Aberdeen is a bustling, multi-cultural city with plenty of attractions to explore and amenities to keep you entertained.
Situated right on the North Sea, the city is the perfect place to get in some water sports and the beach front manages to look just as spectacular when the wind is blowing as when the water is glistening in the summer sun. Surfing and kite surfing are popular pastimes for local residents and visitors alike. If you don’t fancy a dip in the sea you can take a stroll down the Beach Boulevard to the traditional fishing cottages at “Fittie” (Footdee), join a Saturday morning run along the beach or enjoy the view from one of the numerous beach front cafes. You’ll find the Aberdeen Sports Village a stone’s throw from there.
Moving back into the city centre, you’ll find plenty to do, whether you love history, culture, fine dining or shopping. We love catching a show at His Majesty’s Theatre or the Lemon Tree music venue. For shopping try Union Square, an indoor shopping centre packed with high street brands and restaurants and Aberdeen’s only 10-screen cinema. And to soak up some of the city’s rich history, take a wander around Old Aberdeen, the university district, which is home to breathtaking architecture — St Machar’s Cathedral and King’s College, the heart of the university, founded in 1495, are two of our favourite spots. We reckon you’ll love them too.
Aberdeenshire and the North East Coast.
The city itself has plenty of green spaces for you to enjoy (we definitely recommend Hazelhead Park and Duthie Park) but if you want to explore further afield you’ll find beautiful scenery whichever direction you head.
The dramatic coastline offers long sandy beaches. Head north to discover Balmedie Country Park, home to an award-winning beach, surrounded by white sand dunes, or south to Stonehaven, a charming coastal town with some great eateries. Enjoy the spectacular setting of Dunnottar Castle before taking the short coastal walk down to Stonehaven Harbour where you can revive yourself with a well-deserved refreshment. Auntie Bettys Ice Cream Parlour is well worth a visit, as is the award-winning Bay Fish and Chip Shop.
Or head inland to stunning Royal Deeside. The Deeside Railway line offers great walking and cycling routes or an hour’s drive will take you to the gorgeous town of Ballater and the edge of the Cairngorms National Park. From there it’s a quick hop up to Braemar and Balmoral Castle, the Queen’s summer residence. Walkers will love a trek around Loch Muick or the views from the top of Bennachie Hill, which lies on the Eastern edge of the Grampian mountain range.
And let’s not forget the two things for which this part of the world is most famous for — castles and whisky. Both of which we have in abundance!
Our favourite castle is Crathes Castle Garden and Estate, on the outskirts of the city but if you’re a real history fan you could find a new castle to visit every weekend hereabouts. As for the whisky, again you’ll be spoiled for choice but our top pick for the moment is the Macallan Distillery, a tour of which will lead you through the process of producing a fine single malt whisky. Cheers!
Some practical tips.
Many of Aberdeen’s attractions are an easy commute — there are around 30 golf courses within a 30 minute drive of the city!
If you want to ditch the car, you’ll find the city itself is well served by the local bus service and if you want to go further afield you’ll find bus and train connections to the rest of Scotland. Inverness, Dundee, Perth, Edinburgh and Glasgow are all only a few hours away by train and well worth a visit if you can tear yourself away from the gorgeous North East coast.
Aberdeen boasts some excellent primary and secondary schools — whether you’re considering local authority schooling or the private sector —and your local school catchment area is worth considering when deciding which properties you’d like to look at.
Notable private schools include:
- Albyn School
- Robert Gordon’s College
- The International School Aberdeen
- St Margaret's School
- Aberdeen French School