Newburgh, Aberdeenshire

Dunes adjacent to Newburgh on south bank of Ythan Estuary

Newburgh is a coastal village in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.[1] The village dates to 1261 AD, when Lord Sinclair wanted to establish a chapel in the area.[2] Originally built as a school, somewhat later the chapel of Holy Rood was established.



Newburgh is on the Ythan Estuary and near the Sands of Forvie. Near the estuary mouth, the presence of tern colonies is notable, since there are several distinct species that utilize the north banks of the Ythan Estuary, and comprise a meaningful percentage of the breeding pairs of terns in the United Kingdom. In the summer terns can be observed feeding in their characteristic diving patterns approximately 600 to 900 meters inland from the estuary[3]. The Forvie Nature Reserve is very near and to the north, where there is said to be the largest eider duck colony in the world. Beside the beach is an eighteen hole golf course with its bird shaped clubhouse and the Udny Arms restaurant.

Holy Rood Chapel in Newburgh


During the nineteenth century, Newburgh was a main sea port for the nearby town of Ellon. A number of clipper ships sailed to destinations all over the globe to deliver tea and other cargoes and coal barges sailed up the east coast to offload at the quayside. Several of the wealthier clipper sea captains built houses in the village and named them after their most frequent ports of call. Hence several imposing properties exist in the village such as Shanghai house, Santa Cruz and Sydney house.

Newburgh was a victim of bombing in World War 2. 2005 saw a sudden expansion in housing in the village, with houses being built just west of the local school, and near the Ythan Hotel, at the southernmost point of the village. Whilst the houses at the west end of Newburgh were a marketing success, residents were fairly critical of the properties going up next to the Ythan, dubbing the area too swampy for the foundations. Just past the eastern end of the Ythan Bridge, is a bomb crater left by an attacking German aircraft, the bomb, aimed at the wharf, skipped over the bridge and exploded on the embankment beside the Cruden Bay Road.

Following the War, the Area Between Rockend and the Ythan Bridge was cleared of Landmines by the army, 19 landmines were never found due to the nature of the shifting sands. Over the years when some were discovered these were defused, but it is known that some were put down rabbit burrows out the way, as such there are still landmines in the area.

Local information

Transport services include NABs Taxis. Also, not a quarter of a mile out of Newburgh is the aptly named Newburgh Motors garage. Education is served by Newburgh Mathers School, named after John Mathers who, just before his death, left the residents of Newburgh enough money to set up a school in the local area for, as he put it, the education and clothing of twenty poor fishermen's sons of Newburgh. In terms of secondary education, Newburgh is within the catchment area for Ellon Academy.The tallest point of Newburgh is the knoll Gallows Hill, which, as the name suggests, is where, in the past, criminals were led to be hanged for crimes. The police station in Newburgh no longer exists: in its place stands a house. However, the presence of a cell, in the past, is given away by the bars in one of the windows. Also, in the front of the house are the words police station engraved in the stone.

Main Road with viewe on Udny Arms Hotel

Tourist attractions

The ruined Knockhall Castle is near Newburgh and was inhabited for a century by Clan Udny.

Newburgh was famous for being a rumoured birthplace of the sticky toffee pudding. Indeed, people were going to the Udny Arms Hotel just to have said pudding, according to several sources. However, the debate as to whether or not Newburgh is the birthplace of the sweet continues today.

Coastal and Country Walks/Cycling, Bird watching, NHS Forvie Sands Reserve (Ducks, Waders, Seals and more), Sea Trout Angling available. Newburgh Golf Club - Links Course, Several other Golf Courses in easy reach. Wind/Kite Surfing in the area. Sand Dunes and sandy Beaches.


External links

Coordinates: 57°18′56″N 2°00′06″W / 57.31557°N 2.00164°W / 57.31557; -2.00164

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