(Above image is a capture of Union Street.)
Aberdeen has a population of 212,000 and is located on Scotland’s North-East coast, about 130 miles/208 km north of Edinburgh.
The name appears to be blend of two languages: 'Aber' is a Brittonic (pre-Gaelic word) meaning 'a meeting of waters' whilst the suffix is Gaelic but unexplained. The River Don empties into the North Sea at Aberdeen.
Historically, commercial activities in Aberdeen have been very maritime orientated: fishing, port, harbour and in recent times prosperity has grown due to the City’s pivotal role in servicing the North Sea oil industry. It is home to the world’s oldest documented transport company, the Shore Porters Society of Aberdeen, established 1498. Another ancient institution is Aberdeen University, Scotland’s third oldest, which was established in 1498. Aberdeen has acquired the nickname Granite City because many of the buildings were constructed with locally quarried granite which sparkles due to high mica content.
Shore Porters Society
Aberdeen has sandy beaches, excellent shopping facilities, many golf courses, interesting architecture and places of cultural interest such as art galleries. In addition to these facets, Aberdeen is well positioned as a base to tour the North-East of Scotland.
Places of interest within Aberdeen city include:
→The 17th century Mercat Cross in Castlegate.
→Marischal College: The world’s second largest granite building. Dates from early 1900s and is now the HQ of Aberdeen City Council.
→Provost Ross’s House, Shiprow: Dates from late 16th century and retains many original features.
→Aberdeen Art Gallery, Schoolhill: Home to a fine art collection comprising paintings sculpture and graphics. The building is of architectural interest.
→St. Machar’s Cathedral, The Chanonry : Dates from 14th and 15th centuries albeit on a Christian site incepted in the 6th century.
→Aberdeen Music Hall, 174-194 Union Street: Interesting 1820 architecture. Formerly known as the Assembly Rooms.
→Union Square: Covered shopping mall and retail park in centre of Aberdeen.
Within range of Aberdeen can be found many visitor attractions including castles, gardens, whisky distilleries, scenic sights and grand houses, viz:
→Castle Fraser: An intact, 16th century baronial tower house. Also walled garden and woodland walks. About 17 miles/27 km west of Aberdeen.
→Crathes Castle: A magnificent 16th century tower house with excellent gardens. About 13 miles/ 21 km west of Aberdeen.
→Delgatie Castle: A restored 11th century castle connected to Clan Hay. About 37 miles/60 km north of Aberdeen.
→Drum Castle: Intact with parts dating from 13th century with additions in 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. About 13 miles/ 21 km west of Aberdeen.
→Duff House Country Gallery: 18th century Baroque mansion where paintings, sculptures and antiques can be viewed. Located near Banff, about 46 miles/ 74 km north of Aberdeen.
→Dufftown and Speyside Region Distilleries: Glenfiddich, Balvenie, Macallan and many more distilleries. About 52 miles/ 83 km N.W. of Aberdeen.
Stills at Glenfiddich
→Dunnottar Castle: A massive ruined edifice on a stunning cliff top location. Connected with Clan Keith. About 18 miles/ 29 km south of Aberdeen.
→Falls of Feugh, Banchory: Attractive falls on River Faugh with a salmon leap. About 20 miles/32 km west of Aberdeen
→Fettercairn Distillery: A picturesque distillery dating from 1824. About 34 miles/ 54 km south of Aberdeen
→Fyvie Castle: A superb castle with five towers. King Charles I spent time as a child here. About 27 miles/43 km N.W. of Aberdeen.
→Glendronach Distillery: Full of old world charm and dates from 1826. About 36 miles/ 58 km N.W. of Aberdeen.
→Glen Garioch Distillery: Dates from 1797 and most easterly distillery in Scotland. About 18 miles/ 29 km N.W. of Aberdeen.
→Great Garden of Pitmedden: Recreation of 17th century design, Over 40,000 plants and 5 miles of box hedging. About 14 miles/22 km north of Aberdeen.
→Haddo House: 18th century grand mansion which was home to the Gordon family for over 400 years. About 20 miles/ 32 km north of Aberdeen.
→Huntly Castle: A ruined, former power base of the Gordon family. About 39 miles/ 62 km N.W. of Aberdeen.
→Royal Deeside: Balmoral Castle and Braemar. About 56 miles/ 90 km west of Aberdeen.
Balmoral Castle in Spring
→Tolquhon Castle: Ruins dating from 15th century. Connected with Forbes and Preston families. About 17 miles/ 27 km north of Aberdeen.
There exist about 70 golf courses in the North East of Scotland which include:
- Cruden Bay near Peterhead. About 23 miles/37 km north of Aberdeen.
- Newmachar, outskirts of Aberdeen.
- Royal Aberdeen, outskirts of Aberdeen. Founded 1780.
- Trump International, Balmedie. About 10 miles/16 km north of Aberdeen.Orkney.
Skara Brae, Orkney