The Mearns

The area is also known as Kincardineshire.

The name ‘Mearns’ comes from A Mhaoirne meaning ‘The Stewartry’.

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The Mearns area of Aberdeenshire has a wonderful mix of countryside and coastline. Its vast landscape and fertile soil sustains a strong agricultural economy while its coastline is dotted with what were once traditional fishing villages and where you’ll still appreciate the bond between the sea and local communities.

Explore bustling towns and village such Fettercairn, Laurencekirk, Inverbervie, Stonehaven, Newtonhill, Portlethen, St Cyrus and Johnshaven and you’ll discover a real sense of place. While in Fettercairn, which featured in Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s Sunset Song, see the distinctive Royal Arch erected in 1864 and don’t miss the white-washed buildings of Fettercairn Distillery. While the popular coastal town of Stonehaven is known for its fantastic harbour, outdoor swimming pool and the nearby, much loved Dunnottar Castle. St Cyrus National Nature Reserve (NNR) is situated between the village of St Cyrus and the North Sea and is an important site for its birdlife and flora.

The Scottish author Lewis Grassic Gibbon, born James Leslie Mitchell, was strongly influenced by his life in The Mearns. His book Sunset Song is one of the most important Scottish novels of the 20th century. The book, set in a fictional village in the Mearns, drew heavily from Mitchell’s upbringing in Arbuthnott. One of the key features of the book (and some of his other writing) is the balanced and immersive use of the distinctive local Doric Scots dialect spoken in the north east Aberdeenshire which you’ll still hear in towns and villages across Mearns.

Look out for as well for the numerous prehistoric stone circles, standing stones and cairns as you travel across the Mearns area.