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.
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.
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
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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.
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