Things to Do in Aberdeen
Aberdeen is located in North East Scotland and is known as the Granite City due to many of the city’s buildings having been built with grey granite from the local quarries. Other names for the city include Golden Sands and the Silver City, due to the mica in the granite sparkling like silver in the sun.
Aberdeen has two universities, The Robert Gordon University and the University of Aberdeen, is home to the Aberdeen International Youth Festival, and contains the biggest seaport in North East Scotland. The city is considered one of the nicest cities in the UK, having won Britain in Bloom ten times.
Aberdeen was once a city famed for shipbuilding, fishing, and papermaking but, since the discovery of oil off the coast adjacent to the city, the primary industry has shifted to oil; it is this that has seen the city experience its economic boom since the 1970s.
Aberdeen is also a fantastic place for shopping, ranked the third best shopping city in Scotland. There are a number of shopping centres as well as the main shopping areas of George Street and Union Street.
Aberdeen is close to the Scottish Highlands, which makes it the perfect base from which to explore Scotland’s beautiful scenery. There are many fantastic things to do in Aberdeen; below are a few examples.
Visit the Gordon Highlanders Museum
Located in Aberdeen’s West End is the Gordon Highlanders Museum, a museum dedicated to the preservation of the Gordon Highlanders regiment. The museum houses an exhibition showing the history of the regiment through conflicts such as the Cold War, the two World Wars, and the Napoleonic Wars. Exhibits include medals, weapons, uniforms, and a number of interactive maps as well as life-size models and scale reproductions. Weapons can be found in the Armoury and date back to the late eighteenth century. There are also a number of modern day weapons still in use by the British Army. There are many fabulous pieces of silver housed in The Silver Room, which are worth visiting.
Enjoy a host of stunning tropical plants at Duthie Park
Duthie Park can be found on the River Dee’s banks and is home to the David Welch Winter Gardens. Here visitors can enjoy a host of plants and flowers in the tropical house. There is also the opportunity to take kayaks out on the boating pond or to visit the beautiful Japanese garden.
Take the family for a day of adventure at Cordoba’s Amusement Park
Cordoba’s Amusement Park is located beside the Aberdeen Beach and contains a plethora of fabulous rides and attractions, including a Ferris wheel, roller coasters, dodgems, and waltzers. The park also has indoor and outdoor adventure golf courses and a couple of adventure parks for children. Other features include a simulator, games emporium, ten-pin bowling, American pool, and a video games deck. There are also three restaurants.
Visit the Queen’s summer residence
Balmoral Castle is located close to Crathie village and is the place the Queen spends much of her time during the summer holidays. The castle is not a part of the Crown but rather belongs to the Royal Family after the estate was privately purchased in 1852 by Prince Albert. The gardens are open to the public every day from April until the end of July. The only room in the castle available for viewing by the public is the ballroom.
Visit the haunted Tolbooth Museum
The Tolbooth is a museum in Aberdeen that was formerly a jail in the seventeenth century. The museum comprises items related to law and order as well as exhibits of prison cells. The building is said to be haunted and was the home of more than fifty Jacobite prisoners from the Battle of Culloden.
Spend the day at Aberdeen Beach and Queens Links
Aberdeen Beach is situated between the mouth of the River Don and Aberdeen Harbour and is a long stretch of curved golden sands popular with surfers, windsurfers, and walkers. As soon as the weather is warm and sunny, the beach becomes a crowded area with families all wanting to enjoy the sunshine and the water. As well as the nearby Cordona’s Amusement Park, the Beach Esplanade has a number of shops and restaurant, and there is a nine-screen cinema located nearby too. The area is also home to a leisure centre, with indoor sports hall, swimming pool, and ice rink; there is a golf course close by as well.
Take a tour of Craigievar Castle
Craigievar Castle is a part of the National Trust for Scotland and is a seven story pink castle close to Alford. The castle has a fairy-tale appearance and is very popular with visitors. The castle and grounds are open every year from Easter until September, and can only be viewed by way of guided tours. There are also a number of gardens, parkland, woodland, and farmland on the estate just waiting to be explored.
Enjoy one of Clyde Cruises fabulous tours around Aberdeen’s coast
Clyde Cruises are offering a number of fantastic cruises for visitors to Aberdeen to enjoy. The Fish and Ships tour is extremely popular and gives visitors the chance to sit back and enjoy the views of Aberdeen while also enjoying some delicious fish and chips washed down with a Scottish favourite – a can of Irn Bru! Alternatively, you can head out to the North Sea for the chance to spot some fantastic marine life including sharks, whales, and dolphins with Clyde Cruise’s Dolphin Adventure Cruise.
Aberdeen is a wonderful city to visit, full of exciting things to see and do. It is ideal for a family holiday as there is something there for everyone.