Tips from the Locals: Aberdeenshire

Nudging the Cairngorm National Park and stretching up to the coast, the Aberdeenshire area includes the famous Coastal and Castle Trails, stunning Royal Deeside, and many picturesque towns.  It, quite simply, overflows with beautiful views.  In celebration of its varied landscape ‘from mountain to sea‘, we’ve put together some tips from the locals that feature places to really soak up spectacular scenery.  Perfect for a cleansing New Year break…

DUNNOTTAR CASTLE, ABERDEENSHIRE.

Coastal Treasures

If it’s the coast that really revives your spirit, there is plenty of it to explore in Aberdeenshire.  From incredibly picturesque towns such as Cullen, Pennan and Portsoy along the Banffshire Coast to those closer to Aberdeen, like Balmedie, Cruden Bay and, of course, Aberdeen Beach, it is a coastline that just begs to be devoured.  If you’re into golf, the gorgeous views at Cruden Bay Golf Club will provide a breathtaking backdrop to your game.  Near Cruden Bay you can also find the eerie ruins of Slains Castle (said to have inspired Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’) and the lovely Bullers of Buchan walk (where you can see the remains of a collapsed sea cave, home to puffins from April to June).

See our interview with Alison Chino for more on the Coastal Trail.

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Loch Muick

Pronounced Loch ‘Mick’, this stunning walk in the Balmoral Estate is a truly wonderful place to bask in beautiful views and comes thoroughly recommended.  Enjoy spectacular scenery and a spot of wildlife watching (keep your eyes peeled for deer and eagles).

Bennachie

Another fantastic place to put the walking shoes to use (and another name that might trip you up – pronounced ‘Ben-ah-hee’ in case you wondered).  This hill range is ideal for walkers of all levels, with a number of options ranging from tranquil forest walks to hill climbs.  The climb up to the Mither Tap peak is exhilarating and offers amazing views of the surrounding countryside that will take your breath away… if the climb up hasn’t already.

Scenic drives

Just driving in Aberdeenshire will shower you in lovely views, such as:

  • The Dufftown to Ballater road (taking the A941 and A97), twisting through rugged landscape and skating alongside the Cairngorm National Park.
  • The Tomintoul to Ballater road (the ‘Old Military Road’ – A939), which passes the remote Corgarff Castle.  The Lecht Pass is particularly magnificent.
  • From Aberdeen to Braemar, through enchanting Royal Deeside, and into Cairngorm territory.

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For more ideas on things to see and do, take a look at the Scottish Natural Heritage ’Explore for the Day’ guide on Aberdeenshire.  These fantastic guides include a number of ideas on great places to enjoy the beauty of natural Scotland and fascinating historical sites.

And for a truly authentic experience of the region, why not live like a local in your own home-from-home – browse holiday homes Aberdeen to find the perfect base for your next holiday.

 

What do you love about Aberdeen city and shire?  Leave your comments or questions below.

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