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Help- Lodging in Aberdeen

RS doesn't have Aberdeen hotel recommendations in his Scotland book. Queen or King would be helpful. My boyfriend lived in Aberdeen (attended elementary school) and wants to visit on our trip to Scotland Oct. 3-Oct. 12. We won't be staying long there- 1 or 2 nights. I have looked on Trip Advisor some, but it seems to mainly recommend chain hotels. I like RS' philosophy on lodging. Any suggestions? We are at the beginning planning stages. So we haven't planned a Scotland itinerary yet. I'd also like to spend a couple of days in London- like Oct. 10-12. Thanking you in advance.

Posted by
942 posts

Hi, mchsauceda,

There are many B&Bs along Albyn Place, and a couple of good ones on King Street near Machar Drive. Also near Rosemount Viaduct. You should not have any trouble finding accommodation in October, unless there is an oil conference going on. I know that you say that you don't like chain hotels, but the Premier Inn North at Murcar (Bridge of Don) is really nice. We've been staying there on a regular basis since 2001. If you book this far out, you should be able to get a room for about 35 pounds. Unless there's an event at the AECC.

The hotel is about three miles north of the city, It's actually out in the country, and it's easy to get in to Aberdeen via the A90. Check the reviews on Trip Advisor.

The Hilton Doubletree on Beach Boulevard at Links Road is very nice, but a lot more expensive than the Premier Inn. It's walking distance in to town, and a very short walk to the beach.

The old Domestic College on King Street has been turned in to short term apartments. If I can find the info, I'll pass it along.

I went to elementary school in Aberdeen as well (King Street primary). According to RS, Aberdeen doesn't exist. Nor does anything south of Strathclyde.

I'll see if I can come up with more information, and I'll pass it along.

Best wishes.

Mike (auchterless)

Posted by
942 posts

Hi again, mchsauceda,

I found the information for the old Domestic College on King Street. They are now the Magellan Apartments at Mary Elmslie Court. I checked some of the prices for various hotels during early October, and there must be something going on, as prices seem pretty high for that time of year.

I don't know how you feel about the thing that currently occupies the U.S. White House, but you could stay at his hotel for 600 pounds a night. :(

Best wishes for a great holiday. Let me know if you need any more info about things to do & places to see in and around Aberdeen.

Mike (auchterless)

Posted by
14 posts

Mike- thanks so much for the great info!! We are going to meet up with old Aberdeen neighbors. So fun! Question- how far is Dunnottar Castle? Is there a bus from Aberdeen? I wouldn’t burden our friends to drive us there. Thanks!
Marilyn

Posted by
942 posts

Hi, Marilyn,

I didn't realize that you didn't have a car, otherwise I wouldn't have recommended the Premier Inn at Murcar. You could still stay there, but you'd have to catch the bus in to town.

Sam has already given a link to the bus service to Dunnottar, but I'll add to it. The Stagecoach X7 leaves from Union Square in Aberdeen, headed for Dundee and Perth. It will stop on demand near Dunnottar, close enough that you can walk to the car park and the castle. If it's a fair day, I'd recommend catching the bus to Dunnottar, then when you're done, take the coastal walk past the war memorial, and down the hill in to Stonehaven. It's downhill most of the way once you pass the war memorial, and there are some great views of the town and harbour when you're making your way down in to town.

From Stonehaven, you can either take the bus back, or take the train. You'd have some time to visit Stonehaven, which is a great place to wander about. Dunnottar is about 20 miles south of Aberdeen, and maybe a mile south of Stonehaven.

As far as your accommodation in Aberdeen, if you don't have a car, you'll probably want to stay closer to the center of town. In addition to Albyn Place, there are many B&Bs along Great Western Road and Bon Accord Street. I'd not recommend staying along George Street - it's not particularly attractive. Check out reviews on Trip Advisor that are specific to B&Bs, guest houses, and small hotels, to see if anything strikes your fancy. There are lots of them on the Trip Advisor website. The problem may choosing among all of them. You could also try calling the tourist information office in Aberdeen 011 44 1224 269180 to see if they can help, or e-mail them at Aberdeen@visitscotland.com. There's also a Premier Inn on Anderson Drive, which is quite nice. You could take the bus from there straight down Midstocket Road in to town. Perhaps your friends in Aberdeen could recommend somewhere nice.

Once again, have a wonderful time in Scotland, and especially in Aberdeen!

Mike (auchterless)

Posted by
14 posts

Thank you so very much for the help! We stay in Aberdeen Thursday night, Friday and Saturday night. Sunday morning we leave for Edinburgh through Wednesday morning (not booked that train or bus yet). In Aberdeen, I hope to have time to see the Maritime Museum, Duthie Park, Old Aberdeen, beer at Brewdog, William Wallace statue and Foodee (Fittie). Our friends live in Potterton, which doesn't look so close. We may not have time to see the castle. :(

Posted by
16500 posts

You could take a morning train to Stonehaven, take a few hours to visit Dunnottar Castle, then get an afternoon train to Edinburgh. Caveat here is I have no idea about luggage storage.
Mike, any suggestions?

Posted by
942 posts

Hi, Sam and Marilyn,

There's no left luggage facility at the Stonehaven train station. It's a really small station, with just a platform and a small waiting room.

Marilyn, it sounds as though you're going to be doing a lot of walking in Aberdeen. Old Aberdeen and Duthie Park are in opposite directions. First Bus serves all of Aberdeen, if they're not on strike. :( You can get an unlimited day pass for four pounds, which even for two people, is cheaper than parking a car for the day.

If you're arriving by train, the tourist information is just up the hill from the station. (Bus station, too) Just head straight up Bridge Street (train) or Market Street (bus) to Union Street, turn right, and the TI office is at Union Street and Shiprow, near the Maritime Museum and the Brewdog. There is a huge Travelodge hotel at the corner of Bridge and Union Streets, if you want to be in the middle of all the action. The TI should be able to help you with bus schedules.

The Willy Wallace statue is just up from Bridge and Union Streets. Look for the pigeon dropping covered statue of King Edward VII, then go straight up Union Terrace, keeping the gardens on your right, and you'll find the statue in a triangular park across from Education, Salvation, and Damnation.

If you're going to be in Old Aberdeen anyway, you should visit the Brig o' Balgownie. It dates from 1320. Also, at Duthie Park, be sure to visit the Winter Gardens, which are not for winter only. You should also have a drink at the Prince of Wales pub, which is just off of Union Street. It's crawling distance from the Brewdog. To get there, make the turn toward the St. Nicholas shopping centre, and make the first left down what looks like an alleyway.

And if you've made it that far, try Ma Cameron's, on Little Belmont Street. After you leave the Prince of Wales, turn right on Union Street, go past St. Nicholas Kirkyard (worth a visit), make the first right on Back Wynd, and the second left on Little Belmont Street.

If you get to the beach, get an ice cream from one of the cafes along the beach front. I can't remember the name of the particular cafe, but it's near the Inversnecky. Get a single nougat wafer, which is a nougat wafer and a regular wafer, with two scoops of ice cream between. Sit at one of the outside tables, and enjoy! Unless the seagulls are attacking, in which case better to eat inside the cafe. If you end up at the beach, it's a short walk to Footdee ("Fittie"). From "Fittie," it's a longer walk back to town via the harbour. You can take a shortcut by taking York Street to St. Clement Street to Miller Street, then Castle Terrace back to Union Street. You'll be walking through Aberdeen's red light district on this route.

You mentioned that your friends live in Potterton. That's just up the road (same road) from the Premier Inn at Murcar. If you do end up there, perhaps you could get rides in to town from them, in exchange for taking them for a meal. Just a thought.

Despite the fact that there is no mention of Aberdeen in the RS guide, there are many many things to do in Aberdeen. Lots of great restaurants and pubs; active nightlife; great shopping; and friendly people.

Slainte!

Mike (auchterless)

Posted by
14 posts

This is GREAT! Thank you!!!

We fly in from Heathrow to Aberdeen at 5:30 pm on Thursday. Then I guess we will Uber(?) or take a taxi to Potterton to visit. Definitely having drinks at Prince of Wales pub, Ma Cameron's, Brewdog... ; ) I'm hoping we can exchange rides for taking our friends a great meal! Great info. Thanks, again.