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October Holidays with the family in North East Scotland

Schools out in North East Scotland

During the school holidays it is a great time to discover the North East corner of Scotland. Touring around this unspoilt and very special region offers an extraordinary amount of activities and experiences for all ages.

A vibrant region filled to the brim with castles, attractions, outdoor activities, and beautiful scenery for the family to enjoy. If you’re visiting the region for the first time, you might be wondering where to even start.

With so many great things to do in the North East of Scotland, deciding where to go first and what to do could be the only problem you have!

Enjoy family days out, discover fun things to do, have picnics and  explore and uncover the area for yourself. Take in the stunning area of Moray and Speyside, the city of Aberdeen, beautiful Aberdeenshire, the astounding Cairngorms National Park, picturesque Northern Perthshire and Angus.

From the forests and woodlands right down to the coastal expanses, there is plenty to enjoy for all tastes and budgets.

So whether you are looking for a day trip, or ideas for a week there are countless opportunities for the family to enjoy some quality time together. 

Fun things to do in North East Scotland with a Northern Highlights Pass

Plenty of exciting things to do and experience during the holidays with the family using a Northern Highlights Pass. All these businesses have family friendly activities and experiences for a range of ages and preferences.

Younger children will love the sights and delights of the Macduff Marine Aquarium or a visit to the jam packed Grampian Transport Museum. Explore, learn and enjoy history and heritage through a visit to the House of Dun, Fraserburgh Heritage centre or the award winning Gordon Highlanders Museum.

Step back in time at Peterhead Prison Museum, or solve the clues and escape from Escape 808 Aberdeen. Or for something completely different, a visit to Aberdeenshire Highland Beef provides an opportunity to see a highland cow up close and personal.

For the older child there are also outdoor adrenaline thrills and adventures to be had. For guided outdoor adventures Craggan Outdoors are a good place to start for all ages and abilities. Lots of activities to chose from and with so many activities on offer it may be hard to choose which to do first.

Take to the water with Cullen Sea School for coastal rowing, sea kayaking, and paddle boarding. 

The House of Mulben provides enormous amounts of great fun with action-packed activities including clay pigeon shooting, quad biking, archery and trout fishing. (Minimum child age is 16)  Enjoy mountain biking then check out Ride in Peace Adventures.

Remember using a pass will also help your budget go a little further as you can save money off all of the above attractions.

Free fun things to do in North East Scotland

Need inspiration for some free to do activities and experiences then the following may help. These are only a tiny selection of the many things that you could do but may help you to start and explore your own list.

Walking:Get out and enjoy some fresh air. Dress for the weather, prepare a picnic and just enjoy one or more of the many forest or coastal trails. Walk, play, search for wildlife and enjoy the outdoors whatever the weather.

Try the Deeside Way, a a 66-kilometre rail trail that follows, in part, the bed of the former Royal Deeside Railway. The trail leads along the north bank of the River Dee from Aberdeen to Ballater.  With its ever-changing landscape it offers the opportunity to explore this beautiful area either on foot or by bike, as the path is suitable for walkers and cyclists with many sections suitable for horses as well.

Want something more challenging the long distance Moray Speyside walks include the Moray Coastal Trail, the Speyside Way and the Dava Way might be a suitable choice. Which section to do will be the hardest decision to make!

Like to explore with a smartphone then why not take a look at the latest Angus trails from following the historical Arbroath smokie journey to a magical fairy trail  using the Visit Angus App.

Go Wildlife Spotting: Did you know that for one of the best places in the UK to see bottlenose dolphins from the shore, head to the WDC Scottish Dolphin Centre at Spey Bay.  A wildlife haven it also forms part of the Speyside Way. You can tour the Tugnet Icehouse, see and touch a fantastic collection of huge whale bones from the local area and discover the history of salmon fishing.

Cycling: For gentle or low level routes cycle along one of the the region’s cycle routes. 

If mountain biking is more your choice then try the Glenlivet Bike Trails on the Glenlivet Estate and the Monster Trails at Fochabers which are firm favourites with mountain bikers. Whether you’re new to off-road mountain biking or an expert rider looking for big thrills, there’s a trail that’s just right for you.

Explore and Discover: Try Geocaching, which if you have not discovered it before is simply exploring the area for hidden treasure, a fun activity for children of all ages. Visit www.geocaching.com to get started. Then explore the hidden treasures of The Cateran TrailOlder children with an interest in history then why not plan a visit to some of the areas standing stones and explore Pictish History

The Northern HighLights Pass helps you to create a bespoke itinerary for your short break or longer Scottish holiday in the North East of Scotland.  Purchasing a Northern HighLights Pass enables you to plan ahead, know before you go, plus, there are big savings to be had on entrance fees to the many excellent visitor attractions across the region. Visit the best for less!

Your Northern Highlights Pass is available as a digital pass and can be easily downloaded straight onto your smart phone. Alternatively, you can purchase a hard copy pass and this will be mailed out to you.

Looking for a little more online fun then why not head over to our “Online puzzles”

Please remember to follow...

So if you are interested to know more, remember to follow us on the Northern Highlights Pass social channels and also sign up to the “North East Blether” if you have not already done so. 

Ready to start exploring? Northern Highlights visitors pass enables you to visit the best – for less. Buy your pass and start your adventure!

So whatever you choose to do in the next few weeks and months please do remember to stay safe and continue to follow the Guidance To Protect The Environment, yourself and all our local communities.

#RespectProtectEnjoy #CairngormsTogether #VisitMoraySpeyside #VisitAngus #VisitABDN #RediscoverABDN #ScotlandisCalling #EscapeTheEveryDay

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North East Scotland Food & Drink

Tempting Your Taste Buds With A North East of Scotland's Food & Drink Showcase

Food and drink has been at the very heart of Scotland for a long time. Well known for the quality of its fresh food, world-class products and award winning culinary skills.

Going back centuries, expertise in distilling quality spirits is also in the region’s DNA.  You can get a real local flavour with the regions abundant malt whisky and Scottish Gin producers.

Some foods such as haggis, smoked salmon and shortbread have become iconic to Scotland, while others such cock a leekie soup, black pudding, porridge, mince and tatties, venison, clootie dumpling or cranachan, to name but a few, have become national dishes.

Click to visit our food & drink themed teasers

Here in North East Scotland, the distinct landscape, fertile fields, fresh water springs and rivers, all play a key role in producing the best home-grown, ingredients.

Creatively used to produce tasty, tempting dishes in the area’s award winning pubs, restaurants and hotels. Where better to sample and enjoy some of Scotland’s fresh and authentic produce. 

 

We cannot hope to do full justice to the amazing diversity and range of local good quality produce on offer from the North East area, but we highlight a few that you may or may not have come across.

Tempt Your Taste Buds !

Casks and Bottles

This region is a destination renowned for its acres of rich, fertile land and the clear spring waters which cut through it. However the rugged terrain also adds a special something to locally produced spirits and beverages.

Whisky – Scotland’s national drink, whisky, “uisge beatha” in Gaelic (oosh-ga beh-huh), means “water of life” has been produced for longer than anyone can remember.

In Moray Speyside, home of the Malt Whisky Trail why not visit the oldest producing distillery Strathisla, the home of Chivas or travel south to Perthshire to Dewars of Aberfeldy. The region produces arguably some of the best single malt whiskies in the country.

Did you know that “Angel’s share” or “Angel’s tax” refers to the 4% of whisky that evaporates every year, however once the bottle is opened the angel can’t touch it, as it does not evaporate!

Gin – 70 % of gin produced in the UK is actually made here in Scotland? You’ll find a superb range of various styles, infused with some wonderful natural botanicals. When visiting the area do try the local ones such as Porters or Gordon Castles which we can thoroughly recommend.

Rum – Did you know that the first rum distillery in Scotland can be found in Banchory. No, well do try out their Dark Matters Rum available at local establishments. 

Beer – Brewing in Scotland has taken place for over 5,000 years, started by the ancient Picts, who used spruce and heather in their fermented refreshments. Today the ingredients and methods used in breweries may have moved on but the ales are even more distinctive and wonderful.

With a range of handcrafted brews, choose from local ones such from Deeside Brewery, Brewdog or the smaller micro breweries. These local spirits and ales can be found in many of the local pubs or hotels as there is a strong sense of local provenance from the field to raising your glass.

Whatever is your tipple – “ Slainte Mhath” Good Health

Abundant Larder

Aberdeen Angus

Aberdeen Angus cattle have been recorded in Scotland since at least the 16th century in Aberdeenshire and Angus. Angus cattle, better known as Aberdeen Angus, a breed of cattle, commonly used in beef production, across many areas of the world.

William McCrombie who farmed at Tillyfour, not far from Alford, was a pioneer and champion of the breed. In 1824 he began to improve the stock and is today regarded as the “grandfather of the breed”. 

Aberdeen Angus is the world’s finest beef breed with world recognition for its quality meat and easy cared for cattle. The statue of the Aberdeen Angus bull just outside Alford is a place of pilgrimage for cattle breeders the world over and commemorates the work he and others did in developing the breed.

Recently Highland Beef has become a sought after local produce featuring on many local hotels restaurants menus for example Maryculter House. This is thanks to the hard work of Grace at Aberdeenshire Highland Beef with her award winning Highland herd. She also offers farm tours and experiences showcasing the well loved iconic “Highland Coo”. These hands on tours are suitable for all ages and highlight the local provenance and “field to fork” moto.

Venison

Reared and farmed on local estates the meat of a deer, classed as game, is a red meat similar to beef but leaner and with a slightly richer taste. It is increasingly popular for this distinctive flavour and the high protein content, classed as healthy lean meat, popular as a burger or in a stew and can be found on North East menus.

Scottish Salmon

The River Dee running right through the heart of the Royal Deeside valley is one of the world’s best known rivers for Salmon, as is the famous River Spey in Speyside and the Tay in Perthshire. But perhaps little known, is that Scottish Salmon was the first foreign product to gain France’s prestigious ‘Label Rouge’ quality mark. Distinctive and delicious, this versatile, oil-rich fish is a popular restaurant choice appearing on many menus around the world, including here in the North East. If you want to try your hand at Salmon fishing the Kincardine Beat on the River Dee offers you just that in stunning Royal Deeside scenery.

Scottish Cheese

Cambus O’May creamery produces fine Scottish artisan, cheese using family recipes of unpasteurised milk and hand crafted traditional methods. The recipes haven’t changes in 50 years nor has the way they make the cheese. Pure, unadulterated, unpasteurised goodness, and in their words “Made with love to be consumed with passion” Visitors to the Cambus O’May’s facility between Dinnet and Ballater are invited to watch the Deeside creamery in action from the viewing area.

Shortbread

The world famous brand Walkers started from very humble beginnings in 1898 in Torphins, when Joseph Walker opened his own bakery with a loan of £50. His dream of making one of the finest shortbreads did come true as the brand continues to make delicious shortbreads from its home in Aberlour.

Deans of Huntly in Aberdeenshire offers you the perfect stop for viewing this Scottish delicacy in production with the option to purchase as a perfect gift.

Deeside Water

Famed for its bottled fresh spring mineral water with healing properties, Deeside Mineral Water flows naturally from the ancient springs on Pannanich Hill near Ballater. From a modest start where they hand bottled in a single room and delivered water from the back of a car, the company has grown to supply water across the UK and the world.

Wild Scottish Heather

The name Heather may come from the old Scottish word “Haeddre” from the 14th Century but it is also sometimes known as ‘Ling Heather’, the old Norse word ‘Lyng’ meaning ‘light in weight’. Perfectly suited to the wild and rugged hills of Scotland and grows freely spreading it’s glorious purple hues across around 5 million acres of Scottish moorland, glens and hills, including here in north east Scotland.

It’s believed that the Picts developed a recipe for Ale that relied entirely on the Heather plant for its’ sweetness and fermentation. It was valued so highly that the recipe was kept a secret, with only the King and his first-born son knowing what went into it. This ‘secret potion’ was then be passed on down through the generations. Heather is also made into heather honey, jam and marmalade.

During your visit to the area why not try new tastes, take a food & drink tour with our tour guides Bothies & Bannocks, More in Moray Tours or Still Tours Scotland. Ask for recommendations about local dishes or check out the specials board at local eateries. If you are not sure of something on the menu, ask the staff, as they will be happy to explain & recommend.

So wherever you eat or whatever you try, we hope you:  “Bhuaireadh Your Taste gucagan” 

(Gaelic for Tempt Your Taste Buds)

Other Useful Info :

  1. Scottish Food Festival 4th – 19th Sept Read more HERE
  2. Provenance Festival 24th Sept – 3rd Oct HERE
  3. My Angus 20th – 26th Sept read more HERE
  4. Tarland Food & Music 23rd – 26th Sept Festival read more HERE
  5. Visit Scotlands Ice cream Trail.  
  6. Aberdeen Angus Trail
  7. Arbroath Smokie Trail
  8. More Sweet Treats with Visit Aberdeenshire

The Northern HighLights Pass helps you to create a bespoke itinerary for your short break or longer Scottish holiday in the North East of Scotland.  Purchasing a Northern HighLights Pass enables you to plan ahead, know before you go, plus, there are big savings to be had on entrance fees to the many excellent visitor attractions across the region. Visit the best for less!

Your Northern Highlights Pass is available as a digital pass and can be easily downloaded straight onto your smart phone. Alternatively, you can purchase a hard copy pass and this will be mailed out to you

Please remember to follow...

So if you are interested to know more, remember to follow us on the Northern Highlights Pass social channels and also sign up to the “North East Blether” if you have not already done so. 

Ready to start exploring? Northern Highlights visitors pass enables you to visit the best – for less. Buy your pass and start your adventure!

So whatever you choose to do in the next few weeks and months please do remember to stay safe and continue to follow the Guidance To Protect The Environment, yourself and all our local communities.

#RespectProtectEnjoy #RediscoverAbdn #MajesticABDN #MyAngus #ScotFoodFort21 #ProvenanceFestival2021

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Visiting Moray Speyside a naturally stunning destination in North East Scotland

A breath of fresh air in stunning Moray Speyside!

Against the North Sea of the Moray Firth, with the magnificent river Spey running through its heart and reaching the northern border of the Uk’s largest National Park, Cairngorms National Park. Moray Speyside is a naturally stunning destination. 

With a malt whisky distillery seemingly on every corner, experience the exceptional scenery, miles of rugged coastline, sensational sandy beaches, lochs, rivers and verdant forests.

Moray Speyside’s friendly communities are proud of their heritage and traditions, happy to share these with visitors so the warmest of Scottish welcomes await.

Moray Speyside provides something of a spiritual experience. Going back centuries, expertise in distilling quality spirits is in the region’s DNA.  You can get a real local flavour with abundant malt whisky and Scottish Gin producers on the doorstep.

Take a tour into the heart of Speyside; a paradise for whisky lovers. Speyside is home to more than half of Scotland’s whisky distilleries, it even has it own Malt Whisky Trail.

You can easily indulge in a day of distillery tours or squeeze one in between other activities. Visit StrathIsla for world class whisky tasting and tours.

A wealth of things to see and do in Moray.

Travel back through centuries of fascinating history, Moray Speyside keeps its ancient traditions and stories alive through a large number of historic sites, heritage centres and authentic visitor experiences with local tour guides such as More in Moray Tours.

Burghead’s New Year

The Burning of the Clavie is an annual fire festival unique to Burghead that dates back farther than the 1750’s. An exciting spectacle that flies in the face of modern health and safety rules and welcomes in the new year in Burghead on 11th January in true style!

Ballindalloch Castle

Family home of the Macpherson-Grant’s since 1546, Ballindalloch Castle is one of the finest surviving examples of a Scottish Baronial Castle. Explore five hundred years of Highland history, acres of formal gardens, woodlands and riverside walks.

Knockando Woolmill

Nestled in the heart of Speyside, Knockando Woolmill has ensured the craft of carding, spinning and weaving with local wool has been passed down through generations since 1784. An authentic insight into an industry that is still thriving today. More Moray history through “Stories from the Shadows”

There are plenty of castles to discover in Moray Speyside, too many to mention but some favourites include Brodie Castle, Balvenie Castle and Findlater Castle. Moray Speyside also includes Scotland’s first ever distillery centre and is also home to brands such as Walkers Shortbread, Baxters and Johnstons of Elgin.

If you love the outdoors, Moray Speyside literally has it all. There are picturesque long and short distance walks, superb wildlife watching opportunities and designated dark sky discovery sites for star-gazing. Experiences for adrenaline junkies and outdoor activities are endless.

Take to the water with Cullen Sea School for coastal rowing, sea kayaking, and paddle boarding. You can even try your hand at building your own boat!

For guided outdoor adventures Craggan Outdoors are a good place to start for all ages and abilities.The House of Mulben provides enormous amounts of great fun with action-packed activities such as off-road driving, clay pigeon shooting, quad biking, archery and trout fishing.

The Glenlivet Bike Trails on the Glenlivet Estate and the Monster Trails at Fochabers are firm favourites with mountain bikers. Whether you’re new to off-road mountain biking or an expert rider looking for big thrills, there’s a trail that’s just right for you.

For one of the best places in the UK to see bottlenose dolphins from the shore, head to the WDC Scottish Dolphin Centre at Spey Bay.  A wildlife haven it also forms part of the Speyside Way. You can tour the Tugnet Icehouse, see and touch a fantastic collection of huge whale bones from the local area and discover the history of salmon fishing.

Long distance Moray Speyside walks include the Moray Coastal Trail, the Speyside Way and the Dava Way. Which section to do will be the hardest decision to make!

Ben Rinnes and Ben Aigan are the local hills, both accessible and do-able in a few hours. The views are sensational from the top. Or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll on one of the empty beaches or around a beautiful loch or forest.

Gordon Castle Walled Garden, Fochabers

In the grounds of Gordon Castle, the peaceful and beautiful Gordon Castle Walled Garden is one of Scotland’s best kept secrets. At almost eight acres in size, it is one of the oldest and largest kitchen gardens in Britain and has been lovingly restored to its former glory. Try delicious freshly picked produce in the award-winning café and don’t forget to taste their very own award-winning Scottish Gin, it’s absolutely delicious.

Dark Sky Park, Glenlivet and Tomintoul

Glenlivet and Tomintoul is home to the most northerly Dark Sky Park in the world and it is the best place in the UK to see a night sky brimming with stars during winter. With three specific discovery sites to view the night sky from, you can join a guided tour or enjoy by yourself. Simply remember to turn off all your lights and wait approx 10 mins for your eyes to adjust to the night skies wonders.

The Northern HighLights Pass helps you to create a bespoke itinerary for your short break or longer Scottish holiday in the North East of Scotland.  Purchasing a Northern HighLights Pass enables you to plan ahead, know before you go, plus, there are big savings to be had on entrance fees to the many excellent visitor attractions across the region. Visit the best for less!

Your Northern Highlights Pass is available as a digital pass and can be easily downloaded straight onto your smart phone. Alternatively, you can purchase a hard copy pass and this will be mailed out to you

Please remember to follow...

So if you are interested to know more, remember to follow us on the Northern Highlights Pass social channels and also sign up to the “North East Blether” if you have not already done so. 

Ready to start exploring? Northern Highlights visitors pass enables you to visit the best – for less. Buy your pass and start your adventure!

So whatever you choose to do in the next few weeks and months please do remember to stay safe and continue to follow the Guidance To Protect The Environment, yourself and all our local communities.

#RespectProtectEnjoy #CairngormsTogether #VisitMoraySpeyside

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North East Scotland Outdoor Adventures by Mountain Bike or Road Cycle

North East Scotland Outdoor Adventures on a Mountain Bike or Road Cycle

Cycling has long been a popular sport and leisure activity. But did you know that as a sport it officially began on May 31, 1868, with a 1,200-metre (1,312-yard) race between the fountains and the entrance of Saint-Cloud Park (near Paris). The winner was James Moore, an 18-year-old expatriate Englishman from Paris.

The North East of Scotland could easily be described as an outdoor adventure playground due to the number of outdoor activities you can do, should you wish too.

Take you pick from skiing, hiking, snowboarding, mountain-climbing,
gliding, mountain-biking, fishing, golfing, gorge walking, off road driving, kayaking, kiteboarding, white water rafting, surfing, boating, riding, ziplining and the list goes on and on…

Cycling is a very popular past time and growing sport in the area. The region offers many opportunities for enjoying the great outdoors, from simple easy routes for families to thrill seeking and the adrenaline rush if that’s what you are looking for. 

2021 Tour of Britain Sunday 12th September

The Tour of Britain, the UK’s most prestigious cycle race, takes place between Sunday 5 – 12 September 2021 and will be the 17th edition of the UK’s biggest bike race,
From Penzance to Aberdeen, over an eight-day route that measures 1320 kilometres and features nearly 20,000m of climbing!

Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire will host the final stage of the 2021 Tour of Britain on Sunday 12 September, marking the furthest north the race has ever visited.

Stage Eight of the competition will be Stonehaven to Aberdeen. Starting in Stonehaven, the race will take in the Cairn O Mount and Queens View, which should prove to be both a scenic and challenging route. The tour will culminate in a grand finish in the city of Aberdeen, as the overall winner is crowned in this historic city centre.

Which Cycling Trail Will You Choose in North East Scotland?

Aberdeen & Aberdeenshire

The Deeside Way route follows the line of the Old Royal Deeside Railway from Aberdeen to Ballater, total distance 41 miles. Most of the route is off road with gradual gradients making for easy going particularly suitable for family cycling although there are some short steeper sections giving more of a challenge. 

The Formartine and Buchan Way is a safe, long distance shared cycle path suitable for cyclists of all ability. It starts at Dyce Railway station, and continues for 25 miles through  Aberdeenshire to Maud where it divides. North – 15 miles goes to Fraserburgh, whilst East – 13 miles takes you to Peterhead. The cycle route is entirely off road, and is built on the former Formartine and Buchan railway route. The Buchan Way, as it is commonly known, takes you past many places of local historical interest and make ideal rest stops.

Moray and Speyside

With many miles of quiet country roads and paths and trails, Moray offers tailor-made routes for cyclists of all ages and abilities. The Speyside Way long distance footpath has some section that can be cycled, but throughout Moray there are ample opportunities for people to get out and about on their bikes. A number of trails have also been created for mountain biking enthusiasts. Check out the following Bike Glenlivet and Moray Monster Trails For further details of paths and trail read more HERE

Cairngorms National Park

Cycling and biking in and around the Cairngorms National Park is one of the best ways to explore and discover the sights, nature and wildlife in the Park. With something for everyone from gentle family rides to testing mountain trails. It has a wealth of paths and trails and has four mountain bike centres Glenlivet, Laggan, the Lecht, and Tarland. Why not explore with Ride in Peace Adventures

Angus

Has many popular cycle routes which allows you to experience the heart of Angus on two wheels. Follow the cycling and mountain bike trails through Angus, taking in the panoramic views and scenery which stretch for miles. The routes also highlight places to stop for a well earned rest and affa fine piece! Learn more HERE

Northern Perthshire

Cycling combines physical exercise with being outdoors & exploring new views around local estates such as Atholl Estate With dozens of waymarked walks & paths to suit everyone. Over 90 routes to choose from so if you want some inspiration whilst visiting then check out more trails HERE

Other Useful Info :

Ballater Crathie Mountain Bike Festival 2022 dates TBA

Off-Road Cycling: good practice advice read more HERE

Find a route on the National Cycle Network HERE

The Northern HighLights Pass helps you to create a bespoke itinerary for your short break or longer Scottish holiday in the North East of Scotland.  Purchasing a Northern HighLights Pass enables you to plan ahead, know before you go, plus, there are big savings to be had on entrance fees to the many excellent visitor attractions across the region. Visit the best for less!

Your Northern Highlights Pass is available as a digital pass and can be easily downloaded straight onto your smart phone. Alternatively, you can purchase a hard copy pass and this will be mailed out to you

Please remember to follow...

So if you are interested to know more, remember to follow us on the Northern Highlights Pass social channels and also sign up to the “North East Blether” if you have not already done so. 

Ready to start exploring? Northern Highlights visitors pass enables you to visit the best – for less. Buy your pass and start your adventure!

So whatever you choose to do in the next few weeks and months please do remember to stay safe and continue to follow the Guidance To Protect The Environment, yourself and all our local communities.

#RespectProtectEnjoy #RediscoverAbdn #MajesticABDN

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Visiting the Silver City Aberdeen in North East Scotland

Feel the energy and see the bright lights of Aberdeen City!

Aberdeen City is an ideal choice for a city break by the beach! Combining culture, heritage and sightseeing with vast open spaces and spectacular sea views.

Avoiding the crowds of Glasgow and Edinburgh, Aberdeen is a small, friendly, cosmopolitan city packed with attractions, culture and tourist spots.  Architecturally distinctive, Aberdeen’s steadfast grey granite buildings and monuments sparkle beautifully with a silvery shimmer when caught in the light.

Affectionately known as the “Granite City” or “Silver City” due to the famous granite stone that was used to build the city. The history of this is can be found in its  Granite Trail.  Aberdeen itself is a Scottish hidden gem right at the heart of the North East of Scotland. 

Aberdeen has a lot to offer, from budget to luxury tastes and everything in between. 

Getting around Aberdeen is very easy, despite it being Scotland’s third largest city. Aberdeen is compact and everywhere is within easy reach on foot.

World class visitor attractions, a bustling city centre, two Old Town quarters, a fascinating maritime history, green spaces and of course a beautiful sandy beach! Choose Aberdeen for a fun day trip or sophisticated city break.

There aren’t many cities in the UK where you can surf or paddle board in the morning (thick wet-suit required) and take in a matinee in the afternoon at the historic His Majesty’s Theatre Or you can go dolphin spotting followed by some retail therapy and dinner in the best restaurants Scotland has to offer.

With a rich maritime history, many outdoor spaces, vibrant culture and friendly welcoming locals, Aberdeen makes for an authentic Scottish city break or staycation.

 

Visiting Aberdeen - What will you choose first?

Aberdeen Beach Did you know that Aberdeen has a beautiful long sandy beach!? Popular with locals and visitors alike, choose to walk along the promenade or along the sand and have a wee paddle if you are brave enough. Soak up the stunning sea views while you watch the ships come in an out of the harbour. Perfect for a sunny day or a bracing walk full of fresh air straight off the North Sea. Aberdeen beach is a short walk from the city centre, and has numerous cafes and places to stop for a bite to eat. 

Aberdeen Harbour Aberdeen harbour is the long-standing industrious heart of the city. At 900 years old, Aberdeen Harbour is the oldest existing business in the UK. Key to Aberdeen’s economic success, industries such as fishing, shipbuilding, textiles and the global transportation of stone from the city’s famous quarries have all relied on the facilities of this essential North Sea gateway. More recently, Aberdeen Harbour supports offshore energy and the oil and gas industry that Aberdeen is famous for. 

Submerge yourself at Aberdeen Maritime Museum Easily reached from Union Street, the award-winning Aberdeen Maritime Museum tells the Maritime Story of the city’s long relationship with the sea and how it owes its economic success to various industries over the years. The Maritime Museum holds a unique collection covering shipbuilding, fast sailing ships, fishing and port history. It is also the only museum in the UK that has exhibits documenting the North Sea oil and gas industry. Aberdeen Maritime Museum is set over three floors with a cafe in the basement and offers visitors a spectacular viewpoint over the busy harbour. 

Take a wander around Old Town Aberdeen Step back in time and explore the Old Aberdeen Trail on foot. With cobbled streets, quaint houses and a friendly student vibe, Old Aberdeen is where Aberdeen’s first university was founded in 1495. This ancient heart of the university is known as the King’s College quadrangle. Here you will find the stunning Kings College Chapel with its iconic Crown Tower and nearby, the Powis Gates. Both are unique monuments and prominent landmarks of Aberdeen City. These immaculately preserved Gothic buildings date from 1546.The Powis Gates comprises two distinctive ‘minaret’ towers that once served as the grand entrance to Powis House. The 11 acre Cruickshank Botanic Garden is a sanctuary for nature lovers. There is an arboretum, a sunken garden and rock and water garden, a perfect place for a moment of peace if you need it. A ten minute walk will take you to the historically significant St Machar’s cathedral. The oldest building that is in active use in Aberdeen. Next door is Seaton Park, a popular green space that stretches from the Cathedral to the river Don. Get away from the hustle and bustle and take time to enjoy the beautiful gardens and riverside walk. You might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a red squirrel, one of the UK’s rarest species.

Arty Aberdeen – Aberdeen ranks highly with art-lovers as an arty city break destination. Its informal street art scene includes a Painted Door initiative and NUART street festival. NUART has brought acclaimed artists from across the world to create murals and installations across the silver city. Walking tours of the NUART street art are available and are a great way of getting lots of insider knowledge. As an annual festival, new murals are added each year. Who knows…maybe Banksy will be tempted? What a great reason to keep coming back!

Torry Battery in Aberdeen is a a fantastic place to spot bottlenose dolphins from the shore at any time of the year. Make your way to Torry Battery car park, off Greyhope Road, Aberdeen. The RSPB Dolphin Watch team are on hand at Torry Battery at certain times during the week (please check ahead).

Footdee (pronounced Fittie in North East Scots language) is an historic former fishing village at the east end of Aberdeen Harbour that provides a glimpse into a bygone era.  Extremely photogenic, Footdee/Fittie is a quaint, quirky and colourful corner of Aberdeen that’s simply not to be missed. There is nowhere else quite like it! Although strong links to its fishing village heritage remain, Footdee/Fittie is now a colourful oasis in the Granite city. It is a vibrant old quarter with an eclectic mix of traditional Fishermans cottages and brightly painted ramshackle outhouses. It has a photogenic and artistic character all of its own. Combine a visit to Footdee with a leisurely stroll along the city’s sandy beach.

Must-See

There’s a real buzz this summer surrounding Aberdeen city attractions as they open their doors once again to welcome the visitors back. Highlighting just a couple there’s the refurbished 5 star visitor attraction, The Gordon Highlanders Museum with its new exhibits and rooms were you can retrace the remarkable history of these famous fighting men of the North East. Then why not step outside into the tranquility of their walled garden for afternoon tea with homemade treats, what’s not to love! 

Heading for a free rainy day activity for all the family then the newly refurbished & interactive Aberdeen Art Gallery makes a perfect visit. Now housing three times more artwork than it used to, you can see works by Scottish artists such as Henry Raeburn and James Cromar Watt.  An internationally important collection, Aberdeen Art Gallery also holds works by Claude Monet, Tracey Emin, Barbara Hepworth and Francis Bacon. As well as outstanding art collections, the Aberdeen Art Gallery also offers a sensational view of the city from the roof top cafe/bar and roof terrace. If you are a Gin fan then it makes a great place to sit, relax with a popular local Porters Gin

Getting to Aberdeen

Experience the bright lights of the silver city with ease as there are great transport links to Aberdeen from all over the world. Aberdeen is 2.5 hours drive from Glasgow or Edinburgh. Aberdeen has an international airport just 6 miles out of the city centre with car hire outlets right by the entrance.There are excellent rail links into the city. It is a 1hr express train journey from Glasgow and Edinburgh. There is also the Caledonian Sleeper overnight service from London to Aberdeen. Aberdeen is well serviced by train from all over the UK. Electric vehicle charging points can be found on zapmap.com.

The Northern HighLights Pass helps you to create a bespoke itinerary for your short break or longer Scottish holiday in the North East of Scotland.  Purchasing a Northern HighLights Pass enables you to plan ahead, know before you go, plus, there are big savings to be had on entrance fees to the many excellent visitor attractions across the region. Visit the best for less!

Your Northern Highlights Pass is available as a digital pass and can be easily downloaded straight onto your smart phone. Alternatively, you can purchase a hard copy pass and this will be mailed out to you

Please remember to follow...

So if you are interested to know more, remember to follow us on the Northern Highlights Pass social channels and also sign up to the “North East Blether” if you have not already done so. 

Ready to start exploring? Northern Highlights visitors pass enables you to visit the best – for less. Buy your pass and start your adventure!

So whatever you choose to do in the next few weeks and months please do remember to stay safe and continue to follow the Guidance To Protect The Environment, yourself and all our local communities.

#RespectProtectEnjoy #RediscoverAbdn #MajesticABDN

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Staycation in North East Scotland

How to travel to North East Scotland

Welcome to the magnificent North East corner of Scotland. Touring around this unspoilt and very special region offers an extraordinary amount of activities and experiences.

You are in for an unforgettable trip to some of Scotland’s most beautiful places. A vibrant region filled to the brim with castles, distilleries, outdoor activities, and beautiful scenery all around. If you’re visiting the region for the first time, you might be wondering where to even start. With so many great things to do in the North East of Scotland, deciding where to go first could be the only problem you have!

Enjoy days out, discover fun cultural things, explore and uncover for yourself. Take in the stunning area of Moray and Speyside, the city of Aberdeen, beautiful Aberdeenshire, the astounding Cairngorms National Park, picturesque Northern Perthshire and Angus.

From the high peaks of the mountains right down to the coastal expanses, there is plenty to enjoy for all tastes. Whether you are looking for a day trip, a weekend escape or a full-on two week holiday, there are countless opportunities for memorable adventures and epic experiences.

Staycation in North East Scotland

Wherever your journey originates, the North East of Scotland is closer than you might think. Easily accessible via Aberdeen or Inverness Airport, car hire is readily available. Take the train or bus from all major UK transport hubs. For something different why not experience the overnight rail service, the Caledonian Sleeper. The adventure starts with your journey and you can even take your dog! Self-drive trips are a great way to explore. Vehicle hire is widely available, 4×4, camper-van or take a very scenic drive in your own vehicle. The EV charge point network is constantly growing meaning range anxiety is less of an issue. Trips by public transport are entirely do-able with a little planning ahead. Guided tours are available and are a great option particularly if you intend to tour whisky distilleries, Scottish Gin experiences or the local breweries.

Visit in springtime as the landscape begins its transformation from its winter colours into vibrant hues of green and gold and sights and sounds of new life all around. Summer in the area is brought to life with the sound of the bagpipes and drums as the Scottish Highland Games season kicks off. A fun-packed day that everyone will enjoy. Autumn is utterly beautiful. So if a walk in the crisp fresh air amongst stunning autumnal colours is your thing then you are in the right place. Still warm enough to spend the day outdoors exploring, this quieter time of year is an ideal time to get away from it all and relax in nature. It’s awesome for photographers too. 

Winter in North East Scotland is magical. The hills are covered in snow and alpine scenes across the Cairngorms are enchanting. Outdoor pursuits don’t stop at the end of summer! Must-try winter sports such as cross country skiing, tubing, curling are all available. The dark skies in the North East of Scotland are spectacular, visit Tomintoul and Glenlivet for World Class Stargazing during the winter months and there is every chance you can see the Northern Lights too.

History Highlights

The North East of Scotland is scattered with significant historic sites. There are picturesque castles, historic houses and walled gardens. There are ancient ruins and atmospheric Standing Stones dotted across the entire region. Aberdeenshire is a perfect place to start with more Castles per hectare than any other region of the UK!  It is also home to more famous castles such as Balmoral, Braemar and Dunnottar.

There are literally hundreds to explore and history lovers will delight in uncovering the stories and the amazing architecture.Unique and fascinating museums such as the Grampian Transport Museum and Fraserburgh Heritage Museum are must-see experiences. Historic houses, castles or gardens like the House of Dun, Blair Castle and Estate or Gordon Castle walled garden offer insights into life through the centuries and are fascinating places to explore. Local heritage centres are where you can really get under the skin of the friendly North East Scots people and its vast and wide ranging heritage.Follow one or more of the several trails that crisscross the region, explore the past and uncover hidden gems. Take time to slow down and unwind on your journey through this ancient landscape.

Outdoor Activity Highlights

VisitScotland’s Year of Coast and Waters celebrates Scotland’s extraordinary coastlines, rivers, shores and our vibrant maritime heritage. The North East of Scotland has some of the best experiences in Scotland. The often empty beaches of the region are reason to visit alone. Find yourself at Findhorn, Lossiemouth, Fraserburgh or Balmedie Beach, St Cyrus along the Aberdeenshire Coast or further South to Arbroath and you will be blown away by the sheer amount of space, natural beauty and clean fresh air.

Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, porpoises, seals, whales and other amazing sea life.The Cairngorms National Park is the UK’s favourite place for outdoor sports and high adrenaline activities. Go hiking, mountain biking, head out onto the water for surfing or sailing, wildlife watching or even wild swimming. The list really is endless. Country sports and organised guided outdoor fun are available at a variety of locations such as Craggan Outdoors or House of Mulben.Put on your walking boots and take a hike up the local hills such as Bennachie, Ben Rinnes or Ben Aigen. You will be rewarded with far reaching views across the UK’s finest scenery.

Yes the North East of Scotland certainly has something to please everyone. Where else in the UK can you spend the morning on the beach enjoying the beautiful Moray Firth coast dolphin watching and then be skiing in the Cairngorms National Park in the afternoon? As a holiday destination, the North East of Scotland’s strength lies in its diversity of experiences and activities that will keep you coming back for more. 

Please remember to follow...

So if you are interested to know more, remember to follow us on the Northern Highlights Pass social channels and also sign up to the “North East Blether” if you have not already done so. 

Ready to start exploring? Northern Highlights visitors pass enables you to visit the best – for less. Buy your pass and start your adventure!

So whatever you choose to do in the next few weeks and months please do remember to stay safe and continue to follow the Guidance To Protect The Environment, yourself and all our local communities.

#RespectProtectEnjoy

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Helping you reconnect this Summer in NE Scotland

Time to reconnect in North East Scotland...

With Summer just around the corner and as travel and businesses slowly start to reopen, we can start to get out and explore the great outdoors once again. From picturesque villages, to enchanted forests and woodlands, there are lots of wide open spaces full of fresh air, helping us all to blow away the cobwebs.

Northern Highlights Pass for discounted sightseeing in North East Scotland

Time also to enjoy some freedom and spend time with friends and family. From Parks and Gardens to Museums and Art Galleries, there are a host of things to see and experience throughout the area of the North East of Scotland.

Ready to welcome you back to North East Scotland

Here too on the Northern Highlights Pass, there are a number of fantastic attractions and activities that have now been able to open once again and are looking forward to welcoming you.

Here are just a few of these and as time progresses, others will also be able to start opening their doors soon.

In the meantime you can see the full list of who is currently open and able to accept a Pass HERE.

Welcoming new businesses for 2021

Pre-Booking
Chauffeur driven Whisky Tours & Experiences with Still Tours Scotland
Aberdeenshire Highland Cattle Farm & Food Experience

As well as existing businesses starting to operate again, we are also really pleased to be able to say that even more new attractions, activities, tours,experiences are being added to the Pass during 2021. So a big hello to Still Tours Scotland and Aberdeenshire Highland Cattle Ltd.

Find out more of things to see and do in North East Scotland

In the meantime if you are looking for inspiration to help you explore and uncover new possibilities in your own local area, why not check out this small selection of outdoor information from other organizations, which you may find helpful.

Please remember to follow...

Also as we think about summer 21 and beyond we are now planning our “Helpful Hints”, “Hidden Gems” and “Quirky Facts” from around the area and will be sharing these via our new monthly blog feature, the “North East Blether”

So if you are interested to know more, remember to follow us on the Northern Highlights Pass social channels and also sign up to the “North East Blether” if you have not already done so. 

Towns and Villages Focus – help support their local businesses of the North East.

#ScotlandLovesLocal #MajesticABDN

Checkout Peterhead and its brand new Trail, you can read more about what’s happening in this North East coastal corner HERE

So whatever you choose to do in the next few weeks and months please do remember to stay safe and continue to follow the guidance to protect the environment, yourself and all our local communities.

#RespectProtectEnjoy

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Burns Night in North East Scotland

Rabbie Burns Day

25th January is “Burns Day” It marks a celebration of the life and poetry of the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796) He was the author of many Scots poems and songs. Traditional Burns Suppers/Dinners are held on or near the poet’s birthday, 25 January, “Rabbie Burns Day” 

Burns Supper Uncovered

Guests are normally welcomed by the sight and sounds of a piper and his bagpipes. Guests gather and blether before the organiser or host welcomes everyone to the Burns Supper.

Guests are seated and the host will say the well-known thanksgiving Selkirk Grace. It is said before meals using the traditional Scots language. 

 

Some hae meat an canna eat,

And some wad eat that want it;

But we hae meat,
 
and we can eat,
 
And sae the Lord be thankit.

The Burns Supper starts with a traditional Scottish soup, usually Scotch broth. Although potato soup, cullen skink, or cock-a-leekie can also be served.

The next course is the famous haggis which is delivered by way of a procession during which everyone stands. The haggis is carried by the cook to the sound of bagpipes, and makes its way to the top table. It is then placed in front of the host who then “Addresses the Haggis”

As the words “His knife see rustic Labour dicht” are spoken, the host normally draws and sharpens a knife. At the words “An’ cut you up wi’ ready slicht”, the knife is plunged into the haggis and it is then cut open from end to end. 

A whisky toast is made, and the haggis is then served with the traditional neeps and tatties (mashed swede and mashed potatoes)

The dessert course, normally Cranachan, is a traditional Scottish dessert of whipped cream, whisky, honey, fresh raspberries and toasted oatmeal. An alternative is the Tipsy Laird (whisky trifle).

When the meal reaches the coffee stage, various speeches and toasts are given.

The host gives a speech with remembrance to Rabbie. This may be either light-hearted or serious, but it will probably include a recital of a poem or a song by Burns. Finishing with a toast to the “Immortal Memory” of Robert Burns.

A short set of two speeches follows. A male guest thanks the women who have prepared the meal in the”Address of the Lassies”. This address is normally found to be amusing and not offensive. A toast is then made to the women’s health. A female guest will then respond in good humour with the “reply to the laddies” and reply to any specific points raised by the previous speaker. In organising the evening, the speakers will normally collaborate so that the two toasts complement each other and are fun for the listeners.

The evening may then have further songs and poems by Burns that are performed by invited guests or performers. Scottish music may be played for ceilidh dancing.

At the end of the evening thanks is given and everyone stands to join hands to sing “Auld Lang Syne“.

Visit Scotland's guide to your very own "Burns Night"

More Online Burns Facts

Janey Godley’s Big Burns Supper
Aberdeen University - Extraordinary Burns Supper
NTS - Robert Burns Birthplace

We continue sharing our “Helpful Hints”, “Hidden Gems” and “Quirky Facts” from around the area,  so we hope you found this “North East Explore More” a valuable read. If so, perhaps you would consider following us on the Northern Highlights Pass social channels and also sign up to our monthly “North East Explore More”

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2020 Highland Games with a Virtual Twist

2020 Highland Games with a Virtual Twist

Scotland’s traditions of Highland Games for 2020 have understandably been postponed until 2021, but thanks to the commitment of the organisers, some digital gurus and the access to digital content old and new the 2020 celebrations have continued in a different way. Traditional sights and sounds can now be heard by visitors old and new across the digital channels & networks.
Below are just a few of the highlights of what one area in the North East of Scotland has offered with the big finale “Virtual Highland Games” being held at the Braemar Gathering & Highland Games Centre this Saturday 12th September from 9am – 5pm.
On the day way not share your memories of attending or performing at a Highland Games – don’t forget to use the social media #virtualhighlandgames

This Weekend #VirtualHighlandGames

Click HERE for the “Virtual Highland Games” event & details held on Facebook
Click HERE to follow Braemar Media on YouTube for new video content of the 2020 footage. 

Braemar – 2021 Games Saturday 4th September

Aboyne – 2021 Games Saturday 7th August

Read more about the Piping 2020 contest HERE

Ballater – 2021 Games Thursday 12th August

Read more about the Ballater Highland Games in their Online Special Souvenir HERE

Lonach – 2021 Games Saturday  28th August

Read more about the Virtual 2020 Gathering HERE

Lonach 2020 Lockdown Whisky

The History….

So what’s the history of Highland Games? They are as iconically Scottish as bagpipes, kilts and whisky – all of which feature heavily at any gathering.  Highland games in their current form date to 1867, but it seems likely that the Victorian event was merely a revival of a much older tradition that ceased after the suppression of clan customs following the 1745 Jacobite rising.

The oldest free Highland Games in Scotland is held each June in Ceres and began under a Charter awarded by Robert the Bruce in recognition of the villagers’ support at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.

Today the games are noted for their unique sporting and athletic events many of which involve throwing and lifting. These include the shot put, tug-o-war, caber toss and hammer throw – collectively known as heavy events. As well as the game themselves spectators can enjoy the highland dancing, piping displays and the sights and sounds of the Pipe Bands.

One of the most recognised competitions namely “Tossing the Caber” has come to almost symbolise the Highland games around the world. No one really knows how the contest began but it has been suggested that cabers – today often a reclaimed telegraph pole – were first used to help men cross fast flowing rivers.

A full-length log, usually made of Scots pine, is stood upright and lifted by the competitor using both hands under the bottom of it, so as to rest against their body. They then move forward, building momentum, before tossing it into the air so that it turns end over end before it hits the ground. The aim is for the caber to land in line with the original run. If it is straight the toss is said to be in the 12 o’clock position. Competitors are judged on how closely their caber lands to 12 o’clock.

Another really popular event is the “Tug O War” and one of the most fiercely fought over competitions at many Highland Games.

It is simply eight men pulling against another team of eight, coached by an additional member of the team who encourages the team and shouts instructions of technique to ensure they pull their opposite number across the line. A great crowd pleaser.

Other events include the “Hammer Throw” and as the name suggests involves participants using the handle of the hammer to whirl it around their head and then throw it as far as they can.

The hammers are made from a metal ball weighing around 22 lb for men or 16 lb for women, attached to a wooden pole or handle.

In the “Shot Put” competitors throw a large stone of around 20 – 26lbs in weight as far as they possibly can. The stone is thrown either after a short run-up to the toe-board or from a fixed standing position, depending on the rules of the competition. The winner is the contestant who can throw the furthest shot.

Another standard heavy event is “throwing the weight over the bar” which is said to have started with simple stones but with agricultural weights now used, primarily a 56lb metal cube.

Highland Games have proved to be one of Scotland’s biggest cultural exports with the events rooted some 1,000 years ago at the foot of a hill in Deeside.

The first historical reference to Highland Games type of events in Scotland was made during the reign of King Malcolm III (1057-1093) when he summoned men to race up Craig Choinnich near Braemar in order to find a royal messenger.

The games are said to have become a way of choosing the most-ablest men for the clan chieftain’s household, but it wasn’t just brute strength that was determined as musicians and dancers were also sought to add prestige to the clan.

The old kings and chiefs of Scotland used the Highland Dances as a way of choosing the best men for their servants and men at arms. These dances tested a warrior’s strength, stamina, accuracy, and agility.

The oldest of the traditional dances of Scotland, is the “Highland Fling”
According to tradition, ancient warriors and clansmen performed this dance on the small round shield (called a targe), which they carried into battle. Most Targes had a sharp spike of steel of some 5 to 6 inches in length projecting from the centre, so dancers learned early to move with great skill and dexterity – a false or careless step could be more than a little painful.

The dance is said to have been inspired by the capers of the stag – the dancers upraised arms representing the animal’s antlers. Danced vigorously and exultantly, it is now highly stylised and calls for the greatest skill in technique and exactness of timing.

It has become the classic solo dance at modern competitive dancing events and is often selected at competitions to decide who will be judged the best Highland dancer of the day.

Modern Highland Dancing competitions play a big part in any traditional Highland Games. The Dancers need a lot of stamina, strength, coordination and precision in order to execute the various dances to a high standard especially when competing. There are many competitions for highland dancing organised around the world, mainly in Scotland, United States, Canada and Australia.

Highland Games are also the biggest, natural platform for the bagpipes with such events being sound-tracked by the pummelling, distinctive sound of the pipes and drums.

There is no better sight or sound than witnessing the wonderful spectacle of several pipe bands marching and playing together during a performance of massed pipe bands.

Lonach Highland Gathering always held on the last Saturday of August in Strathdon, has the highlight undoubtedly of the march of the Lonach Highlanders.

Around 200 men of all generations, drawn from the glen and armed with Lochaber axes and pikes, join the march from Belabeg to Lonach Hall.

The Braemar Gathering, arguably the most famous games in the world given their Royal connections, had its roots in Kings Malcolm’s race but its modern incarnation began in 1815 when a mutual assistance society of wrights – or builders – was formed in the town.

The workers were to hold a precession every year and in 1832, foot races were held for the first time – and have been run every year since. The games were attended by Queen Victoria in 1838 with Royal support continuing since then.

It is thought that Queen Victoria’s endorsement of the games has been the biggest single factor in the growth of such events and their export around the world. The Braemar Royal Gathering, which takes place during the first weekend in September, is the only Games attended annually by the British Royal Family and attracts around 10,000 spectators.


You can find out more from the tourism destinations

  • Visit Scotland
  • Visit Cairngorms
  • Visit Aberdeenshire
  • Moray Speyside Tourism
  • Visit Braemar
  • Visit Ballater
  • Visit Angus
  • Snow Roads
  • North East 250
  • Photos and video credits go to Braemar Media

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    Getting a piece of the North East of Scotland

    Click the image below to start piecing together North East Scotland

    Here is some jigsaw fun with our image of North East Scotland.

    Great way to spend a bit of time exploring the new graphics in our fun map that comes with the hard copy of the Pass wallet.

    Find out more of the businesses that are working with us on the Northern Highlights Pass interactive map below.

    However please remember we are still in Lockdown here in Scotland & UK, so please stay home stay safe and follow the regions #AbdnWillWait and #AWindowOnScotland