Stonehaven folk have known for years, but our town has been officially identified as one of the best places to live in the United Kingdom.
Stoney is one of three Scottish locations to make the Sunday Times list of the 50 best UK towns and suburbs in which to live, coming in at number 46.
The accolade came in part three of the newspaper’s Best Places to Live guide published last Sunday, and boasts of many advantages of the towns.
The annual supplements combine data and statistics, such as crime rates, house prices and school performance with the local knowledge and expertise of Sunday Times writers, to compile the definitive top 50 towns and suburban locations in which to make your home.
The guide is a four-part series produced in partnership with Zoopla.
It said about Stonehaven: “This charming fishing port and holiday resort is dominated by the dramatic ruins of Dunnottar Castle, a brooding medieval fortress perched on a rocky crag above the North Sea.
‘‘Sheltering beneath the cliffs is the town’s picturesque harbour, where you’ll find a museum and seafood restaurant set in a 16th century jail, as well as the historic Ship Inn and Marine Hotel, which brews its own beers and there’s an annual real-ale festival.
“Along the bay, you’ll find award-winning fish and chips and an Olympic-sized art deco open-air pool where, in summer, you can swim under the stars in water that’s heated to a balmy 29C.
‘‘The Victorian town hall hosts gigs and cinema screenings, the town’s four schools are rated ‘very good’ or ‘good’, and there is a cliff-top golf course and busy yacht club. The oil capital of Aberdeen with its theatres, universities and shopping centres, is just 20 minutes away by train.
“Why we love it: Where else could you watch a pagan fire procession followed by an open-air Simple Minds gig at New Year?”
The locations were selected for offering the best quality of life to the widest number of people, and combining desirable features such as a positive community spirit, good local shops and services and attractive outdoor spaces.
Commenting on the supplement, Home Editor Helen Davies said: “The UK is home to some fantastic cities and idyllic countryside, and most of us want easy access to both urban excitement, and rural tranquillity. Part three of the guide demonstrates that there are plenty of locations where people can enjoy the best of both worlds.”