When the sun is out, Stonehaven can be a lovely place to explore. From the cliffs of Dunnottar Castle to Stonehaven Golf Course, there’s something in between for everyone. We take a look at the top 10 things to do in Stonehaven this summer.
1. Paddleboarding in the harbour
Nestled at the back of the harbour is Stonehaven Paddle Boarding. They offer a stand-up paddle boarding experience for all levels of experience; from beginner and junior lessons to extended tours to Dunnotar Castle and Catterline.
If you’ve never tried your hand at paddleboarding, then learning the basics in the safety of Stonehaven harbour is your best bet.
With a complex coastline only a few minutes away, the tours on offer truly take advantage of the caves and crannies.
2. Visit Dunnottar Castle
Dunnottar Castle is one of Scotland’s most iconic landmarks. Perched high on sharp cliffs away from the choppy waves below. The castle dates back to before 1400 and was famously the location that the Scottish Crown Jewels were hidden from Oliver Cromwell’s invading army in the 17th century.
Steeped in history, it’s impossible not to marvel at its picturesque beauty. If you have an hour spare, it’d be remiss not to have a walk around this truly historic castle.
3. Aunty Bettys
Aunty Bettys is a Stonehaven institution. A must visit ice-cream shop that serves up some of the best around. The wide variety of ice-cream on offer and the ludicrous number of toppings available ensure that this shop is renowned for what it sells.
With friendly staff and a prime location, there’s often a queue out the door on hot days. Situated on The Promenade just off the beachfront, Aunty Bettys is the perfect place to pop in to on a stroll along the boardwalk.
4. The Bay Fish And Chips
Whilst on a walk along the boardwalk, you might want to visit Stonehaven’s award-winning fish and chip shop. The Bay can be found right next to Aunty Bettys on The Promenade and serves up quality fish and chips.
All their fish is sustainably caught and their chips come from locally sourced potatoes. There’s not many industry awards that owner Callum Richardson and his team haven’t won; most notably the Bay was recognised as the UK No.1 Independent Takeaway in 2013.
5. Outdoor Swimming Pool
Stonehaven Open Air Swimming Pool is the UK’s only art deco Olympic sized sea water lido. It is also the northernmost lido in the country.
The pool filled with sea water that is heated to 29C/84F. Opened in 1934, the pool serves thousands of locals and tourists each season. With a slide at the far end of the pool, there’s an fun for all the family
On a hot day, it’s incredibly enjoyable to go for a dip, whilst the sun is shining.
6. BBQ @ Skatie Shore
Skatie shore is one of Stonehaven’s best-kept secrets. Situated just on the edge of town, this jagged and alien landscape is like no other beach. In order to reach the secluded location, you’ll need to walk for roughly 15 minutes through a forest and down some off beat paths, the effort is absolutely worth it.
With over a mile of coast to choose from, Skatie shore makes for the perfect location to have a wander or perhaps a barbeque. Oftentimes you won’t see another person on your trip.
7. Watch A Model Race
Stonehaven is home to many great parks and wooded areas, but at the back of Minnerawell park, you’ll find an oddity. Tucked away, right at the back under the railway viaduct you’ll find a miniature race track. Stonehaven & District Radio Car Club was founded in the 1970s and exists to race 1/10th scale radio controlled cars.
Often rated as one of the best RC clubs in the UK, it’s certainly a spectacle you don’t want to miss.
This summer Stonehaven will also be hosting two races from the Scottish Offroad RC Championship, on the 20th of May and 1st of July. You can find more information on events here.
8. A Walk In Dunnottar Woods
There are many other curious locations to be discovered in Stonehaven’s woodland. Dunnottar Woods is home to many of them.
The Shell House is tucked away, deep in the woods, completely out of place. A hovel sized, dome-topped room with every internal wall plastered in shells. The building is thought to have been built at the instruction of Lady Kennedy, of the Kennedy family, who originally owned the woods. It is speculated that the Shell House was constructed as a play area for the Kennedy children.
Lady Kennedy’s Bath is another thing constructed during the time of the Kennedy family ownership. A large basin which sits parallel to the river. Running water flows through the bath, which was a location where presumably Lady Kennedy would come to bathe during the summer months.
The Dunnottar Walled Garden is a short walk from the car park. It’s a tall, interesting structure which really feels out of place in the middle of the woods. This originally was used as the walled garden to the Kennedy House (which is now demolished) but now is home to a unique little garden centre.
9. Visit The Beer Festival
For the past four years, Stonehaven has played host to a sellout beer festival in Baird Park. For three days from the 28th of June to the 30th June, you can sample over 140 different beers, from all parts of the United Kingdom. There’s also a selection of beers from overseas from countries including Belgium, Germany and the USA.
If the beer on offer wasn’t enough of an incentive to attend, the festival is also running a cycling sportive, with three routes of differing lengths. Each route promising big climbs and spectacular views.
The event drew over 5000 people last year and raised over £27,500 for charities. It looks set to be another record-breaking year so buy your tickets soon!
You can find out more information here
10. Play A Round Of Golf
Scotland is renowned the world over for being the spiritual home of golf. The rich and varied geography lends itself well to excellent golf courses. Stonehaven has a golf course like no other. With steep inclines and sloping hills, you’ll probably never play another round like it.
From the prime location up on the hilltop overlooking the town, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more stunning view.
Afterwards, you can head to the clubhouse and enjoy a tasty meal, in one of the town’s most highly praised restaurants.
Did we miss out any must-do events in Stonehaven over the summer? Let us know in a comment, or get in touch here