With Hogmanay coming up soon, Stonehaven is gearing up for its annual Stonehaven Fireballs ceremony. This festival is a spectacular and colourful way of seeing in the New Year which attracts thousands of spectators including a fair few 'expats' home for the holidays visiting friends and relatives. The main event is a parade of people along the High Street in the Old Town swinging fireballs around their heads.
The harbour of the old town of Stonehaven is shared by yachts and fishing boats, while the town itself centres around its 19th century Market Buildings. In 1748 a group of ministers imprisoned in the town secretly baptised the children of fishermen's wives, who brought their charges to the ministers' cell windows. This and other fascinating stories are told in the Tolbooth Museum, set in Stonehaven's oldest building, built in the 16th century as a storehouse for George the 5th Earl Marischal while Dunnottar Castle was being rebuilt. To the north of the town is the old royal burgh of Cowie, another fishing area, and a row of cottages calld Boatie Row. From here a path leads over the cliff to the ruined 13th century St Mary of the Storms Church, from where there are lovely sea views.
For a list of events in Stonehaven, see here.
Map of the area.