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The local area guide to living in Macduff

The historic coastal town of Macduff is nestled within the county of Aberdeenshire, and is known for its fishing industry just as much as for Shakespeare borrowing the town’s name for one of his iconic characters.

It’s a medium-sized, bustling town and was once named Dounce, before the second Lord of Fife decided to rename it Macduff. Central to Maduff’s town is a picturesque harbour. It looks out to John O’ Groats and really steals the town’s spotlight. With plenty of quaint little cafés and seafood restaurants dotting the water’s edge, you can easily stop and really appreciate the view.

Things to do in and around Macduff include exploring the Maritime Heritage Centre and local Sea Life Centre – both make for a wonderful day out for all the family. For more nature, Troup Head, an RSPB nature reserve is just a stone’s throw away and the prime spot for seeing Scotland’s only Gannets. Prefer golf to wind down? The Royal Tarlair golf course is just minutes to the east of Macduff.

Information about the local residents

The last census count in 2001 Macduff’s population was cited at 3,767 people. Most are within the age groups of 25-44 or 45-64, work full-time, and own their own homes or are living in council or social housing.

Households usually have at least one car and are more often than not made up of single people living on their own, or married couples.

Locals regularly commute up to 5km – for both social reasons and their professions. The local fishing industry provides some professional opportunity, though manufacturing is by far the biggest industry and Macduff’s boatyard is the last remaining place in the UK where deep water fishing boats are crafted. Transport, education and admin are the next most popular professions.

Nearby schools

Macduff and its surrounding towns boast a huge choice of highly commended state schools. Choose from primaries including the local options of Macduff School and Banff Primary.

Along the coast a little lies Whitehills School and slightly more inland is King Edward School. There are independent schools too, including Gordonstoun, Focus School and Total – both of which also have secondary schools for seamless student transitions.

There are many state schools for secondary students too, all within a short commute from Macduff. Elgin Academy and Troup House are just some of the many options.

Getting around

Despite its northern, almost remote setting, Macduff’s network of buses makes this Scottish locale and its neighbouring towns and villages highly accessible. Stagecoach and Deveron Coach services run from the town centre to Aberdeen, Banff, Portsoy, Turiff, Elgin and many more places. And there’s also a route that serves Banff Academy for local students.

With Macduff’s own railway station having closed in the ‘60s, the closest rail stations are Huntly and Keith. These are almost 20 miles away, so the majority of locals do tend to use their cars and buses to-and-from their destinations.

Local shops

Take a stroll into the centre of Macduff and you’ll quickly discover it has everything you need – from banks and supermarkets, to small convenience and charity shops, a petrol station and more than one post office.

A must is to stop and take in the view from the harbour, then enjoy the requisite dish of fish and chips at The Seafront Café and Takeaway. It’s a small spot, yet highly recommended for its heart-warming food and smiley staff.

Worth noting is that the arts and crafts scene is booming in Macduff and in the next door town of Banff. On the last weekend in May, the two towns hold the not-for-profit COAST festival of the arts. Music, workshops and events take place all over both towns, with the goal to get everyone involved and spread the community spirit far and wide.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.