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Gaelic: Ealain
River Ythan martyn gorman.jpg
River Ythan at Ellon
Grid reference: NJ948306
Location: 57°21’58"N, 2°5’10"W
Population: 9,860
Post town: Ellon
Postcode: AB41
Dialling code: 01358
Local Government
Council: Aberdeenshire

Ellon is a sizeable town and parish in Aberdeenshire, approximately 16 miles north of Aberdeen, lying on the River Ythan (pronounced: ˈaɪθən) which has one of the few undeveloped river estuaries on the Eastern coast of Scotland. It is in the ancient region of Formartine. Its name is believed to derive from the Gaelic term Eilean, signifying an island, on account of the presence of an island in the River Ythan, which historically offered a convenient fording point.[1]

Places of interest

Places of interest within the town include the ruins of Ellon Castle, surrounded by walls known as the Deer Dyke, and the Auld Brig, a category A listed bridge across the Ythan, built in 1793 and still in use as a pedestrian bridge.

The Riverside Park offers walkways alongside the Ythan, from which herons, salmon, trout and otters may be observed.


The town has three primary schools:

  • Ellon Primary School
  • Auchterellon Primary School
  • Meiklemill Primary School

Each of these schools has some type of green space as well as a concrete playground. These schools feed into Ellon Academy, the local secondary school, which currently has a roll of about 1200 students; however, due to ongoing residential development in the area that figure is expected to rise. A new school is planned to contain the influx of new students, and is expected to be finished by the year 2015.

Early area history

Earliest nearby human traces from prehistory are evident in nearby Catto Long Barrow,[2] a massive stone structure somewhat northeast of Ellon, surrounded by agricultural fields.


Ellon has a community centre, which includes a swimming pool and café[3]. Ellon also has one of north-east Scotland's youth groups, which is situated at the Ythan Centre, a building dedicated to serving the needs of Ellon's teenage population. This facility includes a soundproofed room where amateur bands can practice and a large hall with roof to floor length mirrors, which the dance group Refresh uses for their weekly practise.

The Meadows sports centre[4], located on the outskirts of Ellon, has many sporting facilities and clubs, including football and rugby pitches, an astroturf pitch for hockey, a gym, and a multi-use sports hall. The Meadows is also home to the Ellon United football team, the Ellon RFC and the Ellon HC.


Ellon has benefited from the North Sea oil demand, and is one of the main dormitory towns for Aberdeen. It is part of the proposed Energetica corridor of development[5]. The population is expanding as young families seek to escape Aberdeen and move to nearby towns like Ellon, Inverurie and Banchory. During 2006, Ellon ranked as the town with the fourth most rapidly increasing average house prices in Scotland.


Ellon is bypassed by the A90 road, which offers convenient access to Aberdeen to the south and Peterhead and Fraserburgh to the north. Other major road links are the A920 west to Oldmeldrum and Huntly, and the A948 north to New Deer.

Regular and frequent bus services link Ellon with Aberdeen, Inverurie, Peterhead, Fraserburgh and surrounding towns and villages, serving both the town centre and the large park and ride facility at the eastern edge of the town.[6]

Ellon was a principal station on the Great North of Scotland Railway line that ran from Aberdeen to Fraserburgh and Peterhead. Due to the Beeching axe, passenger services were withdrawn on the line in 1965. Freight services continued on the line until 1979 (Fraserburgh only, the Maud-Peterhead section was closed in 1970), at which point the entire line was closed.

The former railway line was purchased by Grampian Regional Council in 1981, and is now part of the National Cycling Route network.

Due to the population expansion since the North Sea Oil boom, the A90 has become overloaded between Aberdeen, Ellon and Peterhead. The Aberdeen Crossrail project has looked at reopening sections of the former railway, however as of March 2009 this is still unlikely.

A branch line that ran to Boddam via Cruden Bay started at Ellon. This closed in 1945.

Notable people from Ellon

  • Alexander Mitchell (1817–1887), US Representative from Wisconsin.
  • Teddy Scott (b. 1929), footballer, coach and kit man for Aberdeen F.C.
  • Tom Patey (b. 1932), mountaineer and doctor.
  • Paul Sturrock (b. 1956), footballer.
  • Evelyn Glennie (b. 1965), percussionist.
  • Natalie Ross (b. 1989), footballer for Arsenal women's team.


Outside links