Following the coast road around a wide headland, the fishing town of Stonehaven appears below. From this vantage point you can enjoy the best view of the town but parking at the entrance to a nearby field is limited and precarious.
Stonehaven is a popular holiday resort with a good leisure centre, caravan parks, open-air swimming pool, boating ponds, windsurfing and golf. Stonehaven's central Allardice Street and adjoining square have a variety of small gift shops as well as the tourist information centre, closed for lunch from 1.15-2pm.
Access to the curving pebble and sand beach is east off Allardice Street. The oldest part of the town surrounds the harbour where the Tolbooth Museum, Stonehaven's oldest building and once the storehouse for Dunnottar Castle, is found. It contains an interesting collection of local artefacts and fishing memorabilia.
The Marine Hotel on the harbour front is probably the most popular bar, serving a variety of ales and reasonable pub meals. Every New Year's Eve, Stonehaven celebrates 'Swinging the Fireballs' ceremony which goes back to Pagan times when fireballs were swung through the streets to ward off evil spirits. The 18-hole golf course on the north side of Stonehaven occupies a spectacular setting along the cliffs.
The outlying villages to Aberdeen's south such as
Portlethen and Hillside are now surrounded by retail parks and industrial warehousing
along with modern housing developments to cater for the employees of the north-east's
still profitable, if not still booming, oil industry. There is little to explore
here but Portlethen offers a testing golf venue, an open parkland course that can
be quite demanding in a wind.
Thursday, December 26th, 2019
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