Boyndie Visitor Centre & Wind Turbine Walk

Written by Chris Thornton | 18th of April 2023
Boyndie Visitor Centre & Wind Turbine Walk

While travelling between Portsoy and Banff on the A98, Boyndie Visitor Centre is a brilliant place to stop for some shopping, a bite to eat or a relaxing woodland walk.

The visitor centre is located within the old school building, surrounded by six acres of gardens and woodland paths. There is a large recreation area with grass areas, ponds, waterfalls, small bridges, memorials and a large children's play area, all accessible free of charge.

In addition to what the centre offers, there is a short walk available to Boyndie Wind Farm, which takes you to a row of impressively large wind turbines.

I visited in mid-February with my wife and three daughters. The gardens were not in bloom at this time, so it looks a little bare in these photos, but it's a lovely place to visit in northwest Aberdeenshire. Read on to find out more about our visit!

Visitor Centre, gift shop and garden centre

Pulling into the car park, it was very busy; luckily, there was a single space left! We parked up and decided to check out the visitor centre first.

Boyndie Visitor Centre car park. Aberdeenshire Council.
The busy car park at Boyndie Visitor Centre.
The Old School Boyndie Visitor Centre.
The main visitor centre building - the old school.

RAF Display

Entering at the side via the sliding door, we saw a display about RAF Banff, including models, drawings, photographs and information boards. I noticed there was a folded-up wheelchair here, perhaps available for use by visitors.

A display recording the history at RAF Banff.
A display at the entrance gives a lot of information on RAF Banff.

Boyndie Gift Shop

Continuing into the main building, there are several retail areas with some really lovely items sourced from all over Scotland. The gift shop is split up into zones and almost feels like a little Christmas village:

  • Clothes, hats, scarves, and handbags.

  • The lobby contains tea towels, including some fun ones with doric and Glaswegian words.

  • A book shop with many great kid's books and informational books about Banff and Aberdeenshire.

  • A floral section full of beautiful artificial flowers.

  • A general knick knacks area with wind chimes.

  • A kid's toy shop.

  • Homewares and greetings cards/postcards.

Boyndie Trust
The clothing area of the shop.
The lobby of Boyndie Visitor Centre.
The lobby.
Scottish dish towels.
A selection of fun dish towels with Scottish words.
A superb selection of books are available to buy.
Flower shop!
A pretty selection of artificial flowers.
Artificial flowers.
They are artificial but still beautiful.
Knick knacks!
A wide variety of different items are available.
Homeware items available at Boyndie.
Homeware items.
Products at the visitor centre.
Candle holders and dream catchers.
A little shopping village within the centre.
Kids toys
Kids toys section.
Gift cards and homewares.
Gift cards and homewares.

Boyndie Visitor Centre Cafe

We didn't have the pleasure of trying out the cafe on this visit, but we have in the past; the food has been lovely, and the staff are friendly and attentive. The restaurant offers home baking and local produce, ideal for lunch or a quick coffee break.

Cafe / Restaurant at Boyndie Visitor Centre.
The cafe at Boyndie Visitor Centre.

Boyndie Garden Centre

My wife loves garden centres, and she loved looking through the items available here. I bought her this lovely pot for Valentine's day.

Bee pot from Boyndie!
Bee pot from Boyndie, my wife loves bees!
Boyndie garden centre entrance.
The entrance to the Boyndie Garden Centre.
Plants in the covered area of Boyndie Garden Centre.
The covered area of the garden centre.
Bubble greenhouse.
Bubble greenhouse!
A great assortment of plants.
Many great products are available at the garden centre.

Banff Partnership

Established in 1999, Banff Partnership was set up to support the community. Banff Partnership works from the visitor centre site and offers:

  • Community minibus hire.

  • Dial a bus service.

  • Training.

  • Office space.

Banff Partnership buses. Paid employment / labour market.
The community buses of Banff Partnership.

Walks at Boyndie Visitor Centre

There are a variety of great walks near Boyndie Visitor Centre. A board near the centre shows four major walks:

  • Woodland Walk (10 minutes).

  • Turbine Walk (20 minutes).

  • RAF Banff Heritage Trail (2 hours).

  • An additional route to the Control Tower Viewpoint (an additional 15 minutes after Turbine Walk).

Boyndie Gardens
Overview of the garden area.
One of the touching monuments found in the gardens.
Water feature.
One of the water features.
Boyndie pond.
The pond - it looks more vibrant in spring and summer.
Bridge over the burn.
A small bridge crosses the burn and also begins the turbine walk.
Small waterfall within the gardens.
Boyndie woodland walk.
A section of the short woodland walk.
Woodland walk at Boyndie gardens.
The woodland walk is very well maintained.
Boyndie childrens play area.
Olivia and Lauren shooting some hoops at the children's play area,

RAF Banff

Boyndie Visitor Centre is built directly next to the now-defunct RAF Banff. Construction of the base began in 1942 and was completed the following year. The runways were constructed in a triangular "A" shape connected by a continuous perimeter track for taxiing aircraft.

Initially, the base was used for the "No 14 Advanced Flying Unit" using Airspeed Oxford aircraft. Over 2100 pilots earned their wings here, flying 147,000 hours! This unit was disbanded in 1944 to make way for the Banff Strike Wing - set up in response to the occupation of Norway during World War 2.

Over 80 men died during operations to disrupt convoys travelling from the Baltic to Germany, and a permanent memorial exists directly on the A98 to these brave men.

The base was closed in 1946, following the end of WW2. It would later be used for target practice by aircraft from neighbouring RAF Lossiemouth. There are many buildings in various states of disrepair, but the control tower is still in reasonable condition.

Aerial view of RAF Banff.
Aerial photo of the runway.
Runway and Moray Firth.
Opposite view of the runway looking out to the North Sea / Moray Firth.

Boyndie Wind Farm / Falck Renewables

From the visitor centre, there are a few brilliant short walks. The two main points of interest are the abandoned RAF base and the Boyndie wind turbines. These huge turbines are often in the far distance in inaccessible locations; the Boyndie turbines are accessible from the visitor centre via a short 20-minute walk.

Following the marked blue route marked "Turbine Walk" will take you to the "T8" turbine, the closest to the visitor centre. A well-trodden path bordering fields will take you to the remnants of RAF Banff and then to the turbine itself. A longer walk is available, taking in parts of the air base and another four wind turbines - T4 through T7.

Start of the Boyndie Turbine Walk.
Beginning of the Turbine Walk.
Boyndie bird hide.
A bird hide is available for use on the walk. Information sheets inside show the different species that can be seen.
Wind Turbine trail.
The trail to the turbines continues!
Boyndie wind turbine.
First glimpse of the turbines we would visit.
Size of the wind turbine.
Janette and Ellie give a sense of scale to this wind turbine.
Wind turbine rotor.
Close-up shot of the wind turbine rotor.
Wind turbines at Boyndie.
The other wind turbines in this array.

This particular wind farm comprises 8 "Enercon E-70 E4" wind turbines, each producing up to 2000kW of electrical output. When operating at full capacity, the wind farm generates 16.3MW of clean green energy, enough to power around 9100 homes. To put that into context, it could power all of the homes in Portsoy and Banff and all the rural properties in between.

Our kids were absolutely fascinated by them and were pleased to get so close. I felt a little dizzy looking up at this turbine; it's an odd feeling seeing something so big revolve at speed.

How to get to Boyndie Visitor Centre

Here are some basic directions to get to Boyndie Visitor Centre, the visitor centre is roughly about halfway between the two towns and just off the A98.

Address: Boyndie Visitor Centre, The Old School, Boyndie, Banff, AB45 2JT.

From Banff (3.5 miles):

  1. Leave Banff by travelling west along the A98.

  2. About 3 miles along the A98 Portsoy road, look for a right turn marked by a brown tourist sign marked "Boyndie Visitor Centre".

  3. Continue north along a single-track road for about half a mile.

  4. Pass the homes on the right and look for the visitor centre sign on your left.

  5. Turn left to the visitor centre, and take the first right into the car park.

From Portsoy (4.7 miles):

  1. Leave Portsoy south via the A98.

  2. After about 4 miles, look for a left turn marked by a brown tourist sign, "Boyndie Visitor Centre".

  3. Follow step three from the Banff directions above.

A bus stop also exists on the A98; a short walk north will take you to the visitor centre.

Boyndie Visitor Centre signage.
The welcome sign outside the visitor centre.

Boyndie Visitor Centre opening times

The centre is open all year and open Wednesday to Sunday between 10 am and 4 pm.

Contact details: Tel: 01261 843249 / E-mail:

Boyndie Visitor Centre FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about Boyndie Visitor Centre:

Is Boyndie Visitor Centre disabled-friendly?

The visitor centre is fully wheelchair accessible.

Are there toilets at Boyndie Visitor Centre?

Yes, toilets are available when you visit the centre.

Are there any other places to visit before or after Boyndie Visitor Centre?

Boyne CastleFindlater Castle and Macduff Aquarium are attractions near the visitor centre. Also, consider the playpark and beach at Banff Links.

Boyndie Drome Race Track
Grampian Kart Club is located directly next to the runway of the old RAF base.

Videos of the wind turbines

Here are a few short videos of our walk to the Boyndie wind turbines.

Side view of the turbine, the girls loved it.
Front view of the turbine.
The turbine, and the other turbines in the distance.
One final look at the wind turbine.

Key information on Boyndie Visitor Centre and Wind Turbine Walk

  • Boyndie Visitor Centre is located just off the A98 between Portsoy and Banff.

  • The centre includes a gift shop, cafe and garden centre.

  • Open all year - Wednesday to Sunday – 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.

  • There is a child's play area, water features and gardens to explore.

  • Walks are available to the nearby Boyndie Wind Farm, including the wind turbines.

  • You can walk around and explore the remaining buildings of RAF Banff.


While in northwest Aberdeenshire, Boyndie Visitor Centre is a great place to stop for food and short walks. The gift shop has really lovely items, and the garden centre is well stocked for the most avid gardeners.

The walks to the wind turbines are a great attraction and a fantastic learning experience for kids. The fascinating wartime history of RAF Banff is an added bonus. Shopping, hospitality, nature, history and modern engineering all in one place!

All information was correct at the time of writing, please check things like entry costs and opening times before you arrive.

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