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How Well Do You Know Banffshire?
Unearth Its Hidden Gems
The Banffshire Coast is described as a treasure trove for nature lovers as well as walkers, cyclists and arts and culture fanatics. This beautiful part of Scotland has much to offer and holds its own treasures in the form of beauty spots, places of interest and outstanding scenery. Why not encounter these secret riches for yourself?

The Banffshire Coast Tourism Partnership gives its top five hidden gem suggestions for explorers:

Hidden gem number 1 - The red phone box, Pennan
- Made famous by its appearance in the film 'Local Hero' 20 years ago, this iconic object still stands today and has a preservation order on it. It still attracts tourists from all over the world. Pennan was voted the best film location in 2005 and it's easy to understand why with its stunning scenery, quaint cottages and friendly locals.

Hidden gem number 2
Hell's Lum - As scary as it sounds, this chasm is situated one mile west of Pennan, adjacent to Fort Fiddes, at Cullykhan Bay and is said to echo the voices of 1,000 dead sailors. On a windy day listen out for the voices of the spirits whistling up through the rocks! There are also wooden steps down from the sea cliff tunnel to a beautiful sandy beach.

Hidden gem number 3 - Troup Head
A 'must visit' area for bird spotters. The 4km stretch of cliff-top is home to Scotland's only gannet colony, with an estimated 1,500 nests, and one of only two such colonies in the whole of the UK. Troup Head is also ideal walking country, complete with beaches, cave formations, wild flowers and even the iron age 'Fort Fiddes' just along the coastline.

Hidden gem number 4
Gold Panning In Pennan - Discover the areas riches! The sea caves and shingle beaches of the Banffshire Coast made the area popular with smugglers and it is said that there is still buried treasure in these parts. Divers recently unearthed gold whilst exploring a submerged cave in the waters off Pennan.

Hidden gem number 5
Bowfiddle Rock - This stunning natural arch has been cut by waves and acts as a roosting place for gulls and cormorants. Expect stunning scenery and lots of wildlife.

Karen Crowe, of The Banffshire Coast Tourism Partnership, says, "People may think that they know Banffshire well but there are so many places of interest, historic landmarks and other hidden treasures to discover, it can take a few visits for people to truly appreciate its beauty! Even people who have lived in Banffshire all of their lives are surprised when they stumble across things they have never seen before."

Karen continues, "There are many nooks and crannies dotted along the coast making a trip to Banffshire like a treasure hunt, unearthing things from the past and piecing together what the area would have been like many years ago."

More about the Banffshire coast and its hidden gems can be found at www.banffshirecoast.com

More Places On Caithness.org

Another View Of Pennan

Banffshire Coast - Home To The Pirates of Pennan?
Although the majority of skull and cross-bones style pirates were found in theGulf of Mexico and off the eastern coast of America, we are most likely to associate pirates with the hit-flick 'Pirates of the Caribbean'. You'd be surprised to find out that a remote corner of the Banffshire Coast in the North East of Scotland is also famed for stories of pirates, buried treasure and being a well known haven for smugglers. The area around Pennan offers the opportunity for an adventure-filled holiday, with something to appeal to the most swashbuckling of families!

Pirates of Pennan
Pennan is a small coastal hamlet, with rows of tiny whitewashed cottages meandering between 300ft cliffs and the sea below, the perfect setting for swashbuckling pirates ready to plunder their riches. The recent discovery of hidden treasure by divers, who struck gold whilst exploring a submerged cave in the waters off Pennan, proves Pennan's Pirate credentials.

Follow in the footsteps of Jack Sparrow and find your own hidden treasures by exploring the many hidden nooks and crannies, you may not strike gold, but you are sure to find some special souvenirs to take home. For those with a Will Turner, cast-iron constitution, join the coastal trail and visit Hell's Lum at Cullykhan Bay, where it is said the voices of 1,000 dead sailors echo!

Ship Ahoy
Be captain of your own ship by joining one of the two cruises that operate daily on the Banffshire Coast. Whether you prefer the more leisurely Puffin Cruises or the speedy North 58 Sea Adventures, they both offer the chance to see the diverse marine wildlife such as dolphins and porpoises, but for those seeking more scary sea monsters, the occasional sightings of killer whales and sharks have been reported!

Movie Moguls
For those less enamoured with Pirates of the Carribean, but movie buffs all the same, Pennan holds the title of the 'UK's Best Film Location'. In 1983 Pennan rose to fame because of the appearance of the village's red phone box in the hit film Local Hero. The phone box still stands today and is a major visitor attraction to tourists from all over the world.

Where to stay?
Why not stay in your own slice of movie history at one of the identifiable landmarks from the film, the Pennan Inn. The venue is well known for its convivial atmosphere with an excellent seafood restaurant and cosy bar.

For further information on the Banffshire Coast and all that it offers visit www.banffshirecoast.com