The charming village of Portknockie is known for its friendly locals and community atmosphere. In the village there is a pub, a hotel serving meals in the restaurant and bar, a fish and chip shop, a good small supermarket and a newsagent. Portknockie has a small harbour where fishing boats still ply their trade. There is a small sandy beach and a paddling pool built into the rocks, which is an added attraction for younger visitors. The harbour also has a slipway where visitors are able to launch their boats. The cottage has an adjoining garage suitable for storing canoes and bikes. The coast all along this region is renowned for its dramatic and ever changing scenery. Small coves and rocky outcrops are interspersed with wonderful sandy beaches. Nearby Bowfiddle Rock is a well known vantage point and there are lovely cliff top walks direct from the property as well as some excellent cycle paths, following coastal routes or further inland. The Speyside Way passes through just a few yards from the cottage. This particularly spectacular route runs through to the attractive seaside town of Cullen, taking you over the Cullen viaduct with the sweeping sands below. Boat trips run from the nearby towns of Buckie and Banff and are highly recommended to view the sea life closer to hand. Dolphins and seals are regular visitors (and are regularly spotted direct from the bedroom windows). The area is also renowned for its wealth of sea birds and even the occasional whale has been seen close to shore. Nearby Troup Head is home to the only land based gannet colony on the British Isles. There is plenty to see and do all along this lovely coast. There are numerous castles and distilleries on the famous ’Whisky and Castle Trails’. Cullen has a number of excellent facilities including restaurants, pubs, cafe and shops, a bowling green and golf course which is open to visitors. Nearby Findochty has a superb golf course and driving range within easy walking distance. The pretty harbour with its small fishing boats and private craft is a real delight and there is a pub right on the front making it an ideal spot to have a drink and watch the boats coming and going. Fishing is also a popular pastime and there are a number of famous rivers all within 20 minutes drive, such as the Spey and the Deveron. Fishing permits are available locally. Cowrie Cottage is also ideally located for exploring the two main Highland cities of Aberdeen and Inverness, being almost equidistant between them. With miles of unspoilt coastline, interspersed with pretty fishing villages, castles and distilleries it provides a superb base from which to explore this beautiful and fascinating area.