Heritage and outdoor events in Aberdeen City and Shire

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  • Pipe bands march at the Braemar Gathering
    The Braemar Gathering
  • An event at the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival held every year in Portsoy, North Aberdeenshire
    The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival held every year in Portsoy, North Aberdeenshire
  • The Stonehaven Fireball Festival
    The Stonehaven Fireball Festival

Aberdeen City and Shire boasts a long and colourful history and heritage that remains very much alive today. Experience everything from the stirring spectacle of the Highland games to the region’s distinct Doric dialect and its rich seafaring tradition at a diverse array of events and festivals held throughout the year.

The history of Aberdeen City and Shire is a long and varied one and there are plenty of opportunities to learn about and participate in its unique customs and traditions, many of which stretch back centuries.

Between May and September Highland games are held across the region, the most famous of which is the Braemar Gathering. Witness traditional Scottish tests of athleticism like the caber toss and hammer throw alongside Highland dancing and performing pipe bands.

Immerse yourself in the region’s linguistic, musical and cultural heritage at the Doric Festival, a fortnight-long gathering of musicians, storytellers and singers at venues across the region who come together to celebrate the unique cultural identity of Scotland’s north east.

Get a sense of the region’s proud seafaring heritage at the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival where traditional vessels from across Scotland and beyond gather in Portsoy’s 17th century harbour.

Get the New Year off to a spectacular start at the Stonehaven Fireball Festival and join hundreds of other spectators in witnessing one of the region’s most ancient customs. Watch as locals parade down the high street swinging fireballs high above up their heads before flinging them into the harbour at midnight.

You’ll also find that many of the region’s castles, beautiful stately homes and museums host events that bring to life both their own history and that of the surrounding area.

Take a look through the listings and plan and historical day out in Aberdeen City and Shire.