Macduff Marine Aquarium

Opening hours: Saturday – Wednesday, 11am – 4pm (closed Thursday/Friday).

The Macduff Marine Aquarium is home to a variety of sea creatures who live in the waters of Moray Firth.

The exhibits explore the diversity of the area’s native marine life. There’s also the chance to watch the divers feed the fish. As well as the option to take a deeper dive into life at the aquarium by booking a VIP tour.

Say hello to the sea creatures. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson.

Grab a brew at the Market Arms

The Market Arms is actually one of Banff’s most historical buildings, dating back to 1585.

It functions as both a bar and family-friendly restaurant that goes down a treat with locals and tourists visiting the area. Many have taken note of the traditional features retained inside the building and out in the courtyard – a great spot during the summer for a beer garden.

Over the years, the Market Arms has served its patrons with the finest brews and beverages and boasts a cosy lounge upstairs for guests to grab a bite and get out of the winter chill.

Opening hours may vary.

Discover Portsoy’s history at The Salmon Bothy

Opening hours: Friday – Monday, 2pm – 4pm.

Run by dedicated team of volunteers, The Salmon Bothy welcomes approximately 3,000 visitors every year.

Formally a Salmon House, the four-star venue was renovated and restored into a beloved multi-purpose facility, used as a community space, museum and Family History Research base.

The Bothy’s museum has an impressive collection of displays, artefacts and information all about the fishing industry around Portsoy and its harbours.

Take a look at the collection.

Tee off at Royal Tarlair Golf Course

Whether you’re a member of the club, an experienced sportsperson or complete novice, the Royal Tarlair Golf Club welcomes everyone onto their green.

The 18-hole course sets golfers up with a challenge whilst boasting fantastic views of the Moray Firth coastline.

To make an enquiry, contact: 01261 832897, or visit their website.

Compete with friends. Image: Andrew Taylor, Banff

Explore the Banff and Macduff Heritage Trail

Stroll through Banff and Macduff at a leisurely pace and take in all the sights around you.

The self-guided tour will teach you all about the coastal towns – it can be done on foot or by bike. Hear what the locals have to say about their hometown or see what sort of wildlife you can spot.

Learn all about Banff and Macduff’s history.

Shop at The Portsoy Gift Box

The independent Portsoy Gift Box sells a collection of handmade cards, gifts and gifts all locally sourced.

There are currently more than 100 Scotland-based crafters whose work can be found in the local shop.

Portsoy Gift Box also occasionally runs workshops in their crafting room throughout the winter, so hone in on your crafts to create the perfect Christmas gift!

See what you can find. Image: Google Maps.

Learn the history of Duff House

Opening hours: Friday – Sunday, 10.15am – 4pm (closed 12.15pm – 1pm).

Learn all about the tale of two Williams – William Duff, owner of Duff House, and its architect William Adam – who were infamously embroiled in a five-year court case following the creation of the house.

Inside the mansion is a magnificent art collection bestowed by the National Galleries of Scotland on display. Its interior is adorned the paintings and is home to a salon and drawing room, formally used to entertain guests; and its original – decades old – features have been restored.

Duff House, Banff, Aberdeenshire. Picture by Kenny Elrick 21/04/2022

Stop at The Boyndie Visitor Centre

Opening hours: Wednesday – Sunday, 10am – 4pm.

Walk around the gardens to explore the woodland paths, encountering ponds and a children’s play area for the youngsters to enjoy – the area also welcomes dogs.

Inside the Garden Centre is a selection of seasonal plants, shrubs and hanging baskets to purchase as well as outdoor furniture and decorations to keep your garden looking fantastic.

Find something to decorate your garden.

Take in the views over Banff Bay

No visit to Banff is complete without stopping by the beach.

Yes, the weather might be on the chilly side, but all the more reason to wrap up warm and stretch those legs.

The views along the bay are incredible to see and ideal for pre or post-work stroll to get those steps in.

A stunning view of the bay. Image: Gordon Goudie.

Stay at Banff Links Caravan Park

Treat yourself and the family to a stay at Banff’s (dog-friendly) caravan park.

The site offers dishwashing and laundry areas and an shop where campers can purchase all their essential goods without having to venture too far from the park.

Children can also enjoy the park area nearby to keep them entertained throughout their caravan adventure.

To enquire about booking, visit their website or contact 01261 812228.

Book your stay now. Image: Shutterstock.

Visit Whitehills

Another great place to visit if you are in the Banff area is the pictureesque village of Whitehills.

Take a walk through the historic village as it stretches towards the harbour. Whitehills also has its own award-winning marina, which is owned by the village.

The marina was recently one of three places chosen to display the new Banffshire flag.