With so much to see and do across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, touring is a great way to help you make your way through a must-see list of attractions.
There’s the increasingly popular North East 250 road trip where you’ll take in some of the most picturesque sights the region has to offer and also a castle trail for history enthusiasts.
And there’s not only a huge variety of attractions to see, but plenty of places to stop for a bite to eat along the way, too. You’ll definitely be working up an appetite and need to take a breather for lunch or a fly cup and a fine piece.
As part of VisitAberdeenshire’s Rediscover Your Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire campaign, we’ve rounded up a selection of stunning road trips to try out during your next outing, as well as nearby food and drink suggestions. But be sure to check for the opening hours of the business ahead of your visit.
If you’re struggling to decide on which route to follow, try the North East 250 – the ultimate three-day road trip taking you from our famous Granite City into the depths of Royal Deeside, through the Cairngorms National Park and along our stunning coastline.
The North East 250 offers a shorter, but equally as scenic route as the North Coast 500’s Highland 516-mile adventure. It boasts an abundance of must-see attractions including whisky distilleries, museums and walking trails, plus a wide variety of picturesque landscapes.
From Newburgh to Buckie, to Glenlivet to Braemar, there’s a number of places you could stop off at while completing the route.
You can get food and drink at the Tor-Na-Coille Hotel on Inchmarlo Road in Banchory or the Banchory Lodge Hotel on Dee Street.
There’s also the Roaring Stag Coffee Roasters at Ballater Business Park, Craigview Road in Ballater; the Saplinbrae Hotel, Mintlaw, and the Beach Cafe in Fraserburgh.
There’s also a coastal trail that will take you along 165 miles of outstanding coastline, allowing you to visit film-famous castles, historic fishing villages, and explore wide sandy expanses and great dunes. There’s even a dolphin cruise to board.
Make sure to stop for lunch or dinner as there’s some notable eateries on this route where you can experience seafood dishes straight from boat to bowl.
You can pay a visit to The Old Kirk Cafe/Bistro, Church Street, Fordyce, Banff; Annie’s Cakery on Station Brae, Macduff; The Knowes Hotel, Market Street, Macduff and The Bay Fish and Chips on Beach Road in Stonehaven.
There’s also The Stack Restaurant and Bar, Dunnyfell Road, Muchalls, Stonehaven.
If you pride yourself as a history buff, the castle trail is the one for you. Known as Scotland’s Castle Country, Aberdeenshire is home to some of the UK’s most famous period properties.
Discover 19 of the region’s dramatic castles on this trail as well as their impressive grounds, including Balmoral Castle – the summer residence of the Royal Family – and Dunnottar Castle, found sitting high on a crumbling clifftop above crashing waves.
For refreshments, try Buchanan Bistro, Woodend Barn, Burn O’Bennie Road, in Banchory; Finzean Estate Tearoom, Balnaboth Steading, Finzean, Banchory; Douneside House, Tarland, Aboyne; The Commercial Hotel, The Square, Tarland, Aboyne or The Fife Arms, Mar Road, Braemar, Ballater.
And further north, there’s the Peterhead Trail. This is a free self-guided tour around Peterhead, offering two routes – one 2km and the other 5.8km.
Enjoy the fresh air and explore the UK’s sunniest town, learning all about the Jacobites, secret passages, heroes, poets, unexpected royalty, influential ladies, ghosts, war, witchcraft, murder, armed rebellion and piracy.
Whichever route you decide to take, you can be certain of a true Scottish experience visiting the iconic castles, coastline and mountains, and sampling the finest local produce.
The campaign – involving the Evening Express, The Press and Journal, Society and Original 106 – also has its own dedicated section on the VisitAberdeenshire website, where people can explore blogs with ideas for things to do.
For more information on the walks listed, visit yourabdn.com
Social Media Campaign
VisitAberdeenshire, the Evening Express, Press and Journal, Society and Original 106 are encouraging people to share an image of their favourite part of the north-east throughout the #RediscoverABDN campaign. To take part, simply follow the steps below:
- Take a picture of your favourite north-east attraction, venue, product or landmark
- Upload the image to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter including the hashtag #RediscoverABDN and tag @visitabdn
Social Distancing Guidelines
When visiting these locations, it’s important to adhere to the social distancing guidelines currently in place across Scotland for outdoor activities. These guidelines are below.
- People can meet in groups of up to 15 people outdoors, from up to five different households, including your own household. However, children aged 0-11 should not meet in groups larger than 15 people in total at a time.
- Keep two metres apart from anyone you meet from outside your household, and don’t share food or utensils.
- You should not meet with more than four different households per day, whether indoors or outdoors.
- Follow physical distancing guidance and hygiene rules.
- There is now no restriction on travel within Scotland as long as individuals are acting in line with all other guidance that supports the route map.
All guidelines can be viewed at www.gov.scot