Stories from our Home

Who doesn’t enjoy a great story? And what better than hearing from someone who speaks with heartfelt passion and enthusiasm for their subject? This is what inspired our suite of videos entitled “Stories from our Home” – a series of short films capturing some of the characters of the north east explaining why this part of the world is so special to them and what they love about it most. Tying in with VisitScotland’s Year of Stories 2022, the videos feature individuals and places from all over the destination talking about the place they know best. Pull up a chair and enjoy!

Tee off with Les Durno, General Manager at Cruden Bay Golf Club, as he gives a short, fascinating history of this club and explains why this world famous links course is so challenging and memorable, hugging the breathtaking north-east coastline and providing some of the best views from a golf course in Scotland.

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You can almost smell the tang of the sea air listening to singer songwriter and performer Andy Shanks bringing to life the fishing village of Johnshaven’s colourful past, full of smugglers, roguish fisherman and magical tales.  The historic fishing village is renowned for its shellfish and its annual Fish Festival draws visitors from around the world.

Another draw for visitors is undoubtedly Aberdeen Art Gallery, housing one of the country’s finest collections and named Scotland’s Building of the Year in 2021. Museum Assistant Karen Henderson talks with conviction about her passion for the arts, culture and heritage and what drew her home to her native north east.

Staying with the city and you’ll enjoy the infectious enthusiasm of Hannah Drew, Box Office Manager at the award winning P&J Live. Hannah literally takes centre stage to talk excitedly about her part in bringing large scale events to the region and helping people make memories.

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On the edge of the city and seamlessly combining the appeal of the countryside with easy access to Aberdeen’s centre, the historic Maryculter House Hotel oozes character and charm. Lewis Kinniburgh, Poachers and Private Dining Manager describes his pride in the hotel and the variety his work brings.

When the view from the office takes in the ever changing seascape provided by the Moray Firth, it’s easy to appreciate what Aquarium Manager at Macduff Marine Aquarium Claire Matthews enjoys about her role. And when done helping to showcase the abundance of sealife and plant life below the water, Claire enjoys being out on the sea in her kayak where she says “it’s like being in a different world.”

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Getting away from it all and exploring the rich and varied landscape of the north east is what husband and wife team Dan Brown and Rachael Iveson-Brown from Wild Discovery do with their guests. They talk passionately about the experience of getting up close and personal with the wonderful wildlife visitors can experience here – you’ll want to grab your binoculars and follow them to the hills or beach!

Another opportunity to get close to animals is Down on the Farm with Carole Short who works the land on the north-east coast. As well as a 200 strong beef herd, the farm is home to an assortment of sheep, dogs, peacocks and ferrets!  Listening to Carole enthuse about the incredible sunsets, bracing cliff top walks and stunning beaches and you’ll understand why she loves welcoming guests.

Experiencing the region with all of your senses is a key message in the story told by world famous percussionist and Robert Gordon University Chancellor Dame Evelyn Glennie who talks evocatively of growing up in rural Aberdeenshire. Taking inspiration for her musical compositions from the movement of the wind through the barley crop or the softness of the landscape, Dame Evelyn describes the sense of wellbeing she finds in this beautiful part of the world. We’re sure you’ll experience that too in our wide open spaces.

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If listening to these stories has helped you work up an appetite, you’ll enjoy listening to creative Executive Chef at Meldrum House Country Hotel Alan Clarke talk about the rich food and drink that abounds in the region and why it is some of the best produce in the world. From fish and beef to beers and whisky, Alan clearly enjoys having the best raw ingredients with which to create some sumptuous menus.

Continuing the food theme, listen to Angus Hayhow, Marketing and Brand Manager at global company Mackies of Scotland talk about the family run business – he’s the first of the fifth generation of Mackies to be involved in the company – making delicious ice cream and chocolate. Angus explains Mackie’s “Sky to Scoop” phrase – harnessing the wind and sun to power the turbines and solar farm to power the ice cream dairy.

And last but not least, curator, guide and coach Mike Wilkes from Macdui Bike Adventures shares his love of the great outdoors and the natural world. Swapping his bike for the VisitAberdeenshire yellow chair, he describes the thrill of undertaking adventures in the wide open spaces of this beautiful region at all times of the year. You’ll want to go exploring it for yourself and have your own stories to tell!

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