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Tips for area north of Aberdeen?

Hello. I'm planning a trip for six of us for late September/early October of this year. We are wanting to see a couple small town that our family has connections to: New Deer and Inverallochy. I'm pretty sure our jumping off point will be Aberdeen but I'm looking for tips on lodging, eating, sight, and transportation (we will probably rent a van or two cars).

Any Aberdeenshire-ers out there?? .....and thank you!!!

Posted by
492 posts

I don't know Aberdeenshire particularly well, despite living in Scotland (over on Skye), but my starting point for planning a trip would always be the Visit Scotland site which you can find here. This is also not a bad resource Visit Abderdeenshire

New Deer and Inverallochy are definitely not towns though, they are small villages so are unlikely to offer much in the way of tourist infrastructure such as hotels or restaurants. Fraserbrugh is near Inverallochy and might provide a good base.

On car rental you will want to be aware that a Van in the UK is a commercial vehicle with no windows or seats in the back. What you will want to search for is a 'people carrier'.

Also don't rule out flying in to Inverness, it might be less expensive than Aberdeen.

Hope this helps
Jacqui (Skyegirl)

Posted by
8 posts

Thank you so much, Jacqui!! I should have said "village"!! And thanks for the van tip - I wondered why a van only said five passengers!

Posted by
157 posts

I live in Aberdeenshire :-)

Late September and early October is usually good weather-wise I have found, though of course daylight hours are shortening by then. Not so many tourists around and school terms underway so roads are quieter. Most tourist attractions that I know of will close at the end of October, so you should not have any problems finding places to visit.

Aberdeenshire is home to the Castle Trail

and a Whisky Trail is easily accessible too

Not forgetting the Cairngorms National Park

Although you are visiting at a quieter time of year, I would book your accommodation ahead simply because you may have to do this if the six of you want to remain together overnight. I should think you could wing it with regards accommodation if you looked at hotels, but by their nature Bed and Breakfasts are quite small (usually no more than three letting rooms for a maximum of six people) and your group may have to split although guest houses tend to be larger so potentially could accommodate you all.

Having two cars would give you flexibility where an itinerary is concerned because maybe not everyone will want to do the same things on any given day. Also if you do have to stay in separate lodgings two vehicles would be better than one in that situation.

Staying in Aberdeenshire means you are well placed to visit areas such as Loch Ness and Culloden, Aviemore and Kingussie, Pitlochry and Blair Atholl or Dundee and Glamis. I have visited all of them as day trips from my home.

Any ideas about the places you might like to visit, or things you might be interested in doing?

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks so much, sownack! Great tips. We have been looking at bnb's and may have some good leads. I googled the roads randomly around the areas we will be visiting and they look quite nice - it's always tricky for us to manage those one track roads!!
I'll check your links.
Aside from our village visits we will do Speyside and Deeside for sure, have plans for those places but will consider Pitlochry for another stop - is that doable with train/foot travel from Aberdeen? (We have done Culloden and Loch Ness before), Then I think on down to Edinburgh for a couple days.

Posted by
157 posts

I think you can get to Pitlochry by train from Aberdeen but you will need to change at Perth. I've always driven to Pitlochry from where I live in Aberdeenshire, so no experience to pass on. This website should be of help if you have not already seen it

We had a great lunch in the Moulin Inn a couple of years back, so it is something to consider for you

If you are visiting Deeside then I do recommend a meal in the Flying Stag public bar of the Fife Arms Hotel in Braemar. It opened late in 2018 after a multi million pound refurbishment and is like no other hotel I have even been in. We've enjoyed several good pub lunches in the Flying Stag :-)