While The Banffshire Coast’s maritime connections are evident everywhere, it should not be forgotten that agriculture is also a significant part of this area’s past, present and future. The town of Turriff – seven miles inland and affectionately known as Turra – has thrived through the livestock and crop-growing trade.
It is home to one of Scotland’s best-known annual agricultural shows - The Turra Show. Up to 40,000 people – farmers and those who struggle to tell one end of a cow from another – attend this event, which takes place on the Sunday and Monday before the first Tuesday in August. Spectators are treated to a magnificent display of cattle, sheep and horses, as well as poultry and ‘cuddly’ animals such as rabbits and cavies.
Even in the bustling town centre – which has a fantastic selection of small, independent shops where there is always a bargain to be had – there is a nod to the importance of the farming industry.
In 1913 a white milk cow – later known as the Turra Coo - was seized by the government when its owner protested at the introduction of compulsory National Insurance and refused to hand over £22 in contributions. The beast was walked into town to be auctioned but locals, sympathetic to the farmer’s plight, caused a near riot, bought the cow and returned it to the farmer. A statue of the famous beast now takes pride of place in the town centre.
Just a few miles outside of Turriff amid the rolling fields that have supported the local economy lies Delgatie Castle. It is a contrast of regal splendour and cosy family home, mixing one of the finest painted ceilings in Scotland and grand period furniture, with the warmth of the tea-room where the award-winning homebakes have people coming from near and far.