Peterhead is the easternmost town in mainland Scotland and is located 32 miles north of Aberdeen and overlooking the North Sea. Going to Peterhead can be via bus, a taxi service from Aberdeen, or self-drive. The town is greatly influenced by its maritime location, making fishing and servicing the offshore oil industry as its main industries.
Locals in Peterhead are often called “Blue Toons” to refer to the blue wool socks and distinctive sweaters historically worn by local fishermen in this town. Peterhead has an austere facade, influenced by the local red granite used in some of its striking architecture such as the 1778 Townhouse. But there are more interesting things to see here than you can imagine. And we’re giving you an overview of some of the best spots below.
Things to See and Do in Peterhead
Peterhead is a lively place to visit with a surprising array of watersports activities beside boating and fishing. Diving and surfing are common and there are many trails for walking and cycling around this scenic coastal area.
1. Slains Castle
There’s this ‘New Slains Castle’ near Collieston which it was built to replace the impressive old Slains Castle that dates back to the late 16th century. These old remains were constructed for the 9th Earl of Errol.
The roofless ruins have been allowed to fall into disrepair, and nature now plays a significant part in the atmospheric nature of the once magnificent structure. Bram Stoker’s visit to the castle in 1895 has spawned the credible theory that it was the inspiration for his masterpiece – Dracula.
The old Slains castle has still, remarkably, retained its overall structure – the different rooms and chambers that would have served the family of Earls for over 300 years being clearly identifiable. Coupled with the breath-taking viewpoint that it provides over the North Sea, the Slains Castle is indeed a good place to slow down from your hectic life.
2. Misty Sea Angling
Leaving from Boddam harbour, you can take a scenic cruise of the area, while trying your skills at catching your own fresh fish, including Codling, Coley, and Mackerel. The captain’s experience and expertise will ensure that you make the most of what the water has to offer.
If you’re more of a leisure lover than a fisherman, a trip on board the popular Heather Isle is still well worth taking. Fish while enjoying the most beautiful scenes from the deck, including the Slains Castle, Buchaness lighthouse, and Longhaven Shore.
Furthermore, the coastline’s pink granite rocks are always full of nesting sea bird such as puffins and razorbills. If you’re lucky you might just spot dolphins, porpoises or even, occasionally, a family of whales!
3. Peterhead Prison Museum
Known as “Scotland’s Alcatraz”, H.M. Prison Peterhead was home to some of Scotland’s most notorious criminals for 125 years.
A trip to Peterhead won’t be complete without going on a dark adventure to the Peterhead Prison Museum. This was established in 1888 and the last prisoner left in 2013. The site has recently reopened as a museum and part of Admiralty Gateway, giving visitors a fascinating insight into life within the prison walls.
When going to the Peterhead Prison Museum, you will be given a tour to the cells, recreated convict working areas, and then to the collection of an array of prison memorabilia. You will also hear first-hand accounts from the staff who worked there during some of its most tumultuous times and allow the traditional and interactive displays to bring the history of the prison and its infamous inmates to life.
Despite its dark past, a trip to the jail is family friendly and children will love interacting with the displays and the knowledgeable guides who are dressed in period costumes to bring a sense of authenticity to the experience.
4. Fishing Port
Peterhead is home to a thriving fishing port. As we said, fishing is one of the major industries that’s keeping the town alive. Its bustling daily fishing market and extensive leisure marina rank it amongst the busiest fishing ports in Europe.
A stroll down the marina always promises something different from the day before, whether it’s admiring one of the cruise ships docking in the deep water or purchasing freshly caught fish of the highest quality from the market.
No trip to Peterhead is complete without soaking up the fascinating history and thriving atmosphere of the port – so make sure you take a stroll down to the harbor to see what the day has in store.
5. Off-Town Golf
What would a trip to Aberdeenshire be without a relaxing game of golf? Besides, the region is known to house some of the best golf clubs and golf links in the world. Peterhead boasts several beautiful golf courses, in the area, each offering its own distinct charm and personality.
First is the St. Olaf’s Golf Course which is in nearby Cruden Bay. It is a delightful nine-hole course, featuring all the best parts of Scottish golf: panoramic views, perfectly shaped greens and rolling sand dunes. While playing, you’ll often find the wind from the North Sea will be an influence on your game – providing a gentle challenge to keep you on your toes.
If you’re looking to test your game a bit more, Cruden Bay also features an 18-hole Championship Course. It was even listed by the Golf World magazine as the 2nd in Top Fun Courses in Great Britain & Ireland and Rated 52nd best course in the world by the Golf Magazine.
How to Go to Peterhead from Aberdeen
There’s so much more to see and do in Peterhead but there’s so little time to do so. If you are coming from Aberdeen, the fastest way you can get to this town is booking a taxi service from an Aberdeen taxi company like the Aberdeen Taxis. The 32-mile ride will take around 45 minutes of drive and will cost around £75 for 4 passengers. Booking an Aberdeen Taxis service going to Peterhead will be the most comfortable too as you get to enjoy the ride privately with your group.
The other option is to get a bus ticket which can cost £22-£28 per head. The bus also takes longer to get to Peterhead because of several bus stops so the trip usually takes 1h 19m including transfers. Buses depart hourly from the Union Square.
Get to Peterhead with ease and earlier with a taxi service from Aberdeen Taxi so you can have more time to use for exploring this wonderful town in Aberdeenshire.