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Living in Macduff: the local area guide

A picturesque harbour, John O’ Groats on the horizon, and thriving café culture (not to mention, some of Scotland’s finest fish and chips) makes Macduff a highly desirable area for both renters and buyers.

Connected to Banff with a beautiful arched bridge over the River Deveron, Macduff is a town of rich history and was once known as Dounce, before the second Lord of Fife decided to rename it.

The town is dotted with memoirs of its past. A small weaver’s cottage is now home to the local textile museum in a nod to commerce of past. The Robert Owen Museum celebrates and tells the story of the visionary draper born and bred in Newtown. As low key as Newtown can be at times, there’s a wealth of things to see and do – the best of both worlds.

With Scotland known for its abundance and quality of golf courses, those partial to a day on the greens will enjoy making the most of the Royal Tarlair golf course – just minutes to the east of Macduff.


Macduff’s local residents are primarily in their 20s, 30s, 40s, with 45-64 year olds coming a close second. The last population count in 2001 cited 3,767 people living in the town.

Most locals work full-time and either own their own homes or are living in council or social housing. Their common professions include those in the local fishing industry – Macduff’s boatyard is the last remaining place in the UK where deep water fishing boats are skillfully crafted. Manufacturing is by far the biggest source of employment, then transport, education and admin.

A commute of 5km is the norm for those living in Macduff. This can be for work or social gatherings and most households do own at least one car. The most common living arrangement are single people living on their own, or as part of a married couple.

EducationA wealth of independent schools can be found within close proximity to Macduff. Popular choices are often Gordonstoun, Focus School and Total as each of them have secondary schools for effortless student transitions.

Alternatively, Macduff and its surrounding towns also boast a huge choice of highly commended state schools. Choose from primaries including the local options of Macduff School and Banff Primary. Then on to secondary state options such as Elgin Academy and Troup House; both within a short commute from Macduff.


Car is primarily the transport of choice in the Scottish Borders, though Macduff’s impressive network of buses makes the locale anything but remote. Stagecoach and Deveron Coach services run from the town centre to Aberdeen, Banff, Portsoy, Turriff, Elgin and many more places. And there’s also a route that serves Banff Academy for local students.

The closest rail stations are Huntly and Keith, almost 20 miles away, so the majority of locals do regularly opt to use their cars and local buses to get to-and-from their destinations.

Amenities and shopping

The arts and crafts scene – as well as café culture – is thriving in Macduff. On the last weekend of every May, Macduff joins Banff in hosting COAST. It’s a not-for-profit 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.

For your day-to-day needs, a wander into Macduff’s centre will mean the discovery of high street banks, supermarkets, gift shops, useful convenience and charity shops, plus a petrol station and more than one post office.

The harbour, and its breathtaking views of northern Scotland is the perfect place to while away the hours, with The Seafront Café and Takeway making a perfect place for the requisite fish and chip stop.

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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