Forvie National Nature Reserve

Toggle location map

With some of the largest sand dunes in Britain, Forvie is one of Scotland's most dramatic stretches of coast. The mud flats of the Ythan Estuary provide a fast food refueling stop for many passing birds and the mouth of the estuary is a year-round haul out for seals. Please follow the signs for Newburgh and Beach Road car park, then walk to the beach where you can view the seals without frightening them.

The wind and the tide are in charge here, and it's a great place to blow the cobwebs away with the chance of seeing some spectacular wildlife.

With the constant shifting of the dunes, layers of history have been hidden and then revealed, where the remains of a 12th century church stand firm in an ever-changing landscape. Bird life is plentiful at Forvie and you can watch the summer acrobatics of diving terns or flocks of eider ducks resting on the shore.

A short, easy access trail with wheelchair-accessible picnic tables leads onto the reserve from the Forvie Centre, which has a classroom for educational use. There is also a bird hide at Waulkmill, cycle racks at the main car parks and additional parking along the estuary. Large vehicles and camper vans can park at Waterside and at the Forvie Centre. Waymarked paths varying in length from 1 to 3.5 miles, 1.5 to 6 km can also be found at the reserve.

  • Official Star Rating
  • Opening Times

    Open All Year

    Reserve open at all times. Some access restrictions apply in summer when the tern and eider breeding areas are closed to people but you can still get excellent views of these species.

    Visitor centre - open daily April to September. Between October and March the toilets will be open on weekdays while staff are on site. Covid-19 restrictions are in place: the toilets are cleaned daily but the information room in the visitor centre is closed.
  • Facilities
    • Toilets
    • Child Friendly
    • Pets Allowed
    • Parking
    • Coach parking
    • Public Transport
  • Accessibility
    • Disabled Access
  • Accreditations and Awards

As featured in these blogs