Points of interest and activities
Peterhead Arbuthnot Museum and Library
Discover the wealth of Peterhead's maritime history in one of Aberdeenshire's oldest museums. See models showing the development of Peterhead fishing boats and delve into a range of fascinating historical exhibitions.
Find out about Peterhead's past including the whaling industry – take in the important collection of Inuit artefacts – visit the famous Polar Bear and other Arctic animals.
Arbuthnot Museum boasts one of northern Scotland's largest coin collections and has a large collection of photos from Peterhead and the surrounding area.
There are also a range of temporary exhibitions with a regularly changing programme of events in the Arbuthnot Gallery. Tel 01779 477778 or 01771 622807 for further information.
Peterhead Prison Museum
Step back in time when you visit the former "H.M. Convict Prison, Peterhead" which officially opened in 1888 and now forms part of the Admiralty Gateway.
For the "inside story" of those brave personnel that staffed the first convict prison in Scotland from August 1888 to December 2013 what better way to learn than to visit and interact with guides in period costumes and see the cells and other key components of this complex that is known worldwide.
Now open, this complex will both enthral and teach you what life was really like behind bars.
More information can be found here: www.peterheadprisonmuseum.com
Peterhead Town Trail
The Peterhead Town Trail is a walking tour around Peterhead and highlights more than 400 years of history, stories, events, local scandals, gossip and sensations.
The trail is made up of a short route, which concentrates on the town centre and harbour, with an optional longer walk along the northern edge, which takes in beaches, wildlife and some of Buchan’s fabulous coastline. Along the way are 21 panels telling some of the stories.
Alas, all those years of history don’t fit very neatly onto 21 story boards so a dedicated website has been designed to fill in the gaps, and spill the beans on the bits that didn’t make it onto the panels!
Check it out online at www.peterheadtowntrail.co.uk
Peterhead Leisure Centre and Swimming Pool
Peterhead Leisure Centre and Swimming Pool is an excellent place to have some active fun with the kids, whether you have waterbabies wanting a splash about, or budding Robin Hoods wanting to practice archery, there is plenty to do here for all ages and ability levels!
The centre has a 6-lane 25m swimming pool plus a large teaching pool and diving pool with 1m and 3m springboards and a 5m platform. There are regular swimming lessons and disabled swimming sessions too.
There is also a café, a Multipurpose Practice Hall, a 4-court games hall, and a large indoor climbing wall. Basketball, badminton, and table tennis are also offered and if you fancy archery, join the Doric Bowmen on a Friday or Sunday evening, with an earlier slot for juniors.
Amazone soft play and activity centre is great for the little kids, meaning there really is something for all ages.
If you fancy a more relaxing activity, there is a fortnightly cinema show in the 290-seat theatre, or Informal Art every Thursday evening during term time. They do birthday parties too, with the use of pool, pool inflatable, or bouncy castle. Contact the centre on 01779 477277.
Peterhead is one of the UK’s most versatile ports, providing exceptional all-weather, congestion-free deepwater berthing facilities at depths of up to 14 metres and serving a broad range of industries including oil and gas, renewables, fishing and leisure.
The port authority is proud of its heritage as the UK’s largest white fish and pelagic (mackerel and herring) port and is building on its reputation as a traditional centre of excellence for both fishing fleets by providing a full range of constantly updated modern quayside services including on-site fish market, ice and water plants, fuel supplies, and ship repair and maintenance at our slipway, syncrolift and dry dock.
The port has played a key role in the development of North Sea oil and gas over the past 40 years and visitors to the town will see a colourful range of mighty vessels such as surveying and diving support ships, together with general cargo boats.
Nestled alongside the Lido Caravan Park is the thriving leisure marina which attracts a wide range of yachts and other pleasure craft from around the UK and Europe.
Please remember that Peterhead harbour is a working port with busy traffic flow and major cargo-handling equipment, therefore caution should be taken when touring the area.
The Old Salmon Fish House is situated in Peterhead at the estuary of the River Ugie - itself highly acclaimed for its excellent salmon and trout fishing.
From here, the firm’s salmon is smoked, packed and distributed. Ugie Salmon Fishings, with meticulous care and constant supervision throughout the smoking process, now supply Scottish smoked salmon by mail order in the UK and throughout Europe. The actual smoking methods are a closely-guarded secret passed down from fore-fathers and are crucial to the well-known and much-loved unique taste of Ugie Salmon's smoked Scottish salmon!
Buchan Meadows Community Woodland
The 43-acres of Buchan Meadows Community Woodland are situated just off the ringroad on the Kinmundy Road. The woodlands are managed by local development trust Peterhead Projects and hosts regular educational activities for all ages.
Successful funding bids with Community Spaces (Big Lottery) and SITA Trust have enabled the appointment of a full-time Community Woodland Officer and the construction of a car park and path network to open up this community resource to the wider public.
The woodlands provide a tranquil backdrop for a peaceful stroll where you can take in the birdlife and wildlife of the Buchan countryside.
Meethill Reform Tower
If you want to enjoy splendid views across Peterhead then a visit to the Meethill Reform Tower on the southern approach to the town is a must. This tall tapering five-storey tower was erected in 1832 and renewed by Kenneth Smith of Meethill in 1907.
George Mudie on behalf of the Whigs (Liberals) had the tower built to celebrate the Reform Act intending it also as an observatory which never materialised. The hill is the site of tumulus - discovered when it was dug into for the Reform Tower foundations. A cist was found along with fragments of human bones and a food vessel. Although the tower itself is closed to the public, the views from the hill are impressive. The site is accessed off the South Road and along a track just passed Monument Close.
There is another monument in Peterhead town centre on Broad Street which commemorates the Reform Bill – this one was erected by the Tories.
While in Broad Street you can also visit the statue erected to Field Marshal James Francis Edward Keith who lived from 11 June 1696 to 14 October 1758. He was a soldier who rose to become a Field Marshal in the Prussian Army. James Keith was buried in Berlin, but he is remembered in his home town of Peterhead by a prominent statue, whose plinth notes it to be the Gift of William 1st, King of Prussia, to the Town of Peterhead, 23rd August 1868.
Get on your bike!
Peterhead boasts some 19km of shared use cycle paths created by Aberdeenshire Council.
The routes provide cyclists, walkers and runners with a valuable recreational facility, while also connecting the north and south areas of Peterhead.
Balmoor Stadium – home of Peterhead FC
During your stay in Peterhead why not visit Balmoor Stadium – the home of Scottish League 1 side Peterhead Football Club.
The club was formed in the 1890s and has a rich heritage of playing in the Aberdeenshire League till 1932 and the Highland League until 2000 when they were voted into the Scottish Football League.
The side, currently managed by Jim McInally, has seen much of its success come in cup competitions, none more so than the Aberdeenshire Cup, which they have won 20 times, most recently in 1998-99.
Peterhead are also five times winners of the Highland League Cup, and six times winners of the Scottish Qualifying Cup (North). In addition they hold one Aberdeenshire Shield, again won in the highly successful 1998-99 campaign.
Slains Castle is found on the rocky coastline near the town of Cruden Bay just to the south of Peterhead and is widely believed to have been a source of inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
This atmospheric ruined castle was originally built to replace Old Slains Castle, situated about six miles south-west of the present site, after it was destroyed in 1594. New Slains Castle was erected in 1597 on the site of the former Bowness Castle.
Bram Stoker visited the village in 1895 and stayed at the Kilmarnock Arms Hotel which still welcomes visitors today.
A path takes visitors to the boundaries of the castle but extreme caution is required near the cliffs.
Aden Country Park
Aden Country Park at Mintlaw – just 10 minutes west of Peterhead - is a 230 acre country park in the heart of Buchan.
Apart from a host of organised uses, the park itself provides beautiful surroundings simply for enjoyable walking for local residents and visitors to the area. The ruined mansion house creates a great deal of interest as does the fascinating Victorian arboretum which is now being complemented with its 21st century equivalent.
Situated in the heart of the park lies a semi-circular farmstead building built around 1800 and a coach house built in 1832. This now houses the award winning Aberdeenshire Farming Museum, containing a Recognised Collection of National Significance awarded by the Scottish Museums Council (SMC).
Facilities on offer at the park include the café at Aden, Aden craft & gift shop, children’s play area, picnic and BBQ sites, walks and trials, Hareshowe Farm, North East Folklore Archive (NEFA), Arc Recording Studio, Book of Deer visitor centre, ice cream kiosk, SANDS and carers/sensory gardens, outdoor gym, dog agility and exercise area, horse arena and bridleway, car parking, toilets, and of course an enjoyable stay at the 4 Star Aden Caravan & Camping Park.
For a weekend away with the clubs packed firmly in the boot of the car, the North-east of Scotland is every golfer's dream and more.
There are more than 60 classic, unspoilt courses on which to enjoy a round of golf and many of them are of 100 years' vintage with everything from traditional, seaside links that boast a ferocious bite to more inland, subtler tests.
Peterhead itself boasts a 9-hole and 18-hole course accessed across the River Ugie to the north of the town. The 18th oldest golf club in the world, Peterhead is set among the dunes and across the Craigewan links - a classic example of Scottish seaside golf at its best – and toughest!
Established in 1841, the current 18-hhole layout ‘Craigewan Links’ began as a 9-hole course in 1892, designed by Willie Park Jnr a dual winner of the Open Championship, and was extended to 18 holes in 1908. A second 18-hole course was established in 1923, however today it exists as a 9-hole course, appropriately named the ‘New Course’.
Current rates are as follows: 18 Hole – Old Course – Weekday £60 round; 18 Hole – Old Course – Weekend £80 round; 9 Hole – New Course – Adult £30 day ticket. Golf Carts Available on Request – £25 per Round.
Cruden Bay is a traditional Scottish links golf course located just a 15-minute drive to the south of Peterhead originally designed by Tom Morris and Archie Simpson.
A warm and welcoming club that caters for both members and visiting golfers from across the globe, it boasts experienced pro shop staff, first class bar and catering staff and the club’s administration team ensures a warm welcome to Cruden Bay and promises that your day playing golf in Aberdeenshire will be one to remember.
Both the 9-hole and 18-hole courses create unique challenges demanding the skills of power, placement and fine judgement upon the discerning golfer.
For non- golfers the course sit next to the spectacular golden sandy beach, with Slains Castle sitting high on the cliffs above the village only a 15-minute walk from the course.
Current rates are as follows: 18-hole course – Weekdays - Round 18 or 27 - £105; Day Ticket - £140; Weekends – Round 18 - £120. St Olaf (9-hole course): Weekdays – Day Ticket - £25; Weekends – Day Ticket - £35.
Situated in the charming village of Longside – just a few minutes’ drive west of Peterhead – this 18-hole parkland course makes for an enjoyable day’s golf. With the River Ugie meandering through the course, the Par 66 over 5,266 yards will certainly provide challenges along the way.
The clubhouse is a friendly and welcoming place for members and visitors alike with snack meals available.
Current rates are as follows: Weekdays – Round £15, Day £20; Weekend – Round £20, Day £30.
Other courses in the North-east include Fraserburgh, Inverallochy, Rosehearty, Murcar, Turriff, Trump International, Ellon, Inverurie, Duff House Royal, Royal Tarlair, Newburgh on Ythan and Royal Aberdeen.