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Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia, Where Waves and Rocks Collide, Washed by Endless Tides

Updated on January 6, 2018
Athlyn Green profile image

Athlyn Green makes her home minutes away from the Bay of Fundy. She enjoys the huge tides, rugged coastlines, and stunning vistas.

Peggy in the Wave

This photo was taken and later, someone pointed and said, "Look! There's a woman in the wave. Why, it's Peggy in the Wave."
This photo was taken and later, someone pointed and said, "Look! There's a woman in the wave. Why, it's Peggy in the Wave." | Source

The Most Popular Tourist Attraction in Atlantic Canada

Peggy's cove offers a perfect blending of elements: sparkling blue ocean waters, bleached and weathered rocks worn smooth by wave action, and a lighthouse that looks out over Atlantic waters. Waves crash and spray over the the rocks and no matter the weather, Peggy's Cove, in its many moods, is a spot that offers an unbeatable canvas, one that painters and photographers strive to capture.

It is the most famous working fishing village in the world and one that offers plenty of exploring and photo opportunities. Storyboards throughout the area detail interesting area tidbits and facts, local shops offer Maritime souvenirs, and cafes offer an assortment of delicious treats.

Visitors are sure to be impressed by the sheer power of the waves, and even those who stay well back from the edge have been sprayed or drenched when a high wave came in unexpectedly. There no shortage of the thrill factor in this unique corner of Canada.

An Intriguing Legend

A shipwreck on Halibut Rock... a lone survivor...

A Name and a Legend

How did this rocky outcropping get its moniker Peggy's Cove?

Originally called Eastern Point Harbor, (a lackluster name, at best) the cove may have taken its name after St. Margaret's Bay because Peggy is another name for Margaret--or, it is possible the name could have arisen in honor of the wife of an early settler to the area.

Legend is far more interesting and weaves a tale of the sole survivor of a shipwreck in the 1800s, who was given the name of Peggy. Villagers would say, "Let's go visit Peggy of the cove." Peggy, it was said, later married a villager and the handle, "Peggy of the cove," continued and eventually became the name of the place.

Peggy's historical roots have been strengthened by outside sources who remember the survivor.

Whatever the origin of the name, one can't help but think that the name has helped to stimulate interest in this area of Eastern Canada.

Picturesque Peggy's Cove Lighthouse


Peggy's Point Lighthouse

One of the most-photographed structures in Atlantic Canada, this lighthouse has earned distinction as being one of the most recognizable lighthouses in the world.

Peggy's Cove Lighthouse

Built in 1915, the famous lighthouse marks the eastern entrance to St. Margaret's Bay. The lighthouse stands sentinel on an impressive granite outcropping, known as Peggy's Point and is one of the most recognizable lighthouses in Atlantic Canada and indeed the world.

While tourists who venture out on the rocks around the lighthouse stand a chance of being sprayed by the turbulent waters, the smooth rocks and giant waves present additional hazards. Each year, unlucky individuals are actually washed off by rogue waves. Sadder still, the sea has claimed its share of hapless victims over the years.

Village of Peggy's Cove


An Active Fishing Village and Tourist Destination

Peggy's cove is 43 kilometers from Halifax and is still an active fishing village, one of many along the rocky coastline bordering the Atlantic ocean.

It is likely very similar to how it was in Peggy's time. Strict land use regulations are in effect to preserve the area, with most property development prohibited in order to prevent inflation of property values.

Tourists Scale the Rocks


The rocks bear testimony to the power of the waves and have been worn smooth against the forces of relentless tides and mighty storms that lash the coastline.

Where Waves and Rocks Collide


Water on Either Side

Peggy's Cove in Summer as seen from the Memorial site.
Peggy's Cove in Summer as seen from the Memorial site. | Source

Power of the Atlantic

While warning signs appear in prominent locations, visitors ignore these at their peril and risk being swept from the rocks and into the sea. The waves are unpredictable and a spot on the rocks that was dry one moment can be drenched the next. Unless one has lived off the Atlantic, it is hard to comprehend the magnitude and sheer power of the waves.

Wave Action and Legend Spawn Peggy of the Cove Books

Local author, Ivan Fraser, grew up in the area, witnessing the power of the waves and hearing tell of the mysterious Peggy. He decided to bring the legend to life in a series of books about Peggy, which includes a beautifully illustrated children's book, a coloring book, and two novels suitable for older kids, teens, and adults.

I Couldn't Put This Book Down

Peggy of the Cove: Secrets--The sole survivor of a shipwreck, a young waif is taken in by her rescuers. Peggy finds a new life in a quaint seafaring village but has no memories of her past, and she seeks out to claim her lost identity, which takes her on an adventure to Scotland.

From her rescue to daily life in the village, from the appearance of a strange ship and Peggy's trip to Scotland to a castle to discover where she came from, from a dream catcher and riddles she has to solve, Peggy, as discovered through the pages of this book, was entrancing. Fast-paced and thoroughly enjoyable. One of those books that once started, can't be put down until finished.

A Painting Of Peggy

Photo: Peggy Painting
Photo: Peggy Painting | Source

Peggy is to the Cove What Anne Was to the Island

Peggy, the sole survivor of a shipwreck on Halibut Rock, is fast becoming Nova Scotia's heroine and it has been said that she will be to Nova Scotia what Anne was to the Island.

Both of these characters, two orphans who overcame obstacles, have fired imaginations around the world and have helped to place an indelible mark on Eastern Canada.

Severe Weather at Peggy's Cove

Weather conditions have impacted on Peggy's cove. Hurricanes ravage the area frequently.

  • Hurricane Juan in 2003, caused extensive flooding, which damaged the breakwater and several homes and roads in the area.
  • Hurricane Bill caused further damage to the breakwater, damaged a gift shop and a home, and actually washed away one of the fishing sheds.

Waves Crash Against Peggy's Cove During Hurricane Bill in 2009

Waves Lash Peggy's Cove During Hurricane Bill.
Waves Lash Peggy's Cove During Hurricane Bill. | Source


Curious Spectators imperiled by Force of Hurricane Bill
Curious Spectators imperiled by Force of Hurricane Bill | Source

Village Weathers Hurricane

Village of Peggy's Cove
Village of Peggy's Cove | Source

Waves Surge and Lash Coastline


Winter Beauty

While many photos depict Peggy's Cove in summer or during storms, the cove is also a delight in winter.

Winter Beauty at Peggy's Cove

Peggy's Cove in Winter
Peggy's Cove in Winter | Source

The Village in Winter


Snow Blankets the Cove and for Now, All is Serene


Seen From Afar

Peggy's Cove on a Serene Winter's Day
Peggy's Cove on a Serene Winter's Day | Source

No matter what season, the cove offers an interesting blend of colors and textures, set against a backdrop of stunning blue sea. Each season lends it's own particular hues.

Where is Peggy's Cove?

Peggy's Cove is situated on the eastern shore of St. Margaret's Bay. The site is a short distance from Halifax and is an actual fishing community with a small number of full-time residents.

peggy's cove, ns:
Peggys Cove, NS, Canada

get directions

From Halifax

Those who wish to visit Peggy's Cove can take the St Margaret's Bay Road to the Prospect Road exit. Turn left on route #333 or take Highway 103 to Exit 5 and follow the signs. This drive takes about an hour of travel time.

A well-maintained two-lane highway winds through a unique landscape: fishing villages, harbors, forest, and glacial erratics perched upon the granite bedrock.


Tours are also available and information can be accessed online.


Map of Peggy's Cove Area in Nova Scotia
Map of Peggy's Cove Area in Nova Scotia | Source

Enjoy the Sights and Sounds

Once one reaches Peggy's Cove, they step into a working fishing village with harbor, boats, nets and traps. As well as colorful homes, the village boasts quaint shops and galleries and restaurants. For hikers, bouldering and hiking trails await.

Have You Been to Peggy's Cove?

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See & Do

Peggy's Cove Boat Tours - A great way to see the landscape and shoreline from the water.

William E. deGarthe Memorial Monument - An impressive carving out of stone depicting actual fishermen from the Cove who lost their lives at sea.

Swissair Flight 111 Memorial - This memorial may be of interest to avian buffs or those connected to the tragedy.

Ivan Fraser's Museum -A visit to Peggy's Cove wouldn't be complete without visiting Ivan Fraser's Museum. There, fans of the Peggy books can visit with the author and learn more about the area and the legend that spawned the Peggy phenomenon.

Lighthouse Route - Visitors can see rugged coastline and more lighthouses along this route that continues along Nova Scotia’s South Shore. Nova Scotia has the largest number of lighthouses in Canada.

Premier Tourist Destination

Peggy's Cove is a Nova Scotia hot-spot, which sees a considerable number of visitors each year. This unique corner of Canada is well worth a visit for those traveling in Atlantic Canada.

© 2011 Athlyn Green


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    • profile image

      Larry Queen 

      3 years ago

      I d0 remember the incredible High & Low tides at Peggys Cove!

      How many feet does it go up & down on an average every day?

      Is it more in a season or storm?

      I think these facts would be good information for visitors of Peggys Cove!

      Thanks, Larry!

    • MJFenn profile image


      3 years ago

      A quintessential Canadian sight! Peggy's Cove is Nova Soctia what Niagara Falls or the CN Tower are to Ontario and what Frontenac is to Quebec!

      Interesting hub!

    • Athlyn Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Athlyn Green 

      3 years ago from West Kootenays

      Hi Ivan, that's great news. I can't wait to see the new website with all your lovely paintings, prints, books, etc.

    • Athlyn Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Athlyn Green 

      3 years ago from West Kootenays

      My friend will be delighted that there's been such a response to his photos. He does a great job. He lives 5 minutes from Peggy's Cove, so he sees it in summer, winter, and during storms. That whole area is a photographer's dream, with rock-strewn coves, lighthouses, quaint villages with a backdrop of sparking waters.

    • Athlyn Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Athlyn Green 

      3 years ago from West Kootenays

      Julie, I contacted Ivan Fraser and he is setting up a site for those who want Peggy in the Wave in prints or canvas. The site should be active by the end of November, 2016 and will be: Ivan Fraser .ca.

      Ivan did have a website, Peggy of the Cove, where he offered both paintings and prints, including that one. You can also find him on Facebook and there is a Peggy of the Cove Facebook page, as well.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I was recently at Peggy's Cove and our guide had a print of your photograph where you can see Peggy and a Victorian dress. I would love to own a copy but haven't had any luck finding one. Can you help me?


    • Carol Leaderbrand profile image

      Carol Leaderbrand 

      7 years ago

      Ivan...Your work and service is well done and much appreciated. I love revisiting "Peggy's Cove" via the photos and stories; bringing to my mind the memories of my visit June 2012. Oh, how "Peggy's Cove" and it's beauty reminds one of peace of a simpler time. God Bless You and this gift you are sharing!

    • Eiddwen profile image


      8 years ago from Wales

      What a beautiful hub,thank you so much for sharing.

      Take care and enjoy your day.


    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      8 years ago from England

      Hi, this is beautiful, I would love to visit, Canada fascinates me, and Nova Scotia is the one place I have always wanted to visit, maybe one of these days! thanks for the tour, nell

    • Athlyn Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Athlyn Green 

      8 years ago from West Kootenays

      Sounds good, Ivan, I would like to get some of your wonderful framed photographs and see the museum. You are fortunate to live in such a unique corner of Canada.

    • Ivan Fraser profile image

      Ivan Fraser 

      8 years ago from Glen Margaret, Nova Scotia

      It'll be exciting to meet you and share. Can't wait. Let me know when you plan to come so I'll be here.

    • Athlyn Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Athlyn Green 

      8 years ago from West Kootenays

      Hi Ivan,

      I think it is wonderful that you've helped to bring alive "Peggy." Interesting that those ladies from North Dakota verified the shipwreck and provided a picture of Peggy, as well.

      I can't wait to come down and see your museum and the Peggy products! Your photographs of Peggy's Cove are incredible!

    • Ivan Fraser profile image

      Ivan Fraser 

      8 years ago from Glen Margaret, Nova Scotia

      Greetings: Is it Athlyn or Alicia? Enjoyed your article about Peggy's Cove. Great job. Peggy's became very dear to me during my first visit when I was three or four years old. Our Uncle Sammy drove his and my family; most of us in the open back of his truck. We had a wonderful afternoon playing on the sand and wading. The location was at the far end of Visitor Information Center parking lot known as the swath. Few people go there. Thanks for placing a link to my book, Peggy of the Cove, Secrets. Much appreciated.

    • Athlyn Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Athlyn Green 

      8 years ago from West Kootenays

      Hi Stephen,

      Thank you! Yes, Peggy's Cove is beautiful in all its many moods.

    • profile image

      Stephen J. Ardent 

      8 years ago

      Oh, I just love the winter pictures. So beautiful.

      One more place on my list of lists to visit sometime.

    • Athlyn Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Athlyn Green 

      8 years ago from West Kootenays

      Hi Ivan, Nice to see you here.

      Thanks for stopping by Alicia.

    • profile image

      Ivan S. Fraser 

      8 years ago

      Great site.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      8 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I love the photographs! It's very interesting to see Peggy's Cove in summer and in winter. I hope that I'll be able to visit the area some time.

    • Athlyn Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Athlyn Green 

      8 years ago from West Kootenays

      Thank you. I had the good fortune to go down to Peggy's Cove a couple of times and got the photos. A friend of mine lives 5 minutes away and does a beautiful job of his photos and sends them to me. I will pass this on to him.

    • melissanyk profile image

      Melissa Nykorchuk 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts

      Love the photos.

    • natures47friend profile image


      8 years ago from Sunny Art Deco Napier, New Zealand.

      What can I say! You make me want to go there (and Canada) one day. I love different rock formations and the The pictures etc are brilliant and I have only just begun with hubpages. Voted up and awesome.

    • Athlyn Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Athlyn Green 

      8 years ago from West Kootenays

      Thank you. Yes, the legend is interesting the the books about Peggy of the Cove are gaining fans.

    • profile image

      Lynn S. Murphy 

      8 years ago

      Beautiful photos and interesting history and what a great legend!


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