A coastal community will take a big step back to normality at the weekend, with the reopening of a beachside ice cream kiosk for the first time since before the pandemic.
The Sand Bothy at Balmedie, a favourite haunt of beachgoers since it began in 2016, will serve its first post-Covid cone on Saturday.
Previously a forgotten and neglected ranger’s hut which lay empty for a decade, The Sand Bothy attracted thousands of visitors a year to one of the north-east’s most picturesque seaside spots.
Now a three-star Visit Scotland attraction, as well as the kiosk it offers space for classes and meetings, and is particularly popular with children’s groups.
While the main building will remain closed for now, the kiosk is ready for business again at an opportune time, with hundreds flocking to the beach every weekend since spring arrived.
It will be open on Saturday and Sunday from 12pm to 4pm throughout the summer.
While the building is usually available year-round as a meeting space, the kiosk is normally open every weekend from March to October when the beach receives the most visitors, many travelling up from Aberdeen.
Volunteer Joni Corbett said: “We’re all very excited, it feels like a big step back to normality.
“We’ve had all the volunteers in for training because the last time we were all together was just after Christmas in 2019.
“It’s been such a long time and we can’t wait to get going again.
“The beach has been very busy recently and we hope the community will come down and support us.
“Unfortunately the main building will have to remain closed for the time being, so it will just be the kiosk.
“We just ask that people use common sense, wear a mask when they’re being served and come up one at a time, and there will be hand sanitiser provided.”
As well as ice cream and refreshments, the amenities at The Sand Bothy include a recently renovated adventure playpark for children.
The building itself was also newly renovated earlier this month, with new decking, balustrades and steps.