Today Cove is home to over 7000 people. It is a popular residential location owing to its village-like status. It is a quiet suburb at the Southern edge of Aberdeen City and in 2015 won the Silver award for Scotland in bloom. Nearby Altens and Tullos Industrial Estates afford ample employment opportunities. There is also easy access to the A90.
Cove Bay is situated to the east of the ancient Causey Mounth, which road was built on high ground to make passable this only available medieval route from coastal points south from Stonehaven to Aberdeen. This ancient trackway specifically connected the River Dee crossing (where the Bridge of Dee is located) via Portlethen Moss, Muchalls Castle and Stonehaven to the south. The route was that taken by William Keith, 7th Earl Marischal and the Marquess of Montrose, who led a Covenanter army of 9000 men in the battle of the Civil War in 1639.
Historically in the extreme north-east corner of Kincardineshire, until 1975 it was governed from the county town of Stonehaven, when it was added to the City of Aberdeen. Though simply referred to as Cove, in the 19th and early 20th centuries it was known as The Cove, becoming Cove Bay around 1912.
Cove has been noted for industries such as granite, which was quarried in several locations to the south of the village. Owing to its close-grained texture, Cove granite was one of the hardest in north-east Scotland and proved highly resistant to frost, making it ideal for causeway stones used in the construction of roads. It was widely exported to cities in England, including Billingsgate Market in London.
The village itself sprung up around the fishing industry, with the boats berthed on a shingle beach, a gap in the rocks that afforded a natural harbour. During this time, it is estimated that approximately 300 people lived in the area. In the mid 19th century the fishing was at its height, which, over years, has included cod, haddock, salmon, herring and shellfish. The piers and breakwater were constructed in 1878. At the end of World War I the fishing began to decline. At present only a couple of boats pursue shellfish on a part-time basis.
Between 1894 and 1937, Cove also housed a fishmeal factory, the Aberdeen Fish Meal Factory, which was located at the edge of the cliffs. It produced quality manure which was exported to both Europe and America. It became locally known as "the stinker" because of the processing odour, which was highlighted by the Aberdeen entertainer Harry Gordon in a parody entitled A Song of Cove.
Cove has just had a brand new Co-operative built just off of Earnshugh Circle.
To the west of Loirston Road is the Cove Shopping Centre, which overlooks Loirston Primary School. This houses a pharmacist, the Wee China Chinese takeaway/Chip shop, Ruby Tuesdays beauty salon and the Harr Rock cafe (Cove's second).
Within the new development of cove a local Sainsbury's has opened. There is also the Harr Rock Cafe (the first one), a hairdressers and a gift shop within the new development.
The Cove Bay hotel is located on Colsea Road. There is also The Aberdeen Altens Hotel in Altens, which has 216 bedrooms, making it the largest of the three Thistle Hotels in Aberdeen.
There is also a pub, the Langdykes which hosts all live sport and promotes live music every Saturday evening.
Bus services to and from Cove and the wider area of Aberdeen are available. These are run by First Aberdeen with the numbers 3 (to Mastrick) and the 18 to Dyce, via Kincorth. Stagecoach also cover cove partially, with numbers 7A & 8 (Both to the City Centre).
Cove Bay has its own medical centre, the Cove Bay Medical Centre. It was originally located on Catto Walk, but moved to a new facility off Earns Hugh Road. Cove Dental Care has since moved into the old surgery building.
Cove is currently home to two football teams: Cove Rangers, who currently play in the Scottish League Two. They now play at the Balmoral Stadium in Cove, after they temporarily played at Harlow Park, Inverurie, as their old home Allan park was demolished to make way for housing in 2015. Cove Thistle, who hold amateur status. Sunday amateur team Cove Revolution folded in 2010. There are also many youth teams in the area that are run by Cove Youth FC. The Cove Youth FC area SFA credited community club, organizing players from 6 years old up to 19 years old. They also have a girls section. The Cove Community Football Trust is run by Cove Rangers FC, Cove Thistle FC and Cove Youth FC.
A state-of-the-art library was recently built between Loirston Primary School and the Cove Shopping Centre. There are blueprints for a local sports centre to also be built in the near future.
Construction on a new Aberdeen Gateway industrial development began in 2008. It will see new offices and industrial units built to the south of the village. Current tenants at the site include National Oilwell Varco (NOV), Driving Standards Agency and Hydrasun. A Community football pitch is also included within the development.
Plans for a secondary school in Cove have now been approved and will be situated alongside Wellington Road. It is thought that once this is built pupils from Cove, Torry as well as Kincorth will attend this school.
- C. Michael Hogan, Causey Mounth, Megalithic Portal, ed. Andy Burnham, 3 Nov. 2007
- Archibald Watt, Highways and Byways around Kincardineshire, Stonehaven Heritage Society (1985)
- www.cove-bay.com - website