If you asked us what our favorite city in all of the United Kingdom was, our entire family would tell you Cullen. I can’t pinpoint one specific reason. However, I can tell you that Cullen is the first village we stayed at when Christopher and I came to the United Kingdom for the very first time in 2013. We stayed at a quaint B&B in the village (sadly, it is no longer operating as a B&B), experienced our first Scottish breakfast in this town, and our love and longing for Scotland began in those moments in August 2013 when we spent a few days in Cullen.
We have been back to Scotland three times, with trips four (on a British Isles cruise in June) and five (our month long Scottish holiday in August) coming up in 2020. Every trip, we have stayed in Cullen for at least a day.
Cullen is a quaint village town on the Banffshire coast. It is approximately 90 minutes from either the Inverness or Aberdeen airports. The drive to Cullen is lovely, but the town is breathtaking, and the coast is my favorite. Words cannot describe the beauty of this coast. I think I personally prefer a cool weather coastal side than a carribbean one, but this is the best. The sounds of the waves, the quiet of the environment, the quaintness of the views, are so relaxing and soothing for my soul. Our first day in Cullen in 2013 we went to the coast, and I have loved it ever since that moment.
Cullen is famous for a soup known as Cullen Skink. Cullen Skink is a thick soup, similar to a chowder, made from haddock, potatoes, and onions. Cephas and Gideon tried it on our last trip and found it to be delicious!
Now that I have you interested and wanting to come to Cullen, let me give you some destination details for planning you trip to the Cullen area.
- Antique Shops – Cullen has many unique antique shops in town. On our last trip in 2019, we perused through a few, and found some really neat antique sketches of castles that we bought for our house. Gideon says the antique shops are his favorites, and that if you are coin collector, they have amazing antique coins that are inexpensive.
- Grocery Stores – If you need a bigger shop, you will have to make the ten minute drive to Buckie for the Tesco (which we love!), but in town is The Co-Operative Store. The Co-Operative Stores can generally be found all over Scotland in each village and town, and has all the basic groceries and toiletries one should need.
- Rockpool Cafe & Restaurant – This place quickly became a favorite for me on our most recent trip, and had the most amazing pancakes. I don’t really like pancakes! They serve three fluffy pancakes that is layered with 2-3 slices of delicious British bacon. It is delicious. We made sure to eat brunch there on our last day last trip, and it is definitely on my radar for our next trip. Check out their info here.
- Cullen Bay Hotel and Restaurant – We have eaten at this restaurant multiple times. They make delicious soups and fish and chips, and are very child friendly. Our children enjoyed eating there. Check out their info here.
- Linda’s Fish and Chips – Already, fish and chips in Scotland is oh so tasty. There is no fish like haddock. This chippie was the first place we ever ate at in Cullen, and it leaves us with great memories. During our most recent trip, it was fun to be able to dine in since they have added a small dining room. I enjoyed fish and chips and curry pie during the few times we ate there. Check out their info here.
- Royal Tiger – On our most recent trip, this was our first time to try this Indian food restaurant. It was close to our rental house, and they had fast and easy takeaway with an awesome deal on Thursday nights. Fun fact, our first time ever trying Indian food was in Buckie (near Cullen) in 2013. We love Indian food ever since. Check out their info here.
- Cullen Bay Hotel – We stayed here in July 2016 overnight when we came to Cullen. This is a nice hotel with amazing coastal views. I would stay here again in a heartbeat, and highly recommend it. Check out their info here.
- Hill Crest Holiday Cottage – We stayed in this self catering home in March 2019, and it was lovely. The owners are kind and helpful, and the home is gorgeous with lovely coastal views. I am disappointed this particular home (Hill Crest) is booked when we will be in Cullen in August, but we will be staying in their other home (Camrose), and very much looking forward to that. Check out their info here.
Things to Do
Cullen is a perfect area to stay with lots to do in a 90 minute radius. Within this radius you can reach Inverness to Aberdeen, down into the Cairngorms, and even reach Dunnottar Castle in Stonehaven. If you are wanting to stay local, we have two favorite things to check out.
- Bow Fiddle Rock – This is located near Cullen, and has a lovely little walk out to get the best views of the rock formation in the water that looks like a bow fiddle. There are benches along the trails to stop and take a quick break.
- Findlater Castle – This is a ruined castle located near Cullen off the coast. It is a nice little walk out to Findlater. We explored this castle in 2013, and our children got to experience it on our trip in 2019.
Needless to say, we love everything about Cullen. If we had a choice to move, we would definitely move to Cullen without thinking. We are looking forward to spending more time there in 2020.