Situated on the northern coast of Aberdeenshire, Pennan is a delightfully rugged fishing village featuring no more than a handful of gable-ended whitewashed cottages that teeter on the water’s edge. Set at the bottom of a steep hill, the village is most well-known as the location for the cult British film Local Hero – the phone box that features in the movie now claiming both cult and listed buildings status – although the pebble beach is also a prime spot for watching dolphins and seals lounging on the rocks just outside Pennan.

In summer, Pennan is idyllic to enjoy the warm sunshine and the lapping waters of Pennan Bay; in winter, it is equally captivating as powerful waves are driven in from the sea. With the dramatic cliff backdrop, quaint cottages, and sparkling blue water, it’s little surprise that Pennan is renowned as the ‘Jewel of the Morayshire coast’.


Arriving by car

Pennan is located approximately one hour’s drive north of Aberdeen, via the A90/A948/A950. Access to the village is via a steep, narrow road, although it is well-surfaced and maintained. 

There is car parking at the eastern end of the village, near the community hall, where toilets are also available.

Arriving by bus

Stagecoach operates services to Pennan from Aberdeen, via Fraserburgh, with a journey time from 2 hours 30 minutes. 


Aside from the telephone box for which the village is famous, Pennan is ideally situated for some rewarding activities in the local area.

  • It’s impossible to visit Aberdeenshire without appreciating the wildlife and, at the RSPB Troup Head Nature Reserve, you can witness Scotland’s largest mainland gannet colony, as well as kittiwakes, razorbills, and guillemots in their thousands. With fortune, you may also spot porpoises, dolphins, or minke whale.
  • With over 800km of coastline, the Moray Firth is one of the most important marine habitats in the world. At the Macduff Aquarium, you can see some of the most fascinating sea creatures native to the waters along the coast, in one of the UK’s only aquariums that focuses solely on marine life.
  • In nearby Fraserburgh, the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses charts the history and significance of lighthouses along the coastline of mainland Scotland, with a fine collection which includes the Kinnaird Head Lighthouse, the very first of its kind in the country, established in 1787.


For a warming drink or light snack, head to the Coastal Cuppie, a tiny shabby chic coffee and cake shack located on the seafront, where you can enjoy outstanding scones and cakes in the open air. Please note Coastal Cuppie is currently closed.


Pennan Inn BnB & Gallery, which featured in Local Hero, wasn’t the real Pennan Inn, but two houses mocked up to represent the village pub (which actually stands further along the village). The interior shots of the Pennan Inn were filmed in an entirely different pub, in nearby Banff.

Visit Website
View Photos
I've been here

Featured in the Hidden Scotland Magazine

Issue 4

Look inside or Buy Now