Portlethen is an attractive small town located approximately 7 miles south of Aberdeen, with a convenient location on the North Sea coast offering easy access to the city centre by dual carriageway. Originally a small fishing village, Portlethen has developed over the last 20 years and is now a popular residential area, with a population of over 7,000. Whilst it has been granted town status, Portlethen has more of a suburb feel as it has no town centre or focal point. The scenic coastal villages Findon, Downies and Old Portlethen are located a short distance to the east of the town.

Situated on the A92 between Stonehaven and Aberdeen, Portlethen provides an idyllic location for those working in Aberdeen yet preferring a more rural setting, with a journey into the city taking only 20 minutes by car. Portlethen also benefits from a local rail station with a regular service taking only 13 minutes to reach Aberdeen.


7271 people

Distance from Aberdeen

7 miles


Regular bus service from Aberdeen


Primary School

Portlethen Primary School

Secondary Schools

Porthethen Academy

Additional information

Average cost of a three-bedroom home: £207,300

Average Floor area of three bedroom home: 91m2 / 980ft2

Derived from Quarter Four 2021 property sales in the area.

History of Portlethen

Located in the historic county of Kincardineshire, also known as The Mearns, Portlethen and surrounding villages were absorbed into the Aberdeenshire council area in 1996. Located just 2km away is the ancient Causey Mounth, a medieval road developed as the primary route between Aberdeen and Stonehaven during the 12th century. Named for the two embankments, or “Causeys”, built to prevent the road sinking into the moor and boggy areas.  This road proved difficult for wheeled traffic and the A90 route was constructed in the mid-20th century. Portlethen is also served by the A92 which runs parallel to the A90 offering residents a route to the centre of Aberdeen, as well as the option to bypass the city during peak times.

Originally an old fishing village, the harbour located in Old Portlethen hosted up to 37 small fishing boats in the late 19th century and provided the village with its livelihood. With the decline of local fisheries in the 1900s, Portlethen harbour no longer trades and is now used for recreational boating activities.

Portlethen was also previously home to its very own baronial castle on the site of the farm, Mains of Portlethen. Whilst there is little remaining physical evidence of the castle, one of the earliest Ordnance Survey name books in 1863 notes a location marked “Site of Portlethen Castle”. Built in the same architectural style as Muchalls Castle, 6 miles away, it is not clear why this castle no longer exists, however, local folklore suggests the castle had a secret cave to the sea.


Things to do in Portlethen

The local area is protected by green belt to the north and south, including the Portlethen Moss nature reserve which holds regular educational events. There are lots of opportunities for outdoor activities in and around Portlethen, with some excellent walking routes that include sections of the Aberdeen Coastal Trail.

Keen golfers benefit from the local Portlethen Golf Club. Founded in 1981 and opened in 1989, when Portlethen had a mere 1,500 residents, the courses were designed by world-renowned golf course architect Donald Steel over 138 acres gifted by local landowner Willie Donald. Now one of the most popular parkland courses in the North East of Scotland, Portlethen golf course has an abundance of natural features including Findon burn which crosses 5 of the holes on the front 9. Clubhouse facilities have been extended over the years to include dining, social and conferencing services.

Portlethen also has an expanding commercial area, which is home to major businesses as well as a range of big retail names and supermarkets.

Community facilities in Portlethen are excellent and the town has a good selection of local pubs and restaurants, including a 19th century pub The Neuk, and The Paddock Bar, which benefits from a large outside seating area. Both these pubs serve a range of food and drink 7 days a week. Everything else Aberdeen city centre has to offer is just a short journey away. 

Schools in Portlethen

Portlethen is served by its own primary school with a nursery for children aged 3 to 12 years old. The current roll included approximately 35 in Early Years Setting, 80 in Nursery and 275 in Primary education. Alongside class teachers, Portlethen Primary School also employs specialist staff helping with the delivery of Physical Education, Science, Music, French, and Art and Design. Commended as a Health Promoting School, it holds a level 1 Rights Respecting School award and is working towards level 2. The school has also been awarded Green Flag status from Eco Schools Scotland and a Gold Enterprise Award. On top of which, Portlethen Primary School has been recognised as a Fair-Trade School.

Serving the communities of North Kincardineshire, including Portlethen, Newtonhill, Muchalls and the surrounding communities, Portlethen Academy is a non-denominational school located in the centre of the town. A moderately sized school with approximately 800 students currently on its roll, the academy offers a wide range of subjects on its curriculum. Aiming to be both inclusive and challenging, subjects are chosen to provide opportunities to develop skills for learning, life, and work.

Extracurricular activities are run by school staff and cover a wide range of interests including netball, football, badminton and various music, art and drama activities including the annual pantomime. The academy also arranges a number of out of school experiences ranging from local visits, to foreign trips. The latter have included Morocco and Courmayeur ski resort.

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Further information on Portlethen is available here.