Stay at Portsoy’s Sail Loft self catering accommodation and you have easy access to a range of pursuits – in sea and on land.

Our idyllic coastal location makes a great base for fans of water pursuits and walkers and hikers, and we look forward to a return of group parties, including extended family gatherings and friendship groups looking for an escape from the old routine.

So, whether you’re a lone traveller, a couple, or planning a group getaway, here’s our pick of ideas of things to do and see while staying at Portsoy.

Surfing and Paddleboarding on the Banffshire coast

Situated in neighbouring Banffshire village of Sandend, you will find a water sports school offering qualified surfing and stand-up paddleboard lessons, hires and tours on the beautiful Moray Firth coast.

Suds Surf School also hires out a range of equipment including wetsuits, bodyboards, skim boards and snorkels.

It doesn’t matter if you are a tentative first timer, a budding intermediate, or an aspiring expert, you’ll find something to suit. Lessons and hire for groups and individuals, families, club or school groups, stag and hen parties or corporate groups can all be organised.

Coastal Nature Watching

Portsoy is a short drive from Troup Head Nature Reserve near Banff. This is an RSPB reserve with great views over the Moray Firth – and lots of seabirds.

The high cliffs provide a spectacular setting for Scotland’s largest mainland gannet colony. There are also thousands of kittiwakes, guillemots and razorbills here, along with several other species, including puffins.

The Moray Firth is renowned as one of only two places in the UK with a resident pod of bottlenose dolphins. These can be spotted from land, and Dounie Hill, overlooking the historic harbour and the sea offers a great vantage point. If you don’t spot the mammals in the water then you can be guaranteed to get a photo of one at The Dounie, in the shape of Carn Standing’s artistic sculpture, one of Portsoy’s most Instagrammable scenes!

A trip to The Scottish Dolphin Centre at Spey Bay, near Fochabers, is also a must for dolphin lovers.

Golfing around Moray and Aberdeenshire

Portsoy is within close reach of a range of links and parkland course of Aberdeenshire and Moray. Duff House Royal sets a demanding scratch of 68, and is set in a beautiful, manicured setting with glimpses of the Moray Firth and the famed River Deveron.

The Sail Loft is a five-mile drive from Cullen Links a 63-par course described by Scottish Golf Podcast as “links golf as it should be”. Its criss-crossing holes offer intrigue, fun and a change of pace.

If you should get wet during your round, never fear, The Sail Loft has drying facilities.

Artisan arts and crafts in Aberdeenshire

Banff has its very own silversmithing and jewellery making school. Vanilla Ink runs an ever-changing range of classes to suit all budgets. A truly unique activity if you’re planning a group outing – the Sail Loft has 25 beds, so we have bags of space for friends and extended families – and crafting is lovely way to spend time in the company of friends

Portsoy and the wider area is home to a range of talented artists and craftspeople. You will find some of their wares for sale at The Portsoy Gift Box or check out the annual North East Open Studios where the region’s artisan makers throw open their doors to visitors September each year.

….And relax!

You don’t have to be a scratch golfer, an aspiring surfer or a dedicated twitcher to enjoy the benefits of a break at the Sail Loft.

Outdoors we have a wood-fuelled hot tub, private garden and benches perfect for alfresco eating or drinks,

Indoors our bright and airy open-plan kitchen area is well equipped with all you need for a self-catering stay, and the wood burning stove helps set the tone for a cosy evening, enjoying a good book or catching up on the day’s experiences. As a TV-free zone, we encourage guests to make their own entertainment!

A large dose of Vitamin Sea could be just the thing to help you hit reset after the challenges of the pandemic. The sounds of the ocean – and our comfy beds – will help you drift off to sleep in no time.

So, whatever your interests, and whatever the season, start planning for an adventure in Aberdeenshire, enjoying the delights that can be found at the Banffshire coast.

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