With its magnificent blend of crumbling castles, historic towns and villages, fascinating museums and the beautiful Royal Deeside - an area with deep connections to the Royal Family and Queen Victoria - the history of Aberdeen City and Shire is a truly captivating one. See where the Royal Family have holidayed since the 19th century at Balmoral, discover ancient fortresses and elegant stately homes, and pay a visit to some of the oldest whisky distilleries in the world.
The fascinating history of Aberdeen City and Shire's past can be seen all around the region. World-class museums and exhibitions bring to life everything from its proud seafaring and agricultural heritage to the discovery of oil in the North Sea, an event which dramatically altered the course of the region's fortunes during the latter half of the 20th century.
Take in the rich architectural heritage of Aberdeen city and admire imposing granite public buildings like Marischal College alongside the remarkably preserved historic buildings of the city's Old Town. These include the 14th century Provost Skene's House, the ornate medieval and Renaissance King's College of the University of Aberdeen – one of the oldest universities in the world – and the immense St Machar's Cathedral, a stunning example of the region's many impressive religious buildings.
Delve even further back into the region's past and follow Scotland's only dedicated Castle Trail which encompasses 17 of Aberdeenshire's finest castles. See everything from atmospheric cliff-top ruins to Jacobean tower houses and sumptuous Highland estates which have played host to a colourful cast of historic figures ranging from William Wallace to Queen Victoria.
Ponder the mysterious meaning behind the elaborately carved Pictish stones and ancient stones circles found scattered throughout Aberdeenshire and take part in centuries-old customs and traditions world-famous events and festivals including the Braemar Gathering and the Stonehaven Fireball Ceremony.
Learn more about the fascinating historic attractions of Aberdeen City and Shire.