Duration: 2.5 hours.
This is a very varied walk around and about the coastal town of Stonehaven, sampling its distinctive character and charm. Nestling around a large crescent-shaped bay, the town sits in a sheltered amphitheatre with the quirky Auld Toon close by the impressive and picturesque harbour. A breakwater was first built here in the 16thC and the harbour-side Tolbooth, now a museum, was converted from an earlier grain store in about 1600. The old town lying behind it is full of character and interest. The Ship Inn was built in 1771, predating the unusually-towered Town House which was built in 1790. The walk sets out along the wide bay, passing the once separate fishing village of Cowie. Until the 16thC, Cowie was the more important of the two settlements. Leaving the shore-side, the route then ascends on a narrow path to the cliff-tops where there are marvellous views back to the bay and town, with the craggy ruins of Dunnottar Castle just visible. Blink and you miss it - only a small section of the masonry of Cowie Castle survives today as you pass it on the coastal path. Cowie Castle is thought to have been the site of a royal hunting lodge and staging post for itinerant Royals in the Middle Ages. Soon you arrive at the evocative ruins of a 13thC chapel, dedicated to St Mary, and known locally as St Mary of the Storms. The fascinating circular churchyard traditionally marks the site where a chapel was established by the Scottish saint Nachlan, in the 7th century. Returning to the town, the route enters the expansive green space of Mineralwell Park with its pleasant riverside walk, railway viaduct, and old fountain. Nearer to the town centre, a visit is included to the intriguing Robert Burns Memorial Garden on the way to the historic market square, before finally ascending Bervie Braes for a memorable view of the harbour, old town, and bay.
Book recommendations for this region:
Basic Equipment for Hiking
- Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
- Layered, moisture wicking clothing
- Hiking socks
- Rucksack (with rain cover)
- Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
- Hiking poles
- Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
- First aid kit
- Blister kit
- Bivy / survival bag
- Survival blanket
- Pocket knife
- Cell phone
- Navigation equipment / map and compass
- Emergency contact details
- The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
- For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
- Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.