Stonehaven lies on the Highland Boundary Fault and marks the edge of the Highlands of Scotland.The thin black topsoil of the hills to the North turns into the thick rusting-red loam of the Howe of the Mearns.

The Golf Course to the north of the town is at the very edge of the Mearns, and the rocky cliffs stretch through the great seabird nesting site on the cliffs at Fowlsheugh, alternating cliffs and sandy beaches to the south. Angus and the Mearns - mentioned in the same breath for over a millennium.   Be careful on the cliffs. Summer boat trips are run from the harbour, (with RSPB volunteers as guides) to the largest UK mainland bird sanctuary with 160,000 auks, puffins, herring gulls, kittiwakes, guillemot, fulmar, puffin, razorbills, shags, and perhaps a great black-backed gull.

The best time to visit is from late April to the end of July.