Aberdeen – A Hidden Gem in Scotland

It might not dominate the travel brochures like the Bahamas or any of the other photogenic destinations, but there’s no doubt that Scotland still grabs a decent chunk of the tourism market.

Aberdeen, the “Granite City” as it’s colloquially known, in the northeast, might be renowned for its oil industry, but there is far more to it than just that. Not only is Aberdeen a stunning city to visit, but accommodation in the area is much more affordable when compared to other more well-known destinations.

Dolphin spotting

It’s the type of attraction that is usually reserved for completely exotic climates, yet the fact that dolphin spotting is possible in the sea around Aberdeen means that it’s one of the more charming things to do in the area.

There are countless cruises departing from the harbour, all of which will take you out to sea so you can enjoy the likes of white-beaked bottlenose and risso dolphins. In fact, if you look hard enough, you might even spot a minke whale.

Balmoral Castle

For any Royal-enthusiasts out there, Balmoral Castle should most definitely be on your agenda. This is one of the official residences of the royal family, although there are of course other reasons to visit the castle.

For a start, it’s a category A listed building – meaning its architecture is well and truly second to none. It’s generally open to the public from April to July, as beyond this point the Queen will usually stay.

Glen Dronach Distillery

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It’s not its main industry, but there’s no doubt that whiskeys are big in Aberdeen. This is something that can be echoed through the Glen Dronach Distillery, which allows visitors to cast their eye on the distillery process used to produce whiskeys.

It has been around for over 200 years and as such, the various tours that the site offers are interesting to say the least. We should also add that you are invited to taste the products through the tour!

Craigievar Castle

While Balmoral Castle might suffice for some of you, for those of you who are looking to get a little more out of your Aberdeen experience we most definitely recommend Craigievar Castle.

While this might not have any royal links, it’s the architecture and design of this castle which really sets it apart from others (across the world, we should add). Some have likened it to a fairy-tale castle – it really is that unique. With oriel windows, zigzag features and ornamental stone cannons, the castle really is worth visiting.

Many visitors are also intrigued at the story behind it as well; with the architects having to be extra economical with the design and materials due to the conditions at the time (thought to be around 1457).

The Tolbooth Museum

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The tower of the 14th century Tolbooth (which was once the town hall and prison) is Aberdeen’s oldest building and now home to a museum with exhibitions on crime and punishment through the ages. You can take a look at the 17th and 18th century cells and see the original doors and bars from the old prison cells.