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Thanks for the advice so far and thanks for the offer Scottk. I've planned to Braemar so far going via Faindouran bothy and Glen Avon but after that I'm still thinking. After this year I may well give Tafside a miss as I found it a bit to busy and instead stay north. I shall let you know what I plan!
Paul, if you finish on the beach at Newburgh you'll have lots of seals for company! And there is an excellent farm cafe at Westfield, NJ 986242, a couple of miles back from the sea where you can refuel before or after reaching the coast.
I certainly agree with Kirsten about the Barn https://www.thebarnfoveran.co.uk/ but the grid ref is NJ 968242
Well I've done it, I'm finishing at Newburgh on the Thursday lunchtime with a 9 mile walk up the coast from Aberdeen. It took a while to put together but I enjoy the social side of things so I'm going via Lochallater, Clova Hotel and Tarfside before making my way up to Banchory and across to Aberdeen.
I've been reading about the seal beach at Newburgh and it looks fantastic!
Check the tide times as the Aberdeenend can be more difficult during high tide although there is a path along the dunes above the beach.
Same at Balmedie. You have a couple of creeks to get over which is much easier at low tide.
For a lot of the route you can go through the dunes except the bit owned by a certain well known US businessman.
If you do have to go through the dunes, note a useful footbridge at NJ 97386 16731 which allows you to get over the creek that normally exits onto the beach around NJ 976173 (the exact position changes depending on winter storms and erosion). The creek is easily crossed at low tide when it fans out across the beach but presents a deep channel with a very steep sand dune on the other side if you are confined to the area above the high water mark. If that is likely to be the case you are better off diverting in advance and using the bridge I mention above and take the good path through the nature reserve at the back of the dunes between NJ 972167 and NJ 978187 before heading back towards the beach, which isn't owned by Trump. The dune terrain is certainly worth experiencing at some point at least. There is a footbridge at NJ 97816 17884 which allows you to cross the second creek at Bamedie if the tide makes crossing difficult.
If you are on the beach south of Newburgh, check out all the WW2 antitank defences, one of the concrete "teeth" is different to the others.
Thanks for the advice Brian. I have been looking at google satellite view and Bing maps as well to try and get an idea of what the area looks like and it would seem that I would be best walking 200-300 yards inland rather than trying to follow the exact coast or walking along the beach. This also means walking to the west of trumps golf course following field boundaries which I think may be wise given the circumstances. That far inland you get to walk on a firmer base rather than sand dune which can take ages to walk across. I'm currently doing the SWCP so have been finding this out the hard way!