40 places to visit in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire in winter

To help get into the spirit of Christmas I’m sharing my favourite winter spots in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire so that when the snow does fall you’ll have no shortage of places to visit.

 

1. Aberdeen

Kick starting my list is this phenomenal shot of Aberdeen. The combination of the snowy cityscape and the red sunset is so pleasing to the eye. 

 

2. Balmedie Beach

In Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire we’re used to white sandy beaches but this is taking it to a whole new level. You can almost smell the crisp sea breeze as you look at this shot of Balmedie Beach.

 

 

3. Balmoral Cairns

I don’t know about you but it’s not too often that I see photos of pyramids covered in snow but here in Aberdeenshire, our pyramid (aka Prince Albert’s Cairn) is no stranger to a little frosting! How pretty is this shot of the cairn from @visualcreativity?

 

 

4. Balmoral Castle

A castle that needs no introduction, Balmoral Castle is the Scottish home of the Royal Family and it’s nothing short of a wintry fairy-tale when it takes on its winter attire. The castle is open on selected dates during December for the winter tours.

 

 

5. Bennachie

The purple sky, the light blue hue dancing across the hills (*audible sigh*). This shot of Bennachie makes me want to don my winter hiking gear and race to the hills at the first glimpse of snow.
*Please note, hillwalking in winter includes a degree of difficulty and technicality. If you have any concerns, please book on to a guided tour with hillwalking specialists.

 

 

6. Braemar

What do you get when you cross a Wes Anderson movie with a Christmas classic? I imagine probably something like this. The Great North of Scotland Railway building is one of the most photographed spots in Braemar nowadays. Add snow to the mix and it’s somehow even more charming!

 

 

7. Braemar Castle

Just outside the village of Braemar is Braemar Castle, built in 1628. I love this shot of the castle standing out against the snow covered ground and white sky.

 

 

8. Braeriach

As challenging as it is beautiful. How epic is this shot of Braeriach in the Cairngorms National Park. Braeriach is the third highest mountain in the UK and the second highest in Aberdeenshire behind Ben Macdui.
*Please note, hillwalking in winter includes a degree of difficulty and technicality. If you have any concerns, please book on to a guided tour with hillwalking specialists.

 

 

9. Bridge of Don, Aberdeen

A wee layer of snow and Aberdeen starts to look more like Narnia than reality. How enchanting is this photo of Bridge of Don by @danchristie_24!

 

 

10. Brig O'Balgownie

So picturesque! This shot looks just like a Christmas card to me. Taken from the ancient Brig O'Balgownie, there’s something about the Victorian street lamp burning bright in the snow that makes me feel really cosy.

 

 

11. Burn O'Vat

A winter woodland scene at the Burn O'Vat. Thousands of years ago, the area surrounding the Burn O’Vat was covered by a glacial ice sheet. As the ice sheet melted over the years it formed the Burn O'Vat. 

 

 

12. Castle Fraser

Snowy turrets. I never realised I was missing snowy turrets from my life before I saw this photo of Castle Fraser dusted in snow. No, I’m not humming Frozen tunes, you are ;)

 

 

13. Clachnaben

This a hill which holds a special place for me. The first time I’d ever climbed Clachnaben was on Christmas Eve and it was a crisp but beautiful day. This shot from @onlythebravephoto makes me so nostalgic – it’s such a lovely walk.

*Please note, hillwalking in winter includes a degree of difficulty and technicality. If you have any concerns, please book on to a guided tour with hillwalking specialists.

 

14. Corgarff Castle

Blink and you’ll miss it. Corgarff Castle was a formidable fortress at the best of times but talk about camouflage during winter! The castle blends into its surroundings perfectly. Enter stealth mode.

 

 

15. Corrour Bothy

Wow! This jaw-dropping photo collection courtesy of @dannnoonan certainly captures what a wild and remote place the Corrour Bothy is in the Cairngorms National Park. The tiny bothy gives you a good gage for scale.

*Please note, hillwalking in winter includes a degree of difficulty and technicality. If you have any concerns, please book on to a guided tour with hillwalking specialists.

  

 

16. Craigievar Castle

I already mentioned fairy-tale castles didn’t I? Oh well, you can never have too much of a good thing and there are plenty of castles to marvel at during winter in Aberdeenshire. Next up, Craigievar Castle which is said to have inspired Walt Disney when designing his Cinderella castle.

 

 

17. Crathie Kirk

Crathie Kirk is where the British Royal Family worship when they are holidaying at nearby Balmoral Castle. Doesn’t it look pretty in the snow?

 

 

18. Derry Cairngorm

What a feeling it is when you reach the summit! I love this snap by @danielarn27 at the summit of Derry Cairngorm.

*Please note, hillwalking in winter includes a degree of difficulty and technicality. If you have any concerns, please book on to a guided tour with hillwalking specialists.

 

 

19. Dinnet

Here is another contender for photos that should be turned into Christmas cards. I love this photograph of Dinnet by @markjfairley. Don’t you think it would look stunning framed and on display in your home? I certainly do.

 

 

20. Drum Castle

There is something almost ethereal about this shot of Drum Castle basking in the early morning light.

 

 

21. Dunnideer Castle

Dunnideer Castle is said to be one of the earliest tower-houses on the Scottish mainland built in c.1260. The walk from the parking area to the ruins is roughly 10 minutes and the panoramic view is beautiful!

 

 

22. Dunnottar Castle

You probably guessed that this icon would appear somewhere on the list. Dunnottar Castle is one of the most famous castles in Scotland and the castle sporting a little snow is just the icing on the cake!

 

 

23. Fyvie Castle

Imagine emerging through the trees and being greeted with this beautiful sight. You can practically hear the snow crunching under your feet as you approach Fyvie Castle

 

 

24. Glas Moal

Some photos just highlight how small we as humans are in the grand scheme of things! Glas Maol is the highest of four Munros of the Cairnwell Pass and is now part of Glenshee Ski Centre.

 

 

25. Glen Tanar

This photo is one of my personal favourites from last winter! Glen Tanar transformed into a real winter wonderland and I’ll definitely be heading here when the snow returns!

 

 

26. Glenshee Ski Centre

I’m just going to say it. Shoutout to all you winter sports fans that take to the mountains when the snow arrives to “shred some powder” at Glenshee Ski Centre. I think I’d get totally distracted by the incredible views and would just want to stay up there and take in the views for hours on end.

 

 

27. Haddo House

Haddo House Estate looks incredible in every season. If it was a friendship group then Haddo House would be that friend who always looks effortlessly glam and you can’t help but envy them. This is a great spot for the whole family on a bright and crisp winter’s day.

 

28.  Kennethmont

There is something about this photo that reminds me of Game of Thrones. This is Kennethmont near Huntly. If you need me I’ll be hiding from the white-walkers at Ardmore Whisky Distillery nearby.

 

29. Loch Callater

Get ready for drone shots of incredible lochs. Starting the trio is Loch Callater. You get a real sense of how cold it is there in the mountains from seeing the loch covered in ice.

*Please note, hillwalking in winter includes a degree of difficulty and technicality. If you have any concerns, please book on to a guided tour with hillwalking specialists.

 

 

30. Loch Muick

Some things really do leave you speechless. Loch Muick dusted in snow is one of them for me.

*Please note, hillwalking in winter includes a degree of difficulty and technicality. If you have any concerns, please book on to a guided tour with hillwalking specialists.

 

31. Lochnagar

Now I know this one isn’t technically a loch – Lochnagar is a Munro but it has a loch nestled just below the summit so hopefully you’ll forgive me. This shot takes the saying “having your head in the clouds” to a whole new level.

*Please note, hillwalking in winter includes a degree of difficulty and technicality. If you have any concerns, please book on to a guided tour with hillwalking specialists.

 

32. Lumsden

Is It just me or does this shot look like something straight out of The Holiday? You can just imagine Cameron Diaz dragging her suitcase down this road. This winter wonderland is actually Lumsden near Alford in Aberdeenshire.

 

33. Mount Keen

Another epic spot if you are into mountaineering in winter is Mount Keen, Aberdeenshire’s most easterly Munro.

*Please note, hillwalking in winter includes a degree of difficulty and technicality. If you have any concerns, please book on to a guided tour with hillwalking specialists.

 

34. Old Aberdeen

Old Aberdeen transports you back in time as you wander down the cobbled roads. Add some snow to the mix and it’s even more magical. Just be sure to wear appropriate footwear as the cobbles can become slippery covered in snow. 

 

35. Pennan

Charming fishing villages are the norm here in Aberdeenshire but fishing villages dabbed in snow are incredible if this photo is anything to go by! Pennan is a real escape sandwiched between the wild sea and the frosted cliffs.

 

36. River Dee

Have you ever seen anything like this before? A few years ago the River Dee was full of these unusual ice formations or “ice pancakes” as I’ve heard them referred to before. Whatever they are I couldn’t miss them off this list.

 

37. Snow Roads Scenic Route

If you want to get out and see the sights all covered in snow but prefer to stay cosy (perhaps with a hot chocolate from a local cafe) then a road trip is perfect for you. This shot of the Snow Roads Scenic Route has certainly got me planning my next road trip and some of the attractions you can even admire from the roadside.

 

38. Slains Castle (MOVE TO #37)

New Slains Castle in Cruden Bay looks a-maze-ing from this angle! See what I did there? It’s an impressive sight as it is but I’m getting serious gingerbread house vibes after this epic shot of the castle sprinkled in snow.

 

 

39. The Devil’s Point

There is no denying that the Cairngorms National Park is home to incredible scenery and ample outdoor adventure activities. @jamievince’s shot looking towards The Devil’s Point at the gateway to the Lairig Ghru is a case and point situation.

*Please note, hillwalking in winter includes a degree of difficulty and technicality. If you have any concerns, please book on to a guided tour with hillwalking specialists.

 

40. Tolquhon Castle

Tolquhon Castle may not be open during “winter” as such but it’s not unheard of that we get a little fall of snow during the spring (when it is open). Tolquhon Castle was sold in 1716 due to financial difficulties however William Forbes refused to abandon the castle, he was eventually wounded and dislodged from the castle in 1718. The castle was so beautiful he didn’t want to leave, sounds like most people after they visit North-east Scotland.

 

This is just a snapshot of the incredible places to visit, find out more about what to do when you visit Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire this winter. And don’t forget to share your favourite snaps of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire in winter using the hashtag #winterABDN.

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