Find your great escape in Aberdeenshire this summer
1 February 2021
When restrictions allow, Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire will be waiting for you. Whether you’re an outdoor lover or culture vulture, there’s a great escape for you in Aberdeenshire.
Great escapes for outdoor lovers
What to do: Venture in out in the great outdoors as you explore miles of secluded golden beaches or take to the countryside and walk among ancient forests and heathery moors. Or for the wildlife enthusiast amongst you, check out some of Aberdeenshire’s local and national wildlife reserves where you’re likely to spot seals, deer and puffins.
Where to eat: Refuel with lunch at Café 83 in Kemnay or Porterhouse Steakhouse & Coffee Bar in Inverurie. Or check out The Arch Café and Bistro, a friendly coffee shop and restaurant serving fresh food daily. In the city centre, pay a visit to The Silver Darling which boasts stunning panoramic views over the beach and harbour.
Where to stay: Stay in the heart of the great outdoors at one of North-east Scotland’s glamping sites. Be at one with nature at Glen Dye Cabins and Camping where you can bathe under a canopy of stars in the middle of a forest or watch the waves crash onto the beach at Tahuna Bothies. Or even enjoy a touch of luxury. Macdonald Pittodrie House offers coveted views of the surrounding countryside.
Great escapes for adrenaline junkies
What to do: Try your hand at ‘munro bagging’. A munro is hill over 3,000ft high and munro bagging is the quest to climb as many of the 282 munros found in Scotland. There are 24 munros in Aberdeenshire, perfect for the budding hiker and mountain biker. Lochnagar is one of Scotland’s most popular munros, Mount Keen is the most easterly and the mighty Ben Macdui is the second tallest in Britain. In summer, try something a little different when you take the Cairnwell Chairlift at Glenshee to the summit and mountain bike across the glorious mountain tops on the Land Rover track that snakes back to the car park at Glenshee Ski Centre.
Where to eat: Ride Coffee House in Banchory is a popular pit stop for walkers and cyclists and it’s also dog friendly.
Where to stay: An overnight stay at one of Glen Tanar’s cottages is a fantastic place to base yourself if you are an adrenaline seeker. It is within close proximity to the munros and you can also try your hand at a treetop adventure at Go Ape.
Great escapes for history buffs
What to do: Unwind with a stroll around one of Aberdeenshire’s many castles as you marvel at the magnificent architecture. Or unravel the mysteries of ancient sites as you visit Aberdeenshire’s stone circles. Roughly 10% of the total number of stone circles recorded in Britain can be found in Aberdeenshire including the unique Recumbent Stone Circle.
Where to eat: Enjoy hearty pub grub at MaCamerons, the oldest pub in Aberdeen. Or bring the legend of Count Dracula to life as you have lunch at the Kilmarnock Arms Hotel, where Bram Stoker himself stayed while penning the early chapters of Dracula in 1895.
Where to stay: Step back in time as you stay in accommodation woven into Scotland’s rich history. North-east Scotland has been home to over 263 castles, many of which you can now stay in including Delgatie Castle and Drum Castle.
Great escapes for culture vultures
What to do: Admire the iconic artworks at our award-winning art galleries, including the impressive Aberdeen Art Gallery, or discover the local history, from the region’s maritime past to one of Scotland’s most notorious prisons, at museums. Explore the vast mountainous landscapes and quaint fishing villages which have inspired world-famous story tellers including Walt Disney, Robert Louis Stevenson and Bram Stoker.
Where to eat: Enjoy contemporary dining that just oozes character at 1906 Restaurant (get it because it’s a theatre?)! 1906 Restaurant in His Majesty’s Theatre not only offers pre-theatre dining but also lunch and afternoon tea. Or enjoy a light lunch at the re-vitalised and re-born Aberdeen Art Gallery surrounded by one of the finest art collections in the UK. Or in Aberdeenshire, visit Buchannan Bistro next door to The Barn a multi-arts centre.
Where to stay: For all you culture lovers, there is no better spot than The Fife Arms. This luxury hotel also doubles as an art lovers paradise and contains over 16,000 antiques, artworks and curios – including a Picasso!
Great escapes for foodies
What to do: Sample the water of Scotland as you visit one of seven local whisky distilleries in Aberdeenshire or see where the craft beer revolution began at the home of craft beer giant BrewDog, where you can learn about the history in the BrewDog museum before sampling a few delights for yourself.
Where to eat: In Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, there are five restaurants that appear in the Michelin Guide perfect for all you foodie fans! Aberdeenshire is also home to The Bay Fish in Chips which was awarded the best fish and chips in the UK by Lonely Planet. And let’s face it, it’s not summer without a few scoops of ice cream. Check out local ice cream parlours Mackie’s 19.2, Portsoy Ice Cream and Aunty Betty’s for the perfect scoop.
Where to stay: Did you know you can stay in accommodation with its own Michelin Guide restaurant?. Check out Kildrummy Inn in Alford which showcases the best of the rich and diverse Scottish larder. Or stay overnight at the tranquil Douneside House, home to the North-east’s only AA triple rosette awarded restaurant.
Great escapes for city lovers
What to do: Take a sightseeing tour of the city as you step back in time in Old Aberdeen and the charming fishing village of Footdee before admiring the sparkling Granite architecture in the city centre. You can also unwind at the two and a half mile long beach where you can be lulled to tranquillity by the sound of the waves.
Where to eat: To really appreciate the architecture of the city head to a local restaurant with a view. Check out 210 Bistro’s Sky Bar for stunning views overlooking the city’s harbour or the Kirk View Café on Union Terrace to appreciate the city’s skyline. Down at the beach, try your hand at one of the food trucks and cafes to enjoy beautiful views over the beachfront.
Where to stay: There is no shortage for choice in accommodation in Aberdeen. Unwind in a luxurious and tranquil hotel in Aberdeen, The Marcliffe Hotel and Spa is Aberdeen’s only five-star hotel and is renowned for its warm welcome and charm. Or closer to the city centre, check out the Sandman Signature Hotel and Spa for a central base.
For more information about your great escape to Aberdeenshire, head to visitabdn.com/great-escape. Please always adhere to travel restrictions.