is an extremely attractive town originally built around the
mouth of the Burn of Deskford. When seen from the sea it is
framed from behind by higher ground carrying a disused railway
line over a series of spectacular viaducts.
is in two parts. Sandwiched between the sea wall on one side,
and the curve of the main road on the other is the fishing
village, Seatown. This is a unique collection of a couple
of a hundred small stone fishermen's cottages. At the seaward
side they turn their ends to the sea, which on this north-facing
coast can be much less placid than implied by the images on
Wandering around Seatown is a slightly other-worldly experience.
It was obviously a planned community; but the plans were interpreted
in any number of slightly different ways as individual cottages
were built. One fascinating feature is the brightly-coloured
appearance of the render applied over the joins between the
stones forming many of the cottages, but not over the faces
of the stones themselves, producing an odd patch-work effect.
The "inland" side of Cullen stretches up an imposing
main street that continues from Seatown under the most easterly
of the three railway viaducts. Here you can find a collection
of local services and attractive small shops that service
the local community: but again no sign of the commercialisation
that has elsewhere overwhelmed attractive coastal settlements
of this sort.
At the eastern end of Seatown, just below where the main road
emerges from its viaduct, is Cullen's harbour. Again, a relatively
quiet place that marks the junction between the Seatown's
sandy beach and the rockier seascape to the east. People enjoy
this beach, but most prefer the much larger expanses of sand
to be found immediately to the west of Cullen, and easily
walkable from it.
A Fishing heritage lies behind Cullen's main claim to fame:
a form of smoked haddock, potato and onion soup named after
the town: Cullen Skink. The slightly odd name comes from the
Gaelic word for "essence".