Things to see and do in Stonehaven

Stonehaven is a market town in Aberdeenshire that has been a holiday favourite for generations. Whether you enjoy walking in the great outdoors, are visiting with friends on a golfing break, or want a traditional seaside family holiday, Stonehaven is an absolute gem of a destination.

Far enough from the hustle of the big city, but close enough for those who want the excitement of its vibrant shops and nightlife, Stonehaven offers the best of both worlds. From an open-air art deco swimming pool to a castle that’s inspired Hollywood films, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in this picturesque town.

But those who want to venture beyond Stonehaven will find world-class golf courses, whisky distilleries, craft breweries, and castles right on our doorstep. You’ll find lots of ideas and inspiration for your trip to this part of Scotland at VisitAberdeenshire.

Dunnottar Castle

Dunnottar Castle is a spectacular ruined cliff top medieval fortress, which is easily accessed by foot via a walking path next to The Ship Inn. Although the site itself dates back to the Dark Ages, the buildings are from the 15th and 16th centuries. It may look familiar to you: it’s appeared in Hollywood movies Hamlet and Victor Frankenstein…and was the inspiration behind the Disney animation, Brave.


Stonehaven Open Air Swimming Pool

Stonehaven Heated Open Air Pool more than lives up to its motto: cool when it’s hot, and fun when it’s not! This Olympic-sized 50m long pool and lido is formed of sea water, heated to a lovely 29°C /84°F. With a number of sheltered sun terraces, temperatures at the pool are often warmer than the Med!

It offers quiet swims and lane-sessions, as well as fun events for children. And the regular midnight swims, where you can swim beneath the stars while listening to music, is an experience simply not to be missed.


World Class Golf Courses

Stonehaven has its own 18-hole golf course, and it’s one of the most beautiful and dramatic in the region. The links course, which is over 100 years old, is short but challenging and overlooks both the North Sea and the town itself.

But why limit yourself to just one course? Aberdeenshire has some of the best the world, designed by some of the top names in golf architecture. If links golf is your thing, you’ll want to try championship venues Royal Aberdeen and Cruden Bay, not to mention Trump International Golf Links – a master design stretching 7,400 yards on a dune-lined coastline. But you won’t be disappointed if you prefer parkland and heathland – Peterculter, Ballater and Braemar, the highest course in Scotland, are just a short drive away.

Stonehaven Folk Festival

Every year the town comes alive to the sounds of the Stonehaven Folk Festival – a stage for some of the biggest names in traditional and contemporary folk music. Most of the action is centred on Stonehaven Town Hall, but you’ll find fringe events dotted all over the town.

From concerts and ceilidhs to music workshops and singarounds, this event has earned a reputation as one of the best of its kind and certainly one that no folk music enthusiast would want to miss. There’s even a chance to witness the spectacle that is the World Paper ‘n’ Comb Championships!