Welcome to Peterhead, Scotland – the largest settlement in Aberdeenshire and an up-and-coming holiday destination! This busy port town centre sits on the north east of Aberdeenshire and is a brief journey away from other hot spots like Aberdeen, Cruden Bay, and Fraserburgh. Come and explore the elegant houses and fishing port as we discuss the top things to do in Peterhead.
Peterhead has a deep history tied to its fishing vessels and excellent commercial harbour, which exported its food processing and light engineering. The north harbour and south harbours were one of the busiest fishing ports in Europe, with over 400 boats and a beautiful leisure marina. Today, this harbour contributes to many of the surrounding attractions, spectacular views of the Aberdeenshire coast, and even more…
Things to Do in Peterhead
The town of Peterhead is stocked with things to do that make it an excellent place to see while visiting Mainland Scotland.
A day in Peterhead could have you visiting the Victorian-era Peterhead Prison Museum, exploring Slains Castle, the inspiration behind Dracula, or even navigating the serene coastline to see the Bullers of Buchan!
The sky’s the limit when it comes to activities in Peterhead, and with excellent accommodation options and good food and drink from established nearby places, you can quickly lose track of time seeing this part of the world.
Read our guide for the top things to do in Peterhead!
Peterhead Prison Museum
The historic Peterhead Prison Museum gives all who visit a closer look into life in the only prison in Scotland before 1880 was like.
The museum has audio guide services, meaning you can tour the granite walls at any pace you’d like! The museum is proficient at telling the stories of its former staff and illustrating what the routine would’ve been like for prisoners here.
A trip to the Peterhead Prison Museum is enlightening and will definitely give you the impression that this was one of Scotland’s most strict jails.
Bullers of Buchan
One of Aberdeenshire’s most impressive sights is the Bullers of Buchan, a collapsed sea cave just north of Cruden.
The already magnificent coastline of Aberdeenshire is amplified with a visit to this dramatic piece of geological history. The Bullers of Buchan are a great attraction no matter what time you come to see them – in Summer, you’re treated to gorgeous wildflowers, while in Winter, the sea rages against the cliffside.
Just take the A975 up from Cruden Bay, and you can’t miss the remains of this enormous sea cave.
If you’re fiending for a pint while in Peterhead, stop by the unique Brew Toon to sample the finest beers Aberdeenshire offers.
This unique bottle shop and tasting room have a wide selection of pints, ciders, seltzers, and wines for you to try, with some coming in incredibly well-designed toon cans. You can also take a brewery tour and immerse yourself in the detailed process of how Brew Toon creates their iconic IPAs.
Want to try a unique blend of brews while in the Aberdeenshire region? Look no further than Brew Toon in Peterhead.
Located on the north side of Peterhead, the Balmoor Stadium has an electric atmosphere whenever their local team faces off against the other stars of Scotland.
If you’re a fan of footie, then seeing a local game at Balmoor Stadium is an excellent way to connect with the locals and embrace the proud Scottish football culture.
Watch as Peterhead climbs the ranks of the Scottish League and gains popularity – strangers become quick friends as Peterhead enters the grounds of Balmoor Stadium!
Peterhead Golf Club
Come and play on one of the oldest golf courses in Scotland, the 18th oldest by Peterhead Golf Club’s admission!
This hidden gem set amongst the dunes is an excellent example of a Scottish seaside golf course and features gorgeous views of the stunning coastline. The golf course was founded in 1841 and has transitioned to 9-holes you can tee off at today.
If you’re looking for a place to practise your swing while on holiday, your search is over!
Take the Peterhead Trail
One of the best things to do when first coming into a new town is to explore it fully. Luckily, the Peterhead Trail shows off the town’s secrets with a series of informative plaques.
Along the trail, you can learn about smugglers, ghosts, witchcraft, and even more of what makes this town truly special. Taking the route also gives you a good idea of the town’s amenities and restaurants and touches on popular locations like Broad Street, Albert Quay on Keith Inch, and the Fisher Jessie statue.
The Peterhead Trail is one of the most famous attractions of the settlement, so don’t miss out when you next visit!
A great location just south of Peterhead is Slains Castle, said to be the inspiration behind Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’.
Slains Castle is in Cruden Bay, right on the green hills that look over the coastal views of Scotland. There’s an incredible history associated with Slains Castle as it’s where nobility entertained many 19th century celebrities and, more recently, a location covered by the show ‘The Crown’.
The castle dates back to 1597, making it an excellent historical heritage site you can see next time you visit Peterhead.
Buchan Ness Lighthouse
A short trip from the south harbour of Peterhead is Boddam and the beautiful Buchan Ness Lighthouse.
This stunning lighthouse offers excellent views out to sea and makes for a sublime spot to take a romantic partner when the weather is in your favour.
Best of all, you can also stay within the quaint cottages at Buchan Ness Lighthouse and wake up with terrific views out to the villages and coast of the region.
Come and see one of the oldest museums in Peterhead, where you can indulge in the rich maritime history of Peterhead.
Being a prominent place of knowledge and exhibits for over 125 years, the Arbuthnot Museum is a great way to begin your journey into Peterhead, Aberdeenshire.
The museum holds information about the Peterhead Port Authority, incredibly detailed model ships, critical agricultural construction, and fossils of Arctic animals like foxes, bears, and whales.
Make sure to spend some time discovering the many hidden gems of Peterhead.
This magnificent ruin can be found just west of Peterhead and is an excellent example of a moat-and-bailey-style castle.
The castle is remarkably close to the town, making it a quick trip to reach and easy to fit into a day of sightseeing. The castle is enclosed by a fence and can only be seen from the outside, but the grand ruins are more than enough to satisfy any budding historian.
This historical landmark created by the Cheynne family is a grand attraction you should certainly make some time to see!
Longhaven Cliffs Nature Reserve
Those looking to explore the outdoors will love the Longhaven Cliffs Nature Reserve – it’s your opportunity to discover the pink granite cliffs of Aberdeenshire.
You can see a glorious breadth of wildlife while exploring this nature reserve, with seabirds that roost in high nests on the cliffside for their winter home. If you have the opportunity to see the Longhaven Cliffs in the Summer, you’ll be able to see the beautiful wildflowers that dot the Highlands.
Peterhead Leisure Centre
The Peterhead Community Leisure Centre is a prime spot for indoor exercise fun – perfect for families who want to enjoy some curated leisure activities.
The centre has a 25-metre pool, a sports hall, and a fitness room for you to try your hand at some team sports or solo exercise. It’s a great location if the weather in Peterhead is not on your side and you’re looking to try some activities.
Check their website to book online for specialised activities – you won’t regret it!
Cruden Bay Golf Club
Just south of Peterhead lies the Cruden Bay Golf Club, a unique and unforgettable experience for anyone who wants to tee off on holiday.
The site is incredibly close to St Andrew, ‘The Home of Golf’, and is considered one of the world’s best golf links in 2018! The dunes offer a unique challenge and are extraordinarily memorable, so don’t miss out on taking on this course.
If you’re not a prominent golfer or are just starting, we bet the stunning views out to Cruden Bay and beyond will be a source of inspiration as you get to grips with this Scottish pastime.
The gorgeous Fraserburgh Beach can be found in the town of Fraserburgh just north of Peterhead, saddling the north east of Aberdeenshire.
If you and your family are exploring Aberdeenshire and are struck with a beautiful day, waste no time coming to see the white sands of Fraserburgh Beach. This beautiful beach seems to curve endlessly around the coast, making for plenty of places to delve into and explore!
Make sure to bring your picnic blanket and suntan lotion to bask in the sun amidst the mellow sound of ocean waves.
Willows Animal Sanctuary
Just along the B9093 sits Willows Animal Sanctuary, an animal rescue service that lets you interact with some of the sweetest animals you’ll ever meet.
You can enjoy time with cats, dogs, horses, pigs, and so much more while learning about their stories. The sanctuary is also close to a few excellent walking trails that let you venture into the natural woods of the Highlands.
Cap off your day with a visit to the vegan cafe on site to sample cakes, coffees, and snacks (with vegan alternatives).
Maud Railway Museum
A little way west of Peterhead, you can find the Maud Railway Museum in the town of Maud.
This attraction is not just for the budding trainspotters but a fascinating way to learn about the industrial history of the railway station in Maud and Aberdeenshire. Many excellent exhibits, artefacts, and even a 5-and-a-half-inch train make for a fun addition to the museum!
Come and learn how this part of the country used to be connected with an intricate system of railways at the Maud Railway Museum.
Other Things To Do in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire & Moray
- Things to do in Aberdeen
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- Things to do in Braemar
- Things to do in Dufftown
- Things to do in Elgin
- Things to do in Inverurie
- Things to do in Keith
- Things to do in Royal Deeside
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