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Living in Laurencekirk: The local area guide

The small town and burgh of Laurencekirk lies on the southern coast of Aberdeenshire in an area that once went by the old county name of The Mearns and Kincardineshire. Its Scottish Gaelic name is Coinmheadh, which referred to its past as a stopping point for passing troops that provided them with free food and lodging. The town rests in a valley between Cairn O’Mount and Garvock Hill.

The IMD ranks Laurencekirk as better than 75% of the living areas in Scotland. Employment is better than 86%, Income better than 78% and Education is better than 76%. The Laurencekirk community, still often referred to as the ‘Mearns’ and the ‘Howe of the Mearns’, is very active and engaged, holding many events throughout the week, including several playgroups and pre-school groups for the town’s bairns.

Laurencekirk has a long and interesting past, a small part of which includes its role in the Haulkerton family estates, which were the royal falconers for the king at his Kincardine Castle residence. The Kincardine Castle ruins lie north-east of Laurencekirk’s neighbouring town, Fettercairn, and are one of many beautiful ancient sites throughout the area, such as Ury House, Portlethen Moss, the coastal village of Catterline and numerous castles and ruins.


The Mearns and Laurencekirk area has a population of 4,270 as of 2013. The community is part of the Angus North and Mearns Scottish parliamentary constituency, one of four constituencies in Aberdeenshire. In this constituency region, the total population is 71,693. The broad age division of Angus North and Mearns is 17.6% children, 60.57% working age adults and 21.84% pensionable age adults.

Compared to the rest of Scotland, the population of working age adults is slightly lower and the number of pensioners slightly higher. The entire population of Aberdeenshire is 260,500 as of 2014.


The town has both a primary and secondary school. Laurencekirk Primary School has two playgrounds, a sports field and numerous facilities to cater to its 312 junior students and 70 nursery pupils.

The school is very engaged with parents and the community and strives to ensure its pupils are equipped to become ‘Confident Individuals, Achieving Pupils, Responsible Citizens and Effective Contributors’. Their visionary motto is ‘Working together to be the best we can be!’

Mearns Academy is the local secondary school and also serves seven villages in the catchment area. There are 649 pupils at this six-year comprehensive school, which emphasises a well-rounded personal and educational learning experience for its pupils.


Laurencekirk is well connected by a bus network, its own railway station and access to the A90 main road along Scotland’s eastern coast. Laurencekirk station lies on the Edinburgh to Aberdeen Line between Montrose and Stonehaven. The station was only re-opened relatively recently for commuters to Aberdeen and Dundee, and there are about 20 trains daily.

Aberdeen is just under 30 miles to the north along the A90 and can be reached in about 30 minutes by car, 58 minutes by bus or 44 minutes by train. The beautiful town of Dundee to the south on the mouth of the River Towy can be reached in 39 minutes by car, 42 minutes by train or about one and a half hours by stagecoach. The Scottish capital of Edinburgh can be reached in 1 hour 42 minutes by car, about 3 and half hours by bus or just under 2 hours by train.

Amenities and shopping

Laurencekirk is well stocked with small retailers and dining options. There are several garages, pharmacies and take-away eateries, as well as quite a few pubs, bakeries, local restaurants, specialty shops and clothing boutiques.

The town has a community centre, several parks, forest walking paths, a health centre, two churches, a post office and a supermarket, so is covered by all of the essentials. There is also a local brewery.

Stonehaven just a short drive to the north expands the shopping and dining options considerably, as does Dundee to the south, but for a full range of retailers and cuisine, Aberdeen City is within easy distance.

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.

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