Making the Most of Your Time in Aberdeenshire

Making the Most of Your Time in Aberdeenshire

Are you bored with your daily routines? Or do you just want to have a little break from your study? Here are some of the best places to go for an exciting escapade in Aberdeenshire!


Bullers of Buchan

For nature lovers, Bullers of Buchan is a must visit. The steep cliffs and waves will serve you some absolutely gorgeous views. If you want to show off the best of Scotland to the gram without hiking for hours, this is the place to be. 


Bullers of Buchan scenery

 The brave ones among you can take the paths less traveled and hike closer to the edge (be careful!), but if you don't consider yourself that adventurous, you can still take some stunning pictures without triggering any fear of heights.

If you don't own a proper pair of hiking boots, you don't need to worry. Old sneakers will work just fine, but don't wear any nice shoes since they won't look as good after exploring the muddy paths that lead to those breath-taking views.

Bullers of Buchan scenery second angle

Bullers of Buchan is located only an hour North of Aberdeen, so it's the perfect destination for you if you are busy and can't clear the whole day for a trip. However, if you have the time and have access to a car, the Newburgh Seal Beach and Slains Castle are located on the way there and are definitely worth visiting as well. But no worries if not, as Bullers of Buchan can be easily accessed via public transport too.


Stonehaven and Dunnottar Castle

In the South of Aberdeen sits the idyllic harbour town of Stonehaven. The town, which is filled with sailboats and cute cafés is the perfect day trip destination for you if you want to escape the hectic city for a few hours. Whether you want to eat some fish and chips, visit the Tolbooth Museum or walk in the harbour, Stonehaven definitely has something for everyone. 

Stonehaven harbour with boats

Dunnottar Castle is located only 1.5 miles away from Stonehaven and the walk from the town uphill is truly worth it. With the cost of only £7, you can visit the ruins of the medieval fortress. Even if you're on a budget or just don't feel like going inside, the castle is worth seeing from a distance. Breathtaking views of steep cliffs is yet another reason to visit this stunning place.

Dunnottar Castle

The bus ride from Aberdeen to Dunnottar Castle is about an hour, while the train from Union Square to Stonehaven is only around 20 minutes. Whichever method of travel you prefer, the cost of a round trip should be less than a tenner. So there are absolutely no excuses not to visit these places!



Want to explore new places but don't really feel like leaving Aberdeen? Footdee is a great option for you!  

Footdee Village

This cozy village-like neighborhood is only a 15-minute walk from Codonas and 20 minutes from Union Square, so you really can visit it anytime you wish. Tiny houses, sculptures, and paintings make this place totally one-of-a-kind, and you will be surprised to see some colours! This is the playful, cute, and colourful side of Aberdeen that most students don't even know exists. Footdee offers you a little escape from the greyness of the Granite City without going too far afield.

Footdee Small Green House


Drum Castle

With 700 years of history, Drum Castle is a magnificent getaway destination in Aberdeenshire. Located near Drumoak, a 40 minute-drive from Aberdeen City, Drum Castle offers various family-friendly events from murder mystery nights to craft and food fairs throughout the year. Enjoy the refreshing scent of flowers in the Garden of Historic Roses and the peaceful scenery in the ancient oak forest adjoining the castle. After exploring the opulent residency full of fine arts, have a lovely cup of tea and some tasty refreshments at the castle’s tearoom.  

Drum Castle Luxurious Interior with paintings and sofa

Drum Castle Outer Walls


North Donmouth Beach

For many in Aberdeen City, Aberdeen Beach is the main beach that comes to mind. Located in the popular leisure area next to Queen’s Links, it is popular among both locals and tourists. But did you know there is another beach near the Bridge of Don further down King Street that is home to many coastal creatures? North Donmouth Beach is less crowded than Aberdeen Beach but is equally, if not more, beautiful. So, if you are looking for calm oceanic surroundings, you might want to give North Donmouth a try. 

Donmouth Grassy Beach

Beach scene with flock of birds


Aberdeen Art Gallery

The newly refurbished art gallery is a must visit when you are in town. This 5-star gallery exhibits classical and modern arts from fine cutlery to paintings and offers special programmes such as drop-in lunchtime music concerts. When you are visiting the Art Gallery, you should also check out the spectacular view of the city from the balcony on the top floor. 

Inside Aberdeen Art Gallery

The gallery displays artworks made by Aberdonian artists throughout the ages. Paintings of ancient Aberdeen can also be found here. Thus, the Aberdeen Art Gallery is the perfect place to learn about the history of our beloved Granite City while also enjoying various other artworks at the same time. 

Memorial Lion Monument Aberdeen Gallery


Scottish Highlands

The Scottish Highlands are famous for their beautiful mountainous scenery and uniquely fluffy Highland cows. Encompassing a large area of Scotland with Inverness at its centre, this region also includes parts of the council area of Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll and Bute, Moray, North Ayrshire, Perth and Kinross, Stirling and West Dunbartonshire. One famous destination in the Scottish Highland region that is also located in the Aberdeenshire council area is the Cairngorms National Park. There are many things that you can do here, from relaxing indoor activities in breweries or distilleries, museums and castles, to rigorous outdoor activities like mountain climbing and even skiing in the winter.

Mountain flowing stream in winter clouds

If you want to give hiking a go, then Braemar is an excellent place to add to your list. It is located in the Cairngorms National Park and from Braemar you can access numerous walks of varying difficulty.

The best part about Braemar is that it is easily accessible to travellers heading out of Aberdeen. Stagecoach buses run a regular service between the two locations and it takes roughly two hours to go from Aberdeen to Braemar. However, the journey is worth it! Don’t forget to ask for a student day ticket to get there for less.

Arguably, the most popular walk in Braemar is Morrone ascent. The walk is moderate but at points the path is steep and it takes at least a couple hours to conquer the top.

Viewpoint over Aberdeen from Morrone Hill

Yet look at the stunning views that you can enjoy from the top and on your way! This is definitely worth the effort.

Girl climbing In Braemar

That said, if you are not up for vigorous exercise, that’s alright too, since Braemar offers several less active walks. You can choose Queens Drive path or follow the circuit leading to Lion’s Face and the Cromlins. On your way, you can even stop off at Braemar Castle.

Regardless of your preferences, Braemar will certainly have something to offer you – from beautiful nature to an impressive historical castle. Walk Highlands is a great app for choosing walks to suit you, and you can also visit for more detailed information on the area.

However you choose to spend your time in Aberdeen, happy exploring! 

Published by Students, University of Aberdeen


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