An heaven for sure..!! I’m bowled over by this place. Alluring castle ruins, tranquil beach, amazing cliffs, breath-taking views, a small town center, what else can you ask for?
It is a charming little town on Scotland’s North Eastern coast. A day is sufficient to be touched by the magic of this place; you can stay longer to get soaked in its calmness completely
I had been to this place when I was in Edinburgh in 2017 winter. I was a bit skeptical, as it is 2.5 hours journey from Edinburgh and short daylight hours had left me thinking about the accessibility and safety. However, nothing to worry. It is as safe as it can be, roads are well lit and people here are warm and friendly. They are happy to help if approached.
How to get there?
By Train: Trains run every day from major cities like Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen etc., Aberdeen being the closest city, it takes 20 minutes to reach Stonehaven by train.
Check the website for schedule & tickets: https://www.scotrail.co.uk/scotland-by-rail
By Coach: Coach is not a convenient option from Edinburgh & glassgow however; you can take stagecoach X7 from Aberdeen. It picks up from Aberdeen Bus Station at Union Square and takes around 45 minutes to reach the place.
Check the website for schedule & tickets: https://www.stagecoachbus.com/plan-a-journey
Things to do in Stonehaven:
Never imagined the castle ruins to be so beautiful. It is a must visit castle in Scotland. The walk to the castle from the town center is about 2.5 miles. It is quite a walk, as you need to walk the cliff in the second half. However, I would still recommend you to do it, as it is an enjoyable walk crossing the harbour, hay fields & cliffs with stunning views. It is worth it. If you are here by car or coach, you would miss this walk
Note: Please note, the path can be slippery when it rains and recommend this only for people who are fit & love to walk.
Black Hill War Memorial
It is located on the way to the castle when you walk from town center. You can get pretty good view of sea & castle from the top. This memorial was built after 1st world war to commemorate the Scots who gave their lives in series of war and described it as “the war to end all wars” however, the line lost its actual meaning at the onset of 2nd world war. Additional plaques are added for the scots who gave their life in World War II. One interesting thing is that, you see the plaque with all the names of the battles of World War I on the crown of the memorial
It is a treasure trove of history & information of Stonehaven life. This is not educational but gives an insight about the people’s life through ages. They have a very random collection of interesting things. It is a good pit stop to give you a change in the sightseeing circuit and to learn more about the place. It is free to enter however, donations are welcome.
Note: Local volunteers run the museum and it is open only for few hours on selected days. Do check their operating hours on their website
This is the walk from harbour to the town beachfront and the path runs beside the Stonehaven beach. It is picturesque and makes for a pleasant walk. You see locals relaxing around the area with their kids or taking a walk with their dog. Nevertheless, you would definitely find a spot where it seems like you have the beach all for yourself.
Eat a Gelato
Though enjoyable, this place requires you to walk a lot. Why not, enjoy a cup of gelato while strolling around the town center
You can find the best in the place on Evan St, around 100 meters from the market square. They are since 1899 and have numerous interesting options. I chose the classic – Rum n Raisin. It was an excellent decision on a cold winter day!
12-14 Evan St, Stonehaven AB39 2EQ, UK
T: 0 1569 762444