Aberdeen Things to Do

  • Bishop Elphinstone
    Bishop Elphinstone
    by uglyscot
  • Crathes Castle
    Crathes Castle
    by Drever
  • Crathes Castle gardens winter
    Crathes Castle gardens winter
    by Drever

Most Recent Things to Do in Aberdeen

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    Brig o Balgownie

    by iaint Updated Jun 2, 2008

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    This bridge over the River Don has been there since 1320.

    Its in a wonderful little "hamlet" within the city - all narrow cobbled streets, old houses and cottages. You would think you are in some quiet country corner. You have Seaton Park adjoining, so that quietness adds to the Brigadoon atmosphere.

    Not much visited, I think.

    Well worth a mini excursion from the city centre.

    approach to Brig the bridge from river level the walk down from Hillhead of Seaton view towards river estuary
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    Provost Skene's House

    by iaint Updated Jun 2, 2008

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    Once the home of Sir George, who was a provost (cf mayor) of the city in the 17th century.

    It was built in 1545 and is one of the oldest houses in Aberdeen.

    Entry is free (or at least it was in May 08, but the local council owns it and it was having serious financial problems at the time, so check in case charges are introduced).

    Well worth an hour to go round.

    Unfortunately it is completely surrounded by municipal concrete from the 1960s, so its a bit of an island of history in a sea of municipal vandalism. Makes it seem more "valuable" however.

    entrance Regency Room (19th century) Great Hall (17th century) Georgian Dining Room (16th century)
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    hit the beach!

    by iaint Written Jun 2, 2008

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    Aberdeen is blessed with a huge expanse of sandy beach stretching from the harbour/Dee estuary in the south to the Don estuary in the north.

    Its "urban" in the sense of being within the city, and the onshore land is built up at south end, but its still a huge asset for the city.

    Mind you, its not a warm place unless the wind is in the south or west, and the sun is shining. If the wind is from the east or north, watch out! Masses of fresh air and ozone.

    Used to have to run along the boulevard for rugby training if we'd played badly in the last game. In winter, in the dark, in the wind (and snow sometimes) bits would start to go very numb (ears, fingers and other which I'd best not mention)

    If you cross the Don, the beach continues north for miles and miles - mostly unspoilt.

    harbour entrance - oilfield support vessel on way 8pm, 1-6-8
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    Fittie

    by iaint Written Jun 2, 2008

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    Properly called Footdee (thats what you'll see on the front of the bus), locally its pronounced Fittie.

    Its the village at the harbour entrance, once upon a time there as a fishing community, but now just another part of the city - distinctive, however.

    Worth a trip to see the architecture, the beach, the old lighthouse and the ships entering and leaving the harbour.

    Very cold place when the wind's from the east or north - even in summer!

    old lighthouse harbour entrance local housing
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    St Machar's Cathedral

    by iaint Written Jun 2, 2008

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    This is a Church of Scotland building, but of course any flavour of visitor is welcome.

    One of its main features is the coats-of-arms on the celing, dating from 1520 (or thereby). Claims to be one of the best in Europe.

    There has been a church here since 580...

    entrance gates too many trees...

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    King's College

    by iaint Updated Jun 2, 2008

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    This is a wonderful part of the city to visit (at least the old bits are!). Mind you, as a graduate whose grandparents lived across the street, perhaps I'm prejudiced...

    It is part of the University of Aberdeen, and was founded by Bishop Elphinstone in 1495. I remember being at a 500 year celebration dinner, but the memory is vague. The memory of the ferocious hangover is much stronger.

    King's College merged with Marischal College (in the city centre) to create the university as it is today.

    It has many "concrete jungle" buildings thrown up at the time the university expanded significantly in the 1960s, but just ignore them (unless you have lectures there, of course).

    Focus instead on the Old Town House (at the north end of the High Street), Elphinstone Hall, Wrights' and Coopers' Place, King's College Chapel, and the Elphinstone Monument.

    The university publishes a very good leaflet - "Walking with History" - which will keep you right. Its available in the Old Town House and at the city's information centre in Union Street.

    Elphinstone Hall Macrobert Memorial Garden Powis Gates Bishop Elphinstone's tomb quadrangle
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  • kings college

    by moulismes Written Jan 19, 2008

    kings college in old aberdeen is aberdeen university i go ther quite a lot as my daughter is studying there a beautiful place to visit with its cobbled streets very olde worlde def worth a visit if staying in aberdeen

    kings cmpus
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    Provost Skene's House

    by SallyM Written Sep 16, 2007

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    This is a preserved sixteenth-century building which narrowly escaped demolition in the last century (saved by the intervention of the Queen Mother). It now containes a series of period room settings which evoke a real historical atmosphere.

    There are also displays of childhood memorabilia and toys, local archaeological discoveries and historical costumes.

    Refreshments are available in the Cellar Cafe (but not on Sundays).

    Admission is free.

    Provost Skene's House
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    Crathes Castle

    by SallyM Updated Sep 16, 2007

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    Crathes Castle is about 45 minutes' drive away from Aberdeen. Now owned by the National Trust for Scotland, it was the home of the Burnett family.

    The Burnetts were given a horn by Robert the Bruce in the early 14th century. What purports to be the original horn can be seen above the fireplace, but the horn motif appears frequently in the castle. The nucleus of the castle is a tower house, which is noted as a fine example of Scottish baronial architecture. The painted ceilings are particularly interesting. The spiral stone stairs are quite narrow and steep.

    As well as the castle itself, there are very beautiful gardens, and woodland walks on the estate. For the very adventurous, there is 'Skytrek' - a series of high level rope bridges.

    There is also a self-service restaurant and a shop. In addition, there is a table-service restaurant, The Horsemill, but that was closed for refurbishment when I visited.

    Crathes Castle makes a good day out combined with nearby Drum Castle.

    Crathes Castle Crathes  Castle gardens
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    Drum Castle

    by SallyM Updated Sep 16, 2007

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    Drum Castle is a medieval (13th century) tower with a later (Jacobean) house built on. As you go around you step from one era to another. I particularly liked the library, which occupies the ground floor of the original tower.

    The gardens are a short walk away from the house - don't miss them, as they are very attractive, with gardens based on different historical periods and a good collection of roses.

    The property is run by the National Trust for Scotland (National Trust members also get in free), and so as you would expect, also has a tea room and shop. The tea room is quite small and operates on a rather odd system - you order your hot drinks, but cakes are on open display - you help yourself and pay in the shop afterwards. There is also a second hand bookshop (well, bookcase, really) with an honesty box.

    Drum Castle is only a short distance from Crathes Castle, so visiting both makes a good day out.

    Open Easter to September

    Drum Castle Drum Castle gardens
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    Walk along the beach

    by harmonyk Updated Apr 10, 2007

    As our flight home wasn't until 5pm we had almost the entire day to fill. After breakfast at Wetherspoons' The Archibald Simpson (£2.10 for a traditional Scottish). We headed out of town towards the north and the mouth of the River Don. Then doubled back on ourselves along the coast road which stretches for what seems like many miles of glorious golden sandy beach.

    We pulled over and walked back toward the place where the River Don meets the sea. Up on the top of the headland there was a solitary man digging for all he was worth. Being inquisitive (OK, I WAS NOSEY!) I asked him if there was buried treasure. He was Canadian and about 25 - 30 years old. He told me that the previous day he had dragged up some old stones and blocks and created a table and chairs then brought his partner up to watch the sunset and drink wine overlooking the sea - how romantic! In the light of day he had decided that the surround grass looked in need of some attention so was busy digging it up in an effort to make it even more romantic. How lovely! I do hope some 'jobsworth' doesn't come along and give him any grief.

    Anyway, after looking around this part of the beach we strolled back to the car, first looking at some modern sculptures, Windows to the Sea. that made for interesting photographs. Then we drove all the way to the main (or more touristy) part of the sands. This was much busier and there are lots of shops and cafe's as well as a funfair. Parking seemed to be free along the road and there were wide spacious pavements to accommodate the walkers. We were lucky, it was a beautiful day. We had no need to find any other amusement, the beach had all sorts going on, kiting, surfboarding, a motorbike rally, and just the glory of the views. Don't miss it.

    The Bridge Over the Don Don Mouth Through Rusty Wire Canadian With a Mission Windows to the Sea Aberdeen Promenade
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    Come to the Castle

    by scottishvisitor Updated Oct 5, 2006

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    Aberdeenshire is CASTLE COUNTRY. There are lots of castles to visit. This one is Crathes Castle near Banchory.
    Crathes was home to the Burnett family for 350 years, but now belongs to the National Trust for Scotland. The original castle was built in 1323. The present castle was built between 1596 to 1600. Crathes is fully furnished & has strong connections with Robert the Bruce. Unfortunatlly no photography is allowed inside which is true in most of the National Trust's properties.

    What's the Time?
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    Go Watch the Latest Blockbusters

    by scottishvisitor Updated Oct 5, 2006

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    The cinema complex at Aberdeen Beach has many different sized theatres showing different movies.
    They have the usual sweetie shop where you fill a bag with very expensive sweets & usual coke & hotdogs not forgetting the popcorn.
    The complex has a nice airy bar upstairs for a drink before or after your film.

    At the Movies
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    Great Scenery

    by scottishvisitor Updated Oct 3, 2006

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    Braemar in Aberdeenshire is a great little village - very touristy in summer but close to a lot of beauty - Mountains rivers and isolation - according to road signs very popular with bikers!
    Go up to the Linn of Dee, a favourite beauty spot to see the tumbling waters and track where the River Dee starts and ends in Aberdeen. Braemar is also famous for the biggest Highland Gathering in Scotland, this is the gathering the Royal Family attend.

    Braemar
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    The Winter Gardens when the weather turns

    by scottishvisitor Updated Oct 3, 2006

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    If the weather is unpleasant with cold and rain, then the Winter Gardens in Duthie Park is a good place to visit. Inside it is nice and warm providing a good environment for the many and varied exotic plants, flowers and trees. You can meander your way through pretty paths which criss cross little streams and see many water features. Children love the Gold fish pond and throw in some pennies for good luck. Visitors can see the gardens free of charge but there is a donation box for money to help with the upkeep and most visitors oblige by leaving a small sum.

    Aberdeen's Coat of Arms Flowers for you The Fish and the Pennies Exotic Plants in a Cold Climate Take a seat
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Aberdeen Things to Do

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