Nature and geography in Aberdeen City and Shire

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Explore the rolling countryside, cosmopolitan city and stunning coastline of Aberdeen City and Shire. Discover the region’s outstandingly beautiful nature and geography, from its lush forests and woodlands to its sandy beaches and magnificent mountains, while enjoying a range of outdoor activities and remarkable wildlife.

With its golden, sloping beach overlooking the North Sea and iconic granite buildings which glint in the sunshine, the city of Aberdeen is one of Scotland’s most striking and vibrant cities. Soak up its stunning architecture and world-class arts and culture attractions and its plentiful parks and gardens.

Aberdeenshire possesses a rich history, breathtaking scenery and an abundance of charming towns and villages, making it one of Scotland’s most captivating regions.

Experience the spellbinding countryside of Royal Deeside which Queen Victoria and Prince Albert fell in love with and where the Royal Family has holidayed ever since at Balmoral Castle. Visit delight full towns like Ballater and Banchory, and take in serene lochs, tumbling peaty rivers and rugged moorland.

Discover the breathtaking Cairngorms National Park, home to rare flora and fauna, scale the peaks of some of highest mountains in the UK, and explore lush forests on foot or by bike.

Head to the region’s dramatic coast where you can stroll across white-gold beaches and gaze out across the North Sea from high cliff-tops with the waves crashing below. Encounter secluded nature reserves where a diverse array of bird species, plants and flower thrive and see if you can spot dolphins and other marine creatures off the Banffshire coast.

Discover how the undisturbed natural beauty of the Banffshire coast inspires the work of talented local artisans and craftmakers the Coast Festival. Held in the towns of Banff and Macduff, this annual weekend of art exhibitions, workshops, music, dance and other events showcases the rich creative talent fostered by the unique landscape of these tightly-knit coastal communities.

  • An autumnal Deeside wood
    An autumnal Deeside wood
  • A car on the single track road between Crathie and Ballater with the mountain ridge of Lochnagar in the background
    The mountain ridge of Lochnagar as seen from the road between Crathie and Ballater
  • Looking along the promenade of the beach at Aberdeen Codona's Fairground and the Grampian Big Wheel visible in the background
    The promenade of the beach at Aberdeen
  • The David Welch Winter Garden, Aberdeen
    The David Welch Winter Garden, Aberdeen
  • The main street through Ballater, a village on the River Dee
    The main street through Ballater, a village on the River Dee
An autumnal Deeside woodland

Forests and woodlands

Experience the beauty of forests and woodlands in Aberdeen City and Shire. The local forests are great for walks and wildlife.

The CairnGorm Mountain funicular railway climbs up amdist the snow

Cairngorms National Park

Explore the Cairngorms National Park and enjoy its stunning natural beauty.

A car on the single track road between Crathie and Ballater with the mountain ridge of Lochnagar in the background

Mountains and hills

Go for a walk in the hills and mountains of Aberdeen City and Shire, admire the breathtaking scenery and look out for wildlife.

The beach at Rattray Head at low tide with the lighthouse visible in the distance

Beaches

Plan a trip to the coast and discover the beaches of Aberdeen City and Shire. You can also follow the Coastal Trail.

The Walled Garden at Castle Fraser, Sauchen

Parks and gardens

Visit a wonderful range of award-winning parks and gardens in Aberdeen City and Shire.

The village of Gardenstown

Towns and villages

Find out more about the towns and villages in Aberdeen City and Shire so you can plan a trip there or book accommodation.

A small image of Dunnottar Castle during the day

Coastal Trail

Discover Scotland's magnificent north east coastline on this 165 mile-long trail which runs along coast of Aberdeenshire. Take in cliff-tops, beaches, castles, quaint fishing villages, historic lighthouses and more along this breathtaking route.