We'll be returning to Scotland in September. One of the places we have not been visited before is Aberdeen and area. Please list a few of your favourite spots in this area. We have a rental car so transit is not an issue. Thank you, Bob
South of Aberdeen is Stonehaven and Dunottar Castle, probably my favourite place in the north east. You can go a bit further into Angus for Arbroath, Montrose and Glamis. Around Aberdeen are a number of historic properties such as Haddo House (NTS, formerly the seat of the Marquess of Aberdeen). A large number are now NTS or HS.
Aberdeen itself has plenty to offer, the old area around the university is one. Though it is called the Granite City for a very good reason and can be grey, and sometimes in Aberdeen you are reminded by the wind that there is no high ground between you and the Urals.
I'm an American living in Aberdeenshire & working in Aberdeen city. I'm glad to hear you'll be checking out the northeast! I've been to all the sights up here and these are my favorites:
1. Dunottar Castle, south of Aberdeen in Stonehaven
2. A drive along the Dee river west of Aberdeen, stopping at Drum Castle, Crathes Castle, and Milton of Crathes
3. Drive northwest towards the town of Oldmeldrum to see Tolquhon Castle, the Glen Garioch Distillery and the Loanhead of Daviot stone circle.
4. Slains Castle in the village of Cruden Bay, 25 miles north of Aberdeen along a stunning coastline. Cruden Bay has a fantastic beach but have a local point out the footpath to walk there as the main bridge is closed for repairs until fall. (It could be open by the time you arrive).
1. Check out Kings College Chapel (part of the University of Aberdeen) in the medieval town of Old Aberdeen. The chapel is one of the best persevered pre-reformation churches in Scotland because it was boarded up during the turbulence of the 16th century.
2. Head to Aberdeen Beach and walk south to the 19th century fishing village of Footdee. Then drive up to the Torry Battery for great views of the city & lighthouse.
*The best historical building in Aberdeen (Provost Skene House) is closed at present due to construction. But opposite that in Broad Street you can visit the 16th century restored Marischal College, whose courtyard is free and open to visitors.
My favorite website for trip planning is www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk.
In Aberdeen you are only about an hour and a half from Ballater and a bit further on is Balmoral. I've not visited Balmoral, but I really enjoyed the Knock Gallery. It's up a hill just past the castle. Lovely garden and amber jewelry as well as art. I also liked Syllavethy Gallery in Alford. I bought one of my favorite paintings there. It's just outside of town and has a great building for the art.
I liked many of the castles. Drum Castle was particularly good. While Kildrummy is a castle ruin, I still thought it was wonderful and enjoyed the view out over the Aberdeenshire landscape. I also like Corgarff Castle, but it's a little further afield.
Only spent a few days in Aberdeen in September 2015 but agree that Dunottar Castle is a must see. Can easily catch the bus (I believe it's the 31 but you can check with the bus conductor).
Also, plenty of friendly pubs in Aberdeen, such as:
- Dusk at Bon Accord Square with live music every night,
- The Grill on Union Street, one of the oldest pubs in Scotland, with a selection of over 600
- CASC, where you can enjoy a cigar with your Scotch along with outdoor seating
Lovely town and lovely people. To be quite honest, I had a better time in Aberdeen than Edinburgh, but both are worth a visit.
I used to live outside of Aberdeen as a child, and this was my favorite.