Located on the north-east coast of Scotland, Kincardineshire boasts of an unspoiled landscape that descends from the Forest of Birse down to the North Sea. Aberdeenshire borders it to the north and Angus to the south, with the Grampian Mountains gracing the western horizon.

Our area guide delves into Kincardineshire's distinctive charm, a haven for nature enthusiasts and history buffs alike. Here, you will find quiet country living combined with the sophistication of its bustling towns like Stonehaven and Banchory. This guide provides valuable insights about Kincardineshire, covering everything from its fascinating history to housing prices, top schools, and transportation facilities.

History of Kincardineshire

Kincardineshire, otherwise known as the Mearns, has a history steeped in rich Scottish tradition. Inhabited since prehistoric times, traces of Bronze Age and Roman presence can be found sprinkled across the landscape. Prominent during the Pictish period, the county became a part of the Kingdom of Scotland during the 11th Century. In the centuries that followed, Kincardineshire witnessed major historic events, including the wars of Scottish Independence. The county town, Stonehaven, used to be a thriving fishing port and the historical economic hub of the region.


Kincardineshire is home to some breathtaking landmarks. Dunnottar Castle, perched atop a sea cliff, exhibits an impressive display of medieval architecture, while the ruins of Fetteresso Castle carry significant historical value. Similarly, The Tolbooth, a 16th-century building in Stonehaven, serves both as a museum and a symbol of the town's rich fishing history.

Landmarks we love

  • The Grassic Gibbon Centre - Located in Arbuthnott, it is a tribute to the celebrated local author Lewis Grassic Gibbon, offering an introduction to his life and work.

  • The Bow Fiddle Rock - This iconic sea arch near Portknockie truly is a sight to behold, especially at sunrise and sunset.

  • Campbell's Bakery - Stuffed with traditional Scottish bakery products, this establishment in Laurencekirk is a must-visit for food lovers.

  • Johnshaven Harbour - A quaint, picturesque harbour with a peaceful beach and a lovely walking path.

  • Benholm Mill - A tranquil spot in Benholm with great historical and picturesque value.

Top things to do in Kincardineshire

  • Visit Dunnottar Castle for a dose of history.

  • Enjoy a quiet stroll along Stonehaven Beach.

  • Explore the Angus Glens for a breath-taking hiking experience.

  • Take a boat tour of the Cairngorms National Park.

  • Try local delicacies at The Boathouse in Stonehaven.

Our recommended areas to live in Kincardineshire

  • Stonehaven - A thriving town with a variety of amenities and good schools, making it perfect for families.

  • Laurencekirk - Known for its peaceful countryside living, it is ideal for those seeking a quiet life.

Best schools in Kincardineshire

The county offers a top-tier education system with schools such as Mackie Academy (Stonehaven) and Lathallan School (Johnshaven), both delivering high-quality teaching.

Transport links in Kincardineshire

Kincardineshire boasts excellent transport links with regular bus and train services connecting the major towns. Additionally, the A90 road provides a direct route to Aberdeen and Dundee.

To summarise, Kincardineshire is a place that perfectly balances the tranquillity of the countryside with the amenities of town living. Its cultural heritage and spectacular landscapes offer a ton of exploration opportunities. Its welcoming atmosphere makes it a great choice for families, professionals and retirees alike. Kincardineshire certainly is one of Scotland's hidden gems.

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