Diversification is the name of the game – and farms across Scotland are always looking at ways of making more, not just for their own businesses but for those who live, work and visit their communities.
Once such farm on Scotland’s east coast is helping it happen - making waves in the way it has diversified and continues to blaze a trail working with partners and stakeholders. Lunan Bay Farm provides the access to those looking to discover and explore what many claim is Scotland’s best beach - stretching 2 miles from Boddin Point in the north to Ethie Haven in the south.
In 2012, the family set up Lunan Bay Leisure with partners Hew, Bonnie and Scott after Bonnie moved back to the family farm with her husband, Scott. A small family-run farm, they’re “focused on delivering a great experience for our visitors based on our values of keeping things local and ethical”.
The farm ends at the high tide mark on the beach and, above this point, they work very hard to try and keep everything as natural an environment as possible, encouraging a diverse range of wildlife to the area. This ethos includes working with organisations including Scottish Natural Heritage to help protect the fragile environment and wildlife at Lunan Bay.
The spectacular beach is backed by high dunes and is a haven for those who love beach life - from surfers and horse riders, to twitchers and those just looking to walk and enjoy this amazing space.
The farm has invested in creating a campsite with the added comfort of toilets, showers and electric hook-up. They also offer a self-catering holiday let at Hawkhill, just a mile from the beach. Modern and stylish, the accommodation sleeps up to 6 adults and can accommodate a further 6 children. There's a large garden for relaxing with exceptional views over the bay.
In 2016, the Lunan Bunkhouse has transformed part of the old care home at Lunan House into informal, friendly accommodation. It offers all combinations from shared rooms to exclusive use. Judging by the comments in the visitors' book, you won't be disappointed.
Best of all - for those living close by as well as those visiting - is the Lunan Bay Diner. It serves traditional Scottish produce with “a hint of flavours from Southern America”. Purpose built in 2012 as a collaboration with local architect, Kerry Smith, the Diner has been a great success. On site, they make cakes and scones in their own kitchen and serve up gluten free options – and diners can enjoy breakfasts, lunches and savour afternoon drinks, cakes and snacks.
For lovers of history and heritage, overlooking Lunan Bay is the crumbling ruin of Red Castle. It dates from the 12th century and in 1328 was given to the Earl of Ross by Robert The Bruce. More than six centuries later, those who make this corner of Scotland their home continue to invest in its future, making it a sustainable haven for future generations to enjoy.