|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||20.4 miles (32.8 km)|
|Meets:||A98, B9032, B9123, A98|
|Route outline (key)|
The B9031 runs along the north coast of Buchan in Aberdeenshire, from the fishing port of Fraserburgh to the edge of Macduff in Banffshire. Along the way, it passes one of Scotland's most famous film locations, and some spectacular scenery too.
We start on the western edge of Fraserburgh, leaving the A98 at a simple T-junction, and head for the coast. Soon we are heading west, just a stone's throw from the sea, although after passing the harbour and small village at Sandhaven we get even closer to the water. At high tide, with a strong northerly wind the sea probably crashes onto the road, but at low tide on a dreich October day the road was clear.
At Rosehearty, we turn into the wide square, which has plentiful parking up the middle of the two lanes of traffic, before they merge once more into an S2 road. We have now left the coast behind us, although it is never that far away, and reach a TOTSO with the B9032. We turn right and stay inland, but are now at least running parallel to the coast as we head to the strange grid-iron village of New Aberdour. After this, the road gets even more fun, with a series of steep climbs and descents mixed with twisty bends.
All the time, we are slowly heading back to the coast, and at Pennan Crossroads a side road drops very steeply down to the pretty little fishing village that starred in the film Local Hero. The B9031, meanwhile, stays at the top of the cliffs, turning inland again to avoid the headland and village of Gardenstown, which is served by the B9123. A couple of near-hairpin bends drop us down across a stream and its narrow valley, and then the road opens up into a series of straights running roughly parallel to the coast all the way to the A98 a little east of Macduff and journey's end.