Anger as Stonehaven omitted from new North East 250 sightseeing route

Dunnottar Castle, near Stonehaven

Community leaders in a North-east town have expressed their disappointment after being left out of a new sightseeing route.

The North East 250, a 250-mile tourist trail around the region, has failed to include Stonehaven.

Created by businessman Guy Macpherson-Grant, the route has left locals from the Aberdeenshire town asking why it has been snubbed.

Stonehaven and District Community Council chairman Phil Mills-Bishop said: “I think it’s extraordinary. They’ve left out one of the area’s biggest attractions – Dunnottar Castle.

“We support the principle of it but it could have been looked into more. There’s plenty in Stonehaven.

“We have the Art Deco outdoor swimming pool and one of the best restaurants with the Tolbooth.”

Dunnottar Castle’s custodian Jim Wands also spoke of his surprise at the town’s omission.

He said: “The route will be fantastic for the North-east area of Scotland. I was a bit surprised that Dunnottar Castle wasn’t included. Stonehaven is a coastal gem.

“If you’re trying to show the best of the area, you have to showcase the best.”

Mairi Gougeon, MSP for Angus North and Mearns, has urged for the south of Aberdeenshire to be added into the route.

She said: “Stonehaven would surely be the ideal stopover place for tourists on the route as it has greater capacity for accommodation.

“Not to mention the fact that it is home to Dunnottar Castle.”

A spokeswoman for Guy Macpherson-Grant said: “The North East 250 is a circular route that will take visitors on a journey through Speyside, Royal Deeside, the Cairngorms, along the Moray Coast, east coast and Aberdeen that encompasses everything for which Scotland is famous – castles, wildlife, coastal villages, stunning beaches, golf courses, mountains, forests.

“Although it has been designed as a route, we hope and expect that visitors will explore even more of the area while they are here and would therefore make a point of going to see attractions such as Dunnottar Castle.

“We have already had businesses sign up that are not on the route because they can see the potential of North East 250.”