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Crovie

Crovie (pronounced Crivie) is unique; there is nowhere else in mainland Britain where it is simply impossible to use a car. Visitors are strongly encouraged not to drive down to the village itself as the shelf of land on which the village is balanced is so narrow that it only has room for a row of cottages and the footpath in front of them.

Residents have to leave their cars at the south end of the village and walk often transporting groceries in wheelbarrows.

Crovie was established by families which had been removed off estates further inland to make room for their landlords sheep! The landlord decided he wanted them to operate his fishing boats; the fisherman saw little of the profits and took daily risks fishing in all weather. By the mid nineteenth century some fishermen had built their own boats, and by the end of the century some fifty such owner-operated boats sailed from Crovie.

The end of Crovie's fishing industry came, finally and abruptly, on 31 January 1953.

A storm that had been building since the previous night brought hurricane force winds and huge seas to the village. The path to Gardenstown was washed away (it has since been replaced), together with stretches of Crovie's sea defences and a number of houses and sheds. The village ceased to be viable almost immediately, and many residents simply moved round the bay to Gardenstown.

Crovie was left largely to be developed as holiday lets, and today it is a much more active place in the summer than at other times of the year. The restrictions placed by its location on development throughout its history, plus the halt to commercial activity in 1953, have left Crovie as one of the best preserved fishing villages in Europe.