Make a Day of It in Donside

Sometimes overlooked in favour of its popular neighbour Deeside, Donside is arguably as beautiful a place to spend a relaxing day out or weekend with lots to see, do and explore.

Stretching across a beautiful section of Aberdeenshire, the area extends all the way from the Lecht in the Cairngorms National Park to Tillyfourie and has a rich agricultural history.

This is no more celebrated than in the bustling rural town of Alford where a life-size statue of an Aberdeen Angus bull – named Jeremy-Eric – greets visitors on the outskirts. Why not begin your visit by popping in to the Alford Heritage Museum and learning more about this world famous cattle breed and the history of farming in the area.

Also located in Alford is the award winning Grampian Transport Museum which boasts a number of interactive exhibits and special collections to be enjoyed by adults and children alike. There’s also a tea room on site should you work up an appetite.

Grampian Transport Museum 367 DS 52

Enjoy a browse along Alford’s main street and pop into Piggery-Smokery, an award-winning artisan charcuterie where you can stock up on delicious cured meats to take home.

Feeling active? There’s plenty to do in the area with Alford serving as an ideal base from which to explore the rolling countryside on foot or bicycle. Haughton Country Park is a great place to enjoy a picnic or let the children play.

If golf is your thing, Alford Golf Club is available for members and visitors alike and offers a nice easy walking parkland course with little undulation and tremendous views. They also have clubs and buggies for hire. The clubhouse makes an excellent lunchtime stop once your round is complete.

*Does not having a car put you off exploring? If you're under the age of 22, then you are entitled to free bus travel! Click here to find out more.*

Want to go skiing? Alford’s dry ski slope allows you to ski, snowboard and tube all year round while the Lecht Ski Centre offers summer and winter activities with a range of runs to suit all levels of ability.

Take a step back in time by visiting the enchanting and distinctive Craigievar Castle which is said to have inspired Disney’s Cinderella castle or explore the ancient ruins, stone circles and Pictish artefacts that offer a fascinating glimpse into Donside’s past.

Looking for somewhere to stay so you can spend more time exploring this stunning area? Check out the Haughton Arms Hotel with its varied menu and pleasant beer garden should you want to sit back and relax. Alternatively, there’s the nearby The Kildrummy Inn which has two AA rosettes under its belt and scooped the national Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year Award in 2016. Either way, you’ll be spoiled for choice in this wonderful part of the world.

Has this blog inspired you to have a day out in Aberdeenshire? You could win a getaway in the North-east worth £1,000. Click here to find out more.

When exploring Donside, make sure you download the official 'Enjoy Alford and Donside' app for inspiration on where to visit!

All information is correct at the time of publishing, we recommend that you check opening times and information for individual places before visiting.

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