Affectionately known by locals as “Stoney”, Stonehaven is a laid-back town overlooking the North Sea on Scotland’s east coast. It centres around an Iron Age fishing village and prospered as the settlement of “Kilwhang” before growing rapidly as a commuter town following the discovery of oil in nearby Aberdeen.
Things to do in Stonehaven
Rising atop a rocky headland south of Stonehaven are the ruins of Dunnottar Castle, where the Scottish crown jewels were hidden from Oliver Cromwell’s army in the 17th century. Surrounded by cliffs that plunge into the North Sea, the complex includes a 14th-century tower house and a 16th-century palace. Amidst the ruins are model recreations illustrating how the buildings would have once looked.
Stretching between the mouths of the Cowie and Carron rivers is Stonehaven Beach, which provides a picturesque setting for swimming in the summer months and leisurely walks in the winter. You can follow the boardwalk that leads south to the Stonehaven Harbour, where fishing charters and boat cruises depart. At the Tolbooth Museum, you’ll find an eclectic mix of curiosities from times gone by.
On the northern outskirts of the town is the Stonehaven Golf Club, which boasts one of the most dramatically positioned golf courses in Aberdeenshire. From its 18 holes, there are sweeping views across the North Sea and the harbour town of Stonehaven. After your game, you can relax at the clubhouse bar or challenge the locals to a game of snooker.
Getting around Stonehaven
Stonehaven is around 20 minutes’ drive from Aberdeen and Aberdeen International Airport, which has flights to destinations across Europe. Regular trains connect to the Stonehaven railway station and buses travel throughout the town. The centre of Stonehaven can easily be explored on foot.