Attractive Stonehaven has a sheltered working harbour busy with sailing yachts. The Tolbooth museum is a notable building on the quayside, from where boat trips run to see the legions of feathered friends at Fowlsheugh RSPB reserve, home to the largest seabird colony in mainland Britain. Perched on high cliffs jutting out into the waves two miles to the south is the dramatic ruined Dunnottar Castle, one of the finest in Scotland. Learn about its bloody history or just take in the view.
The town parties on New Year's Eve in the ancient fireballs ceremony, when people swing blazing balls above their heads to ward off evil spirits, and drink lots.