Area overview of Aberdeen City and Shire

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  • Golfer plays one of the holes at the golf course at Cruden Bay
    Cruden Bay
  • Marischal College, Aberdeen
    Marischal College, Aberdeen
  • Provost Skene's House, Aberdeen
    Provost Skene's House, Aberdeen
  • Royal Lochnagar Distillery
    Royal Lochnagar Distillery
  • The harbour at Stonehaven on a bright day, a small fishing town on the Aberdeenshire coast
    The harbour at Stonehaven, a small fishing town on the Aberdeenshire coast

Discover picturesque villages spread along the coast or explore the majesty of Royal Deeside and the wild beauty of the Cairngorms National Park.

Aberdeen

With its golden, sloping beach overlooking the North Sea and iconic grantie buildings which glint in the sunshine, Aberdeen is one of Scotland’s most striking cities.

Among the city’s impressive architecture is Marischal College and the impressive turreted Provost Skene’s House. You’ll also find beautiful green spaces like Duthie Park to relax in.

Aberdeen’s nightlife enjoys a fantastic reputation, with plenty of chic clubs, a flourishing music scene and outstanding restaurants. Enjoy a drink at one of the sleek bars on Belmont Street before taking in an evening performance at prestigious venues such as His Majesty’s Theatre, the Lemon Tree or the Music Hall. Whether you want to see a classical concert or catch a top rock act on tour, Aberdeen is the place to do it.  

Aberdeen is the perfect place to indulge in some retail therapy. Head to Union Square, located in the centre of Aberdeen, for a fantastic choice of high street brands, eateries and a cinema. You’ll also find Bon Accord & St Nicholas, two excellent shopping centres home to over 65 shops. On Union Street there is the Trinity Shopping Centre, another outstanding shopping mall located a short distance from the train station, while the West End boasts plenty of unique boutiques and designer names for that extra special purchase.

There are ancient cathedrals and college buildings, wonderful museums and art galleries, beautiful parks and gardens, superb shopping opportunities, great restaurants and a vibrant nightlife.

Aberdeenshire

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

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

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.

Banffshire coast

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

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.

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