town in Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Stonehaven is a small town on the coast of Aberdeenshire in North East Scotland, 15 miles south of Aberdeen. Its main attraction is Dunnottar Castle, scenically perched on a headland south of town.

Get inEdit

By trainEdit

  Note: The railway between Dundee, Stonehaven and Aberdeen is closed because of a landslide and serious rail accident near Stonehaven on 12 Aug 2020. There are replacement buses.

There are trains hourly from Edinburgh and from Glasgow Queen Street, taking just over two hours via Dundee and Arbroath to Stonehaven, and continuing to north to Aberdeen. Some trains come direct from London Kings Cross or Leeds via York and Newcastle, but from England it's usually quicker to change in Edinburgh.

The Caledonian Highland Sleeper to Aberdeen runs Su-F from London Euston, departing after 21:00 to reach Stonehaven around 07:15. The southbound train picks up around 22:00 to reach Euston towards 08:00. You could also take the Lowland Sleeper from Euston towards midnight and change to a day train in Edinburgh. Going back, you need to leave Stonehaven before 20:30 to join the southbound sleeper at 23:30 from Edinburgh.

1 Stonehaven station is half a mile west of town centre. There's not much at the station, look for food and pubs in the centre.

By busEdit

Stagecoach Bus X7 runs hourly from Aberdeen Union Square along the coast through Portlethen and Newtonhill to Stonehaven, 40 min. It continues south to Montrose, Arbroath, Dundee and Perth.

Stagecoach Bus 747 runs hourly from Aberdeen Airport via Kingswell P&R to Stonehaven (30 min) and continues to Montrose. Some journeys start in Peterhead.

Coaches from Edinburgh, Glasgow and the south towards Aberdeen scoot past on the A90 bypass and don't stop in Stonehaven.

By carEdit

From Aberdeen, take A90 south of Aberdeen.

Get aroundEdit

  • Stonehaven is a very small town, so walking is your best bet
  • There are taxis in the area
  • Stagecoach run the 4A and 4C local buses which do a figure of eight loop around the town, wit one leaving every half hour between 8:45 and 16:45 (M-Sa) except the 15:xx departures are missed out M-F.


  • 1 Dunnottar Castle, Stonehaven, AB39 2TL (About 2 miles south of Stonehaven on the A92. There is a small car park and path up to the castle. The most scenic way to get to Dunnottar is the mile-long walking trail from the harbour at Stonehaven. The hike is a narrow path through fields and along the cliffs that provides stunning views the entire way.), +44 1569 762173. April-Oct 9AM-5:30PM daily, rest of year, open daily 10AM, closes between 2:30PM and 4:30PM. This is one of Scotland's most evocative castles. The ruins of this cliff-top fortress are perched on a rocky promontory with cliffs soaring down to the North Sea, with fantastic views. You can wander round the extensive remains, which once hosted many famous figures of Scottish history, and during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, a small garrison held out against dictator Oliver Cromwell's army to protect the Scottish crown jewels (Cromwell had already destroyed the English crown jewels). Adult £7, child £3.    
  • Stonehaven Harbour. The harbour forms the town centre. There is a collection of local pubs and restaurants, though as it is a small town, there are 4 or 5 places. However, having a pint at a table overlooking the harbour and hanging with locals is a great experience. This town is very small, and in the town there are very few travellers, so it is a great chance to meet and talk to locals.
  • 2 Fetteresso Castle. 14th-century towerhouse, rebuilt in 1761 as a Scottish Gothic-style Palladian manor, The castle has been converted into several private houses and is not usually open to visitors.    
  • 3 Stonehaven Tolbooth. 16th-century old red sandstone building built as a courthouse and a prison.    


  • 1 Stonehaven Golf Course, Cowie, AB39 3RH, +44 1569 762124. M-F: 8AM-9PM; Sa-Su: 6:30AM-7:30PM. Probably one of the most tremendous golf courses you will play in your lifetime. Absolutely stunning.
  • Splash'n'Dash (Leisure Centre). Tue and Thu evenings. Run and swim.
  • Stonehaven Folk Festival is held in mid-July. The next is F 9 - Sun 11 July 2021.
  • Stonehaven Highland Games are in late July. The 2020 event was cancelled so the next are probably on Sun 18 July 2021, tbc.
There are also Games at Drumtochty Castle in late June. The next are probably on Sat 19 June 2021 but tbc.


  • Purdies, Market Square. Sells an eclectic mix of gifts, cards, jewellery and shoes.
  • Charles Michie, Market Square. A pharmacy, also selling trinkets, gifts and ornaments.
  • The Shell Hoosie (at the harbour). Sells sea/marine-based gifts, ice creams and coffee to take away.
  • The Farmers Market is held here first Saturday of the month 09:00-13:00.


  • 1 Carron Fish Bar, 1 Allardice St, AB39 2BN, +44 1569 765377. M-Sa: noon-2PM, 4:30PM-9PM; Su: 4:30PM-9PM. Fish and chip shop famous for inventing the deep fried Mars bar.
  • 2 Gino's, 21A Ann St, AB39 2EN (just up from the Market Square), +44 1569 763028. 10AM-9PM. A wee Italian run cafe, it sells good quality food at reasonable prices.
  • Molly's Cafe Bar, The Promenade, AB39 2RD (at the beach). Mon-Wed: 9AM - 5PM Thu-Sat: 9AM - 9PM Sun: 9AM-8PM. Open all day and sells good Scottish breakfasts, the usual homebakes, paninis, etc.
  • The Tollbooth, Old Pier, AB39 2JU (In the harbour.). For world class seafood. mains £17 - £24.
  • If you want to buy produce then Charles McHardy in the Market Square is good, also Lembas Organic eggs are sold there [1].


  • Be sure to have a pint around the harbour and a summer evening.


Stonehaven should be more of a side excursion from Aberdeen than an overnight thing, but does have a number of hotels.

  • A camp site is available in season beside the open-air pool with reasonable rates.
  • 1 Marine Hotel, 9-10 Shorehead, +44 1569 762155.

Go nextEdit

Routes through Stonehaven
Aberdeen  N   SW  ForfarDundee

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