Stonehaven is historically a summer tourist location - a reputation it maintains to this day.
With pleasant seascapes, an attractive harbour and town centre, it is perfect for a day trip or longer stay.
It has many old and ancient buildings reflecting its historic past, and also offers many activities and entertainments for people to take part in. The Stonehaven Leisure Centre offers indoor swimming and sports such as badminton, volleyball and aerobics. Also for the energetic is a heated art deco outdoor swimming pool, bowling, tennis, fishing, golf and many other sports.
For other members of the family, there is a wide variety of specialist shops. Stonehaven’s main streets have many interesting and charming shops to explore, and the hotels and restaurants all offer varied menus and delightful surroundings in which to sample some of the local delights.
Stonehaven is no longer a substantial fishing port, but it retains much of its historic interest. There is the old harbour and the 15th Century Tolbooth which houses a fascinating museum of local history and fishing.
There is also the imposing Dunnottar Castle which is perched precariously on the cliffs to the south of the town.
During the summer months there is a full programme of events for young and old. In July there is the Stonehaven Folk Festival, a youthathon and the Stonehaven Highland Games, which are held in Mineralwell Park.
There is also the Feein’ Market, which is held on the first Saturday in June in the Market Square. This is a revival of the old feein’ market, when at the end of term, farm servants, wishing a change of employment, gathered to become “fee’d” with new employers after striking a deal over terms. These markets attracted stall-holders and there was much buying and selling.
Stonehaven’s main event, however, is at a time of year when there are very few tourists, although visitors from all over Britain come to see it. The annual Fireball Ceremony, which is held on Hogmanay, is a spectacle watched by thousands. It sees people walk through the town twirling giant fireballs above their heads. Fireballs consist of wire netting bags packed with all kinds of combustible material. They are swung round the head with the aid of a long wire rope and handle. The ceremony takes place in the Auld Toon High Street and is reputed to hark back to pagan times as a means of warding off evil spirits which might beset the town in the coming year.
Here’s just a few reasons why Stonehaven is so special…
One of the most picturesque in the country with pubs with real ale, restaurant and gift shop.
Dunnottar Castle is a dramatic and evocative ruin. As you wander around the extensive buildings you are almost surrounded by sea with gulls and other seabirds wheeling and screaming around the cliffs below you.Only 2 mile south of Stonehaven. Open for visitors summer and winter.
Stonehaven War Memorial
A particularly noticeable monument on top of the Black Hill near Dunnottar Castle providing a distinct land mark entering Stonehaven by road or sea.Looked upon as a welcoming sight for people returning to the town.The walk from The Harbour to the Memorial and the Castle is very popular.
Stonehaven Fireballs Festival
This unique events starts at midnight on Hogmanay every year and is a memorable way to bring in the New Year.Attracts 10-12,000 visitors each year.
Stonehaven Golf Course
A challenging course for Golfers in Summer and Winter where you can enjoy stunning clifftop views. Many other courses nearby for those seeking a golfing holiday in the North East of Scotland
Stonehaven Open Air Swimming Pool
UK’s only art deco, heated olympic sized, fully filtrated sea water, open air swimming pool. It’s an STB 4-star visitor attraction open from first Sunday in June to September each year.