Fraserburgh (locally known as The Broch) is a fishing port in Aberdeenshire, with a population in 2011 of 13,100. In the 19th century it was a major port for herring, and fishing is still an important local industry. The town suffered lifeboat disasters in 1919, 1953 and 1970 while assisting stricken fishing boats.
Stagecoach Bus 68 runs every two hours from Aberdeen via Ellon P&R, taking 90 min to Fraserburgh.
Bus X69 runs every two hours from Peterhead, taking 30 min.
Bus 273 along the north coast from Banff stops short at Gardenstown, and in 2020 no longer reaches Fraserburgh.
Walk; but at night give a wide berth to drunks.
- 1 Museum of Scottish Lighthouses, Stevenson Road AB43 9DU, ☏ . Nov-Mar W-Su 10:00-16:30, Apr-Oct daily 10:00-17:00. By the 18th century, makeshift lighthouses were obviously inadequate for the growth in shipping. This was partly driven by conflict with France, which made the Channel dangerous, so shipping went all the way north around Scotland to reach the Atlantic. A programme of lighthouse construction began and the town's 16th C Kinnaird Castle in 1787 became the site of the first lighthouse on mainland Scotland. It's now a museum; entry to the lighthouse itself is by guided tour on the hour. The modern automated lighthouse is adjacent. Tours may take in the Wine (or Wynd) Tower, probably just a medieval storeroom, but inevitably with a mawkish legend attached. "Ooh, and on a dark stormy night you can still hear the ghostly piper of - <insert castle name here>". Adult £8.80.
- Fraserburgh Heritage Centre, Quarry Rd AB43 9DT (next to Lighthouse Museum), ☏ . Apr-Oct M-Sa 10:00-16:00, Su 11:00-16:00. In a former warehouse for herring barrels, it's now a volunteer-run local history museum. Adult £6.
- 2 Harbour: it's long past its heyday as a herring fishing port, but still busy with small vessels landing shellfish and white fish.
- Several churches were built in the 19th century for the booming population of fisherfolk. They include Fraserburgh Baptist Church; Fraserburgh Old Parish Church (the oldest); Our Lady, Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church; South Church; St Peter's Episcopal Church; and West Church.
- 3 Memsie Round Cairn is just a large heap of stones to look at, but it's a 4000-year old burial site.
- 4 Maggie's Hoosie in Inverallochy is a small museum in a former fisherman's cottage.
- The Knuckle is a name given to the promontory where the coast turns east into the Moray Firth, and a 1949 account describes "Nine castles of the Knuckle". Kinnaird Castle and the Wine Tower (above) are two of them. Going southeast are Cairnbulg, Inverallochy (just a shard of masonry), Lonmay (gone), and Rattray (gone). West are Pitullie, Pitsligo and Dundarg (below).
- 5 Cairnbulg Castle is a Z-plan castle, from early 14th century but rebuilt several times. It's seldom open to the public.
- 6 Loch of Strathbeg or Rattray Water was an inlet of the sea until 1720, with Rattray its harbour. It was already silting up when a great storm hurled a spit of sand across the bay and cut off the loch. It's now a wildlife reserve managed by RSPB. A ship laden with slates found itself trapped on the loch, so its slates were used in the village, but that was the only good luck blown by that ill wind. Rattray in one night lost its castle (seen as divine punishment for their playing cards on a Sunday) and its harbour, so it became depopulated. See the ruin here of St Mary's Chapel; Rattray Head lighthouse is intact.
- Cairness House four miles south of town is a grand late-18th C neo-classical mansion designed by Playfair. It's a private residence and you don't see much of it from the public road.
- 7 Castle of Pitullie and 8 Pitsligo Castle are ruins near Rosehearty, west of Fraserburgh.
- Dundarg Castle is little more than a grassy hillock on the coast towards Gardenstown, you just come for the sea views.
- The best beach is east of town by the golf course, stretching round the bay to Inverallochy.
- The Leisure Centre on Seaforth St has ten-pin bowling, snooker and pool. It's open daily 09:00-23:00.
- There are fitness centres at James Ramsay Park, Denmark St and High St.
- Fraserburgh Golf Club is on Philorth Links, on the coast south edge of town.
The Farmers Market is held in Saltoun Square on the second Saturday of the month 10:00-15:30.
- There's a slew of cheap eats along High Streeet and Cross St, with pizza, Chinese, tandoori, kebabs and fish & chips, eat in or takeaway.
- 1 Captain's Table, 20 Seaforth St AB43 9BB, ☏ . Tu-Su 12:00-15:00, 17:00-20:30. Casual dining. Dogs welcome.
- 2 Last Bus Works Canteen, Quarry Rd, New Pitsligo AB43 7RA, ☏ . Sa Su 10:30-17:30. Quirky vegan cafe ten miles southwest of Fraserburgh. Hours erratic, ring ahead before travelling any distance.
- Ship Inn (The Galleon), 147 Shore St AB43 9BP. Friendly old-style pub by the harbour.
- Balaclava Bar, 79 Shore St AB43 9BT. By the harbour with beer garden, often has live music. Cash only.
- Elizabethan, 36 Union Grove AB43 9PH. Nothing visibly Elizabethan about it (HMQ first or second) but a decent enough pub with an L-shape bar. Sometimes has live music.
- The Royal is the British Legion pub at 42 School St.
- Deejays is a nightclub on Denmark St.
- 1 Fraserburgh Campsite, South Harbour Road AB43 9TB, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Simple well-run caravan and campsite open April-Oct. Dogs welcome. Tent £15, caravan £25.
- Findlay's is a decent three-star on Smiddyhill Road.
- 2 Saltoun Inn Hotel (JD Wetherspoon), Saltoun Square AB43 9DA, ☏ . 11-room small hotel run by JD Wetherspoon. Gets mixed reviews, Spoons are usually commendably consistent so they need to get a grip here. No availability shown for 2020.
Fraserburgh has good 4G connection on EE, Vodaphone and 02, but not on Three, as of May 2020. 5G has not reached this area.
- Gardenstown is a picturesque little fishing village to the west.
- Peterhead to the southeast is another fishing village.
- Methlick inland has grand Haddo House and what's left of Gight Castle, Byron's ancestral home.
|Routes through Fraserburgh|
|END ←||N S||→ Stonehaven → Aberdeen|