The old harbour is often photographed and instantly recognisable because of its unusual design: the walls are constructed of horizontal rather than vertical stone and echo some of the natural rock formations along this stretch of coastline.
The ‘new harbour’ was built in 1825 to accommodate the growing herring fleet and although only a few small boats now work out of the harbour, the town is still synonymous with fine seafood.
It’s also famed for another culinary delight - Portsoy Ice Cream. This is a little gem of a shop where you can buy ice cream flavoured with everything from sticky toffee pudding to apple crumble. Buy a cone and take a walk around Loch Soy where you can hire a boat and paddle around with the ducks!
Visitors can find out more about the history of salmon fishing, boatbuilding and local people at the community-run museum, The Salmon Bothy. Accredited by Museums Galleries Scotland, it is located within the lower ice chambers of the building. Upstairs, an area where fishing nets were stored is now a space for musical and theatre performances, while a genealogical research facility is within the former sleeping quarters.
Portsoy is also renowned for its marble – actually polished red and green serpentine – which has been used in grand mansions and castles all over the world, most notably the Palace of Versailles. It’s still possible to buy objects created in Portsoy Marble from a shop in one of the restored warehouses on the quayside.