Broad Street, looking west to the Town House. The Reform Monument is in view on the left
|OS grid reference|
|• Edinburgh||120 miles (193 kilometres)|
|• London||420 mi (676 km)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Peterhead (listen (help·info); Scottish Gaelic: Ceann Phàdraig, Scots: Peterheid listen (help·info)) is a town in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It is Aberdeenshire's biggest settlement (the city of Aberdeen itself not being a part of the district), with a population of 18,537 at the 2011 Census.
Peterhead sits at the easternmost point in mainland Scotland. It is often referred to as The Blue Toun (locally spelled as "The Bloo Toon") and people who were born there as Blue Touners. More correctly they are called blue mogginers (locally spelled as "Bloomogganners"), supposedly from the blue worsted moggins or stockings that the fishermen originally wore.
Peterhead was a Jacobite-supporting town in the Jacobite risings of 1715 and 1745. In particular, it was one of the Episcopalian north-eastern ports where reinforcements, plus money and equipment, were periodically landed from France during the Forty-Five.
A lifeboat station was first established in 1865. Since early times Peterhead has received a portion of its water supply from Morris Wells. Peterhead convict prison was opened in 1888, gaining a reputation as one of Scotland's toughest prisons.
A new phase of growth was initiated in the 1970s with Peterhead becoming a major oil industry service centre, and the completion of the nearby St Fergus gas terminal. At this time, considerable land holdings were allocated for industrial development.
From the 1990s onward, the town has suffered from several high-profile company closures and is facing a number of pressures, including Common Fisheries Policy reforms. However, it retains a relatively diverse economy, including food processing, textiles, service industries and, still importantly, fishing. (Over 163,000 tonnes of fish and shellfish, with a value of around £179m, were landed at Peterhead in 2017, employing around 700 fishermen.) The Peterhead Port Authority plans to extend the northern breakwater as a stimulus to the town's economic development. In addition, to assist with business diversification and town centre environmental improvements, the 'Peterhead Project' initiative under the Aberdeenshire Towns Partnership brings together the Council, Scottish Enterprise Grampian, Communities Scotland, commerce and community representatives.
Between 1952 and 2004 the Royal Air Force station RAF Buchan was located near the town. The radar unit ceased to be a RAF station on 1 September 2004 and was downgraded to a Remote Radar Head named RRH Buchan.
Peterhead was founded by fishermen and was developed as a planned settlement. In 1593 the construction of Peterhead's first harbour, Port Henry, encouraged the growth of Peterhead as a fishing port and established a base for trade. (Port Henry Road, running east-west, can be found just north of the harbour, off East North Street.) Port Henry was constructed by Henry Middleton under the supervision of George Keith, 5th Earl Marischal.
Port Henry was in existence by 1593. It was improved in 1631, and repaired before the end of the century and again early in the 18th century. The south pier was increased in height and the west pier was constructed. The southern part was reconstructed between 1775 and 1781 by John Smeaton, with improvements carried out by John Rennie between 1806 and 1810. He also oversaw an addition to the west pier in 1813.
North Harbour and the dry dock were built by Rennie and Thomas Telford between 1818 and 1822. They were improved fifteen years later. The junction canal was built in 1849, while the south and west piers of North Harbour were built by David Stevenson in 1855. The southern part of North Harbour (Middle Harbour) dates from 1872. It was constructed by David and Thomas Stevenson, with improvements made between 1893 and 1897 by William Shield, a local worker.
The present harbour, now a Category B listed structure, has two massive breakwaters, enclosing an area of approximately 300 acres (120 ha) in Peterhead Bay. The south breakwater, about 2,700 ft (820 m) long, was constructed in 1892–1912 using convict labour from the prison. Peterhead was, and remains, an important fishing port, and the breakwater gave it an advantage over other fishing ports. The north breakwater, constructed 1912–1956, is approximately 1,500 ft (460 m) long.
Peterhead has many listed buildings across the three categories of A, B and C. The three Category A listed buildings are Buchan Ness lighthouse (see below), Old St Peter's Church (its graveyard is Category B listed) and Peterhead Old Parish Church.
The majority of the listed buildings are on streets that fan out from the harbor, including Broad Street, Harbour Street, Jamaica Street, Maiden Street, Merchant Street, Port Henry Road, Queen Street and St. Andrew Street.
Peterhead has four lighthouses, two of which are active. In chronological order of construction, they are:
The town was a burgh in the historic county of Aberdeenshire. In 1930 it became a small burgh under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1929, but in 1975 small burghs were abolished and Peterhead became part of the district of Banff and Buchan within the new Grampian Region. When districts and regions were abolished in 1996, Peterhead became part of the new unitary authority of Aberdeenshire.
Since 1975 Peterhead has had a community council, with limited powers.
The 2016 population estimate for the town is 19,270, making Peterhead the largest town in Aberdeenshire. English is the primary language used in the town, although 56.4% of residents can speak Scots.
Peterhead Academy houses around 1,300 pupils and the school is split into six houses (Arbuthnot, Buchan, Craigewan, Grange, Marischal and Slains), with all the names associated with areas of the town. The school has pupils coming from surrounding villages such as Boddam, Cruden Bay, Hatton, Inverugie, Rora, St Fergus and Crimond. The academy's motto is "Domus Super Petram Aedificata" (A House Built on a Rock). The academy is Scotland's largest school at over 22,920 m2 (246,700 sq ft) of gross internal floor area. The school has multiple subjects such as ICT, English, French/German, Technical, Engineering, Art, Home Economics, and many more.
The building is split in two distinct designs. The older section of the school was built before the Second World War, whilst the newer section of the school with hexagonal designs came after. The latter section of the school shares space with the town's community centre, theatre and sports facilities.
Peterhead has six primary schools (Clerkhill, Buchanhaven, Meethill, Dales Park, Central, Burnhaven).
There is one special school, Anna Ritchie, which caters for most specific learning difficulties, autism and other disabilities.
Peterhead news appears in The Press and Journal and the Buchan Observer. The Buchanie, as it is known locally, has been published in Peterhead since 1863. The Peterhead Sentintel was published between 1858 and 1907.
Buchan Radio, 107.9 FM, was originally established as the online-only Buchan Community Radio in 2013. It became Buchan Radio in 2017, and launched on FM radio in 2019.
In 2008, a Blueprint for Growth was published[by whom?] – a plan to extend the town beyond its bypass. The plan involved 4,500 homes, 4 new primary schools, a new secondary school and a new hospital to be built in the next 20–25 years – hoping to bring 9,000 people to the town.
In 2016 Aberdeenshire Council launched a regeneration strategy for Peterhead - Peterhead Development Partnership Action Plan 2016 - 2021 covering the themes of Peterhead Economy, Integrating Communities and Connecting, reinforcing and rediscovering Peterhead's town centres.
The harbours, maritime and built heritage, Peterhead Town Trail are the town's principal tourism assets alongside the multi-award winning Peterhead Prison Museum. Recent initiatives include investments in the Peterhead Bay area, which have included the berthing of cruise ships in the harbour. A number of projects are planned under the auspices of the Peterhead Development Partnership and Rediscover Peterhead Business Improvement District initiatives, including tourism strategy development, enhancement of existing attractions, measures to improve the town's physical attractiveness, and improved marketing and promotion.
Peterhead F.C. are an SPFL club who play in the SPFL League One. They won the League Two championship in 2013–14 and 2018–19. The club reached the final of the Scottish Challenge Cup in the 2015–16 season, 
Peterhead Golf Club, reputedly the 18th-oldest in the world, sits on the banks of the River Ugie at its North Sea mouth, just over a mile to the northwest of the town. It has an 18- and a 9-hole course.
Today, Peterhead is contained largely inside the A90, which runs along the western periphery of the town and was built through the area in the late 1980s. It leads to Fraserburgh to the north and Edinburgh to the south.
The main roads in and out of downtown Peterhead (from north to south) are Ugie Street, Queen Street and West Road (the A950).
Those travelling to the north can connect to the A90 by taking the North Road (the A982) spur off the roundabout it shares with Balmoor Terrace, Blackhouse Terrace, Windmill Road and Catto Drive. North Road becomes the A90 shortly after it crosses the Balmoor Bridge.
Traffic travelling southbound can connect to the A90 either by following the A950 westbound or by taking South Road (also the A982), which is a spur off the roundabout it shares with Kirk Street, King Street and West Road.
Peterhead has a number of in-town and out-of-town bus services. The in-town services (run by Stagecoach Bluebird) are the 82 (Chapel Street–Interchange–Community Hospital–Dales Court–Baylands Crescent–Links Terrace–Chapel Street), the 83 (Chapel Street–Interchange–Blackhouse Terrace–Morningside Avenue–Asda–Richmond Avenue–Windmill Road–Chapel Street) and the 84 (Chapel Street–Interchange–Eden Park–Abernethy Road–Invergurie Court–West Road–Chapel Street). The 84 service does not run on Sundays.
Out-of-town buses service Stirling Village (60, X60, 81, 82A, 82S and 747), Longhaven (60, X60, 61, 63 and 747), Hatton (60, X60, 61, X61 and 747), Ellon (60, X60, 61, X61 and 747), Cruden Bay (61, X61, 63 and 747), Newburgh (61, X61 and 63), Balmedie (61 and X61), Aberdeen (60, X60, 61, X61 and 63), Downiehills (66 and 66A), Longside (66 and 66A), Mintlaw (66 and 66A), Old Deer (66 and 66A), Stuartfield (66 and 66A), Maud (66 and 66A), St Fergus (69, 69A and X69), Kirktown (69 and 69A), Crimond (69, 69A and X69), Inverallochy (X69), Lonmay (69), Fraserburgh (69, 69A and X69), St Combs (69A and X69), Cairnbulg (69A), Boddam (81, 82A and 82S), Foveran (747), Belhelvie (747), Dyce (747) and Aberdeen Airport (747). The 60, X60, 63, 69 and 84 do not run on Sundays. The 747 Peterhead to Aberdeen Airport service runs on weekdays only. It also has one return peak journey.
HM Prison Peterhead is serviced by numbers 61, X61, 81, 82A and 82S.
Watermill Coaches runs the Peterhead–HMP Prison–Stirling Village–Boddam route 82S on school days.
The nearest airport with scheduled services is Aberdeen Airport. A heliport has been set up at the eastern end of the former RAF Buchan air base. Recreational aviation also takes place from a part of a former runway.
Peterhead is further from a railway station (at 32 miles or 51 km from Aberdeen) than any other town of its size in Great Britain. The town once had two stations, namely Peterhead railway station and Peterhead Docks railway station. Passenger trains on the Formartine and Buchan Railway stopped in 1965 under the Beeching Axe, and freight in 1970. The start of reconstruction of the Borders Railway to Galashiels (early 2013) has begun a local political debate into the possibility of reopening the line from Aberdeen to Fraserburgh and Peterhead.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Peterhead.|
Media related to Peterhead at Wikimedia Commons