village and former small burgh in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, UK

Portsoy is a fishing village 8 miles west of Banff on the north coast of Aberdeenshire in northeast Scotland. It has a picturesque harbour often used as a film and TV location, such as the 2016 remake of Whisky Galore! In 2020 the population was 1690.

Get in edit

Aberdeen (ABZ IATA) and Inverness (INV IATA) are the nearest airports and have car hire. Elgin is the nearest railway station, but from the south it's more convenient to change at Aberdeen.

Stagecoach Bus 35 runs hourly from Aberdeen via Oldmeldrum, Fyvie, Turriff, Macduff and Banff, taking 2 hr 30 min to 1 Portsoy, and continuing to Buckie and Elgin. Buses run 07:00-20:30, starting every 30 min from Aberdeen but alternate buses turn back at Banff. The main bus stop in Portsoy is along Seafield St.

Deveron Bus 405 trundles twice on Wednesday between Banff, Portsoy, Fordyce and Cullen.

By road from the south follow A9 past Perth and Aviemore then take A95 through Grantown, Aberlour and Keith. Or you could follow the coast to Aberdeen then A96 to Keith.

Get around edit

The village is small but you need your own wheels to explore beyond.

Portsoy Taxis are on +44 7966 671286.

See edit

Portsoy Harbour
  • 1 Old Harbour was built in the 17th century. New Harbour just beyond was built in 1825 for the herring fleet.
  • Salmon Bothy is a small museum and community centre on Links Rd by New Harbour, open F-M 14:00-16:00, free.
  • 2 Findlater Castle is a scenic stump on the cliffs west of Portsoy, approached by a narrow neck of land and free to access. In Gaelic fionn is white and leitir is a stony slope, so "Findlater" refers to the bright quartzite bedrock and became a noble family title. The castle ruin is from 14th century, over earlier fortifications.
  • 3 Cullen is a traditional fishing port west across the county boundary, see Moray. Cullen House is not open to the public.

Do edit

Buy edit

  • Co-op Food on Seafield St is open daily 07:00-22:00.
  • Local jewellery made from "Portsoy marble", which is actually serpentinite, or if you insist (Mg, Fe)3Si2O5(OH)4

Eat edit

  • Portsoy Ice Cream on Seafield St is open daily 07:30-20:00.
  • Fish & chips: Hook Line & Sinker is a takeaway on Seafield St open M-F 15:00-20:00, Sa Su 12:00-21:00. There's also a Chinese takeaway further along the street, W-M 16:00-20:00.
  • Cullen Skink originated from the village to the west: it's a soup made from smoked haddock, milk, potato and onion, delicious the first time but prone to repeat on you for hours. Samuel Johnson during his 1773 Highland tour with Boswell loathed the stuff.

Drink edit

  • See Sleep for Station Hotel.
  • Boyne Hotel on North Main St and Shore Inn on Church St were closed in 2021.
  • Glenglassaugh Distillery, Portsoy AB45 2SQ (2 miles west of Portsoy off A98). Tours and shop closed ufn. Whisky distillery built in 1875, mothballed 1986-2008 but then brought back into production.    

Sleep edit

Findlater Castle
  • Portsoy Links Caravan Park, Links Rd, Portsoy AB45 2RQ (east side of harbour), +44 1261 842695. Open year-round, this has 37 tourer stands and 13 tent pitches. Tent £17, tourer hook-up £28.
  • Station Hotel, 22 Seafield St, Portsoy AB45 2QT, +44 1261 842327. Trad travellers' hotel in village centre, some facilities dated but comfy enough. B&B double £100.
  • 1 Durn House, Durn Rd, Portsoy AB45 2XT, +44 1261 843424. Gorgeous hotel in a mansion half a mile south of village. B&B double £120.
  • Fordyce Castle built in 1592 is now upmarket self-catering accommodation.

Connect edit

As of Aug 2021, Portsoy has 4G with Vodafone and in places with Three, but there's no signal from EE or O2. 5G has not reached this area.

Go next edit

Routes through Portsoy
CairngormsKeith (junction  ) ←  SW   NE  ENDS AT   between Portsoy and Banff

This city travel guide to Portsoy is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.