With a rich history and dramatic coastal scenery, Aberdeenshire is one of Scotland’s most captivating regions. Royal Deeside and the Cairngorms National Park are within easy access of the city, and there are plenty of charming towns and villages scattered along the coastline.
Royal Deeside sits inland, to the south west of the region, amongst the boundaries of the Cairngorms National Park.
Balmoral and Braemar
Balmoral Castle, the summer residence of the Royal Family, and Crathie Kirk, near Balmoral, are two must-see attractions.
Uncover the fascinating history of Braemar, an attractive village in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park.
With 24 Munros in the area (mountains over 3,000 ft) there are plenty of opportunities for hillwalkers to burn off some energy.
Ballater and Banchory
Ballater is a charming town, located within the Cairngorms National Park, and is home to the Old Royal Station used by Queen Victoria when travelling to Balmoral. Many shops in this delightful Victorian town of Ballater bear Royal Warrants as suppliers to HM The Queen.
Banchory is an appealing town, not far west of Aberdeen. Crathes Castle is nearby as is the Royal Deeside Railway, a fascinating heritage railway.
Huntly is a historic town in the heart of north west Aberdeenshire with the beautiful Huntly Castle, lovely Leith Hall, and a pretty main square. The town is home to Dean’s of Huntly, where you can see shortbread being made in the factory viewing gallery.
Visit nearby GlenDronach Distillery, which has been producing rich sherried single malts in quality casks for almost 200 years. Enjoy bird of prey demonstrations at the North East Falconry Centre, or immerse yourself in the vibrant local Deveron Arts scene.
The Banffshire coast runs along the north of the region and is dotted with tiny towns and villages, such as Pennan, Crovie and Gardenstown.
Explore the coastline and spot incredible wildlife including bottlenose dolphins.
Turriff and Fyvie
Turriff is a bustling town, south of the Banffshire coast, with a historic market square and is the home of the Turriff Agricultural Show, the largest annual event in Aberdeenshire.
In the parish of Fyvie, south of Turriff, is the fairytale Fyvie Castle. The nearby St Peter’s Church contains three carved Pictish stones and a cross.
Inverurie and Oldmeldrum
Inverurie is a thriving market town, set amid rolling countryside just north west of the city of Aberdeen, with a variety of independent shops and a monthly farmers’ market. You’ll also find Crichie stone circle and a carved Pictish stone.
Nearby is Oldmeldrum, another historic town which is home to Glen Garioch Distillery, one of Scotland’s oldest, as well as a prehistoric hill fort, Sheldon stone circle, the impressive Tolquhon Castle and stately Haddo House.
Fraserburgh sits on the north east tip of Aberdeenshire and is one of the best spots in Scotland for surfing and is home to award-winning sandy beaches and one of the oldest golf courses in the world. Along with nearby Peterhead, it is one of the most important fishing ports in the UK.
Peterhead and Cruden Bay
Peterhead, the most eastern point on mainland Scotland, north of the city, is a major fishing port and the bay is great for sailing, kayaking and wildlife watching.
Cruden Bay, a picturesque coastal village with over 1.5 miles of sand and dunes, boasts one of the finest golf courses in the country.
Stonehaven and Fettercairn
Uncover the popular coastal town of Stonehaven, south of the city of Aberdeen, which features a fantastic harbour and the nearby dramatic ruins of Dunnottar Castle.
Inland, on the south border of the region, is pretty Fettercairn with its main square, market cross and the white-washed buildings of Fettercairn Distillery. The Royal Arch erected in 1864 is one of the village’s distinctive features.