Royal Marine Hotel
Beaches & Nature
Beaches and Nature in the Scottish Highlands
Brora is home to two beautiful, unspoilt beaches with golden sands that stretch out along the scenic coastline. The blue flag beach is located right next to Brora’s golf course and both locations are ideal for spotting dolphins, minke whales, and grey and common seals, as well as walking and having picnics. The area is known for its geological significance and it’s not uncommon to find Jurassic rocks containing ammonites and shells, making it a great place for families and individuals alike to partake in some fossil-hunting.
The River Brora is also a geologically significant area and has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. These fossils date back to the Middle Jurassic period, approximately 160 million years ago. The nature of the terrain and exposures means the River Brora is best enjoyed by experienced collectors and/or the scientific community; it's less suitable for families or inexperienced collectors for most of the year.
Geologically, Brora is of great interest, and many geologists of note have spent time here, including Sir Humphry Davy, who visited in 1812 and compiled a geological manuscript which was later gifted to Dunrobin Castle. There are exposed Jurassic rock faces to be explored, carved from the hillsides by the River Brora as it makes its way to the sea. The shores from Strathsteven to Greenhill were once below water, and more Jurassic rock has also been exposed by the tides.
Wildlife spotting and bird-watching in Scotland
The varied landscape of heather-filled moors, woodland and unspoilt beaches means that Brora and the North Highlands are a popular choice of home for a diverse range of wildlife.
Roe deer are widespread and red deer can be seen stalking the hills around Loch Brora and Glen Loth. Hedgehog, moles, shrews, voles, wood mice, fox, stoat, weasel and rabbit are all common, whilst brown hares are found on farmland, mountain hare on moorland and goats on the Morvich Rock near Rogart. An extremely rare sight is the wildcat, which resides in local woods and the hills.
Birdwatchers will be pleased to know that Brora has an impressive population of birds, including the Arctic tern, which features on Brora Golf Club’s emblem. Goldeneye, curlew redshank, oystercatcher and lapwing can be found on Loch Brora, whilst winter brings the Golden Eagle to the loch’s waters. To the south lies Loch Fleet, part of a nature reserve which welcomes seaduck and wader as well as osprey in spring time.
On the coast, a variety of ducks and waders make an appearance over the year, including mallard, goldeneye, longtailed duck and eider. Local sea life is never far away, with a mixture of dolphins, minke whales, grey and common seals often spotted from the beach.
Birds of prey and falconry displays in Scotland
Learn more about the ancient art of falconry at Dunrobin Castle, which runs regular displays throughout most of the year. Featuring resident species like golden eagles and peregrine falcons, as well as more exotic types such as the European eagle owl, spectators can enjoy a range of aerobatic displays.