There’s more to Stoney than sun, sand and summer
Stonehaven is a scorching summer holiday destination, right? Well, no, not in our opinion! This piece of coastal heaven on the north east coast of Scotland is a place for all seasons with lots of activities to keep visitors occupied all year round.
There are loads of activities that you can enjoy in Stoney – and on its doorstep – during the winter months. And best of all, you can usually do it minus the crowds that descend on the seaside town from May to September.
While there’s no doubt that our all-time favourite winter activity is sitting by the cosy fire in The Ship Inn, enjoying pint or a glass of wine and watching life go by from the warmth of this prime piece of harbour real estate, we do like to get out and about.
Here’s some of our favourite winter activities in Stonehaven and beyond…
Pull on your walking boots
If there’s one thing that we have it’s an abundance of walks. From the beach boardwalk – which takes on a whole different appearance in winter – to woodland trails and onto the hills of Deeside, there are plenty to choose from. There’s nothing quite like the outdoors on a bracing winter’s day, so grab your hat, scarf and gloves and get exploring.
Channel your inner festive fairy
Stonehaven is just a 15-minute drive from the centre of Aberdeen and from November 21 it’s transformed into a winter wonderland. A festive village is set up against the backdrop of the magnificent Marischal College, complete with an ice rink, funfair rides, craft stalls…and plenty of mulled wine. It runs until December 31 so makes a perfect day out ahead of the legendary Stonehaven fireballs that evening.
Get on a slippery slope…
Stonehaven is only an hour’s drive from Glenshee – one of Scotland’s top winter sports destinations offering some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the country. Fun fact – Glenshee has the UK’s largest ski lift system, with 36 runs across three valleys and four mountains! If you fancy having a go but haven’t brought your kit with you, don’t worry, you can hire everything from skis to snowsuits on site.
Warm up with a wee dram
There’s nothing like a wee dram of whisky to spark up your internal central heating system and luckily we have a number of distilleries close by. You can see how Scotland’s national drink is produced at Royal Lochnagar and Glen Garioch and, of course, it would be rude not to do a quality check on the product at the end of the tour. If whisky isn’t your thing, why not schedule a tour of the BrewDog brewery in Ellon? Using the western bypass, you could be getting the lowdown on this craft beer 45 minutes after leaving Stonehaven. And, if you like what you taste on the distillery and brewery tours, you’ll be able to enjoy both in the comfort of our lounge bar.
Be a culture vulture
Aberdeen Art Gallery just reopened its doors after a stunning £34m refurbishment – and it looks great. The Victorian era gallery is home to an impressive collection of paintings, photographs and sculptures, along with bang up-to-date touchscreen displays and interactive exhibits. If art is your thing, the V&A Dundee – an outpost of the famous London museum – is well worth a visit and just an hour away by road or rail.
These suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg as to why you should visit Stonehaven outside of the summer months…in fact, there’s so much going on that you might well need to schedule a second visit.