Looking to spend a week in the north of Scotland. Wondering if it makes any sense to base in Aberdeen? Or is that a poor decision?
In my opinion it's too far east. I would recommend Inverness or one of the small towns near it. Admittedly, I've not spent time in Aberdeen itself. I've dodged around it staying in Ballater and Inverurie. I would recommend the former if you want a base for castles. If you want to see the North, then you'd be better positioned further east. From Inverness you can get to the west coast in an hour to two hours depending on which part. You can even do a very long day up to Betty Hill and back if you are interested in the Clearances.
On another note, I also found that Aberdeen was more expensive than other cities, but I have not looked recently. I think that is because it is an oil town with business people who are willing to spend some $$$.
I like Aberdeen and the north east. Aberdeen is a handsome city and has plenty to recommend it. It is a good city to base in for the north east, but not if you are looking at the Highlands. From Aberdeen you are in easy reach of Glamis, Stonehaven, Balmoral, but not Inverness and beyond. Unfortunately you no longer get the white fire engines anymore, now the common red ones.
As Pam says, Aberdeen is known as Tartan Texas for a very good reason. It is expensive if you are unwary.
If you are looking at the north east and are canny, the granite city is a great base. If you are looking at the Highlands, it isn't.
So, one of my all time favorite movies is Local Hero and it just happens to take place in Scotland. i actually discovered this movie in that interim period in my life--between my first trip to Scotland in my 20's and my more in depth discovery in my 40's. And, the relevant points for this discussion are, 1. you should watch this movie if you haven't already, and 2. Pennant is where some of it was filmed, which is not far from Aberdeen.