Aberdeen - nickname: the Granite City. Famous (with good reason) for its oil, cold wind and incomprehensible accents, Scotland's 3rd largest settlement might not sound like a promising place to visit for the uninitiated. But on a sunny day, grey buildings transform to give the city its other name: "the silver city with the golden sands". Several parts of Aberdeen - Castlegate, Marischal College and Old Aberdeen to name a few - sparkle when blessed by blue skies, which are more common than you might think: this is one of the sunniest parts of the country. The main shopping district clusters around wide, traffic-choked Union Street and newer Union Square. The latter is adjacent to a bustling harbour adjoining the mouth of the River Dee. North from here is the jewel in Aberdeen's crown: a wonderful sandy beach, with the tiny fishing village of Footdee (pronounced Fittie) squeezed onto the neck of land in between. There's plenty to explore here - all listed below - just wrap up warm if the wind's coming off the North Sea (umbrella? Forget about it...).
|[Edward VII statue, Union Street (December 2016)]|
Name: Aberdeen ★★★☆☆
Location (junction of Union Street and Market Street): G.R.: NJ 942062 ///slang.stones.craft
|[Marischal College is an amazing building, now Aberdeen City council's HQ (December 2016)]|
Within walking distance
Name: Aberdeen Art Gallery ★★★☆☆
Description: Large gallery, founded in 1884, showcasing a wide range of art - currently undergoing major redevelopment.
Location: Schoolhill, city centre, G.R.: NJ 939064 ///submit.range.tins
Open (2018): Currently closed for refurbishment - due to reopen later in 2018 / early 2019.
Name: Aberdeen Maritime Museum ★★★☆☆
Description: Excellent museum about the city's seagoing history - including oil, fishing and shipbuilding - housed in a part modern, part historic building close to the city centre.
Location: Shiprow, city centre, G.R.: NJ 944062 ///leap.lately.laser
Open (2018): Daily
Name: Footdee ★★☆☆☆
Description: Beautiful fishing suburb which feels like a standalone village, with picturesque rows of old cottages.
Location: G.R.: NJ 958057 ///crowd.look.puddles
Name: Provost Skene's House
Description: 16th century residence of a former Lord Provost, with displays about city life in the 17th to 19th centuries.
Location: Flourmill Lane, city centre, G.R.: NJ 942064 ///bulb.onion.potato
Open (2018): Currently closed due to construction works adjacent to the property - due to reopen 2019
Name: Queen's Links ★★★☆☆
Description: Aberdeen's superb sandy beach, stretching for 2 miles between the Don and Dee river mouths.
Location (middle section by Codona's amusement park): Esplanade, 20-min walk east of the centre, G.R.: NJ 955066 ///skirt.snow.tune
Name: Tolbooth Museum ★★☆☆☆
Description: 17th century jail right in the city centre: crime and punishment displays, lots of narrow staircases.
Location: Castle Street, city centre, G.R.: NJ 944063 ///order.starts.basin
Open (2018): Daily
|[Aberdeen beach (photo from a few days earlier)]|
>> see Aberdeen green spaces post for Duthie Park ★★★☆☆; Hazlehead Park ★★★☆☆; Johnston Gardens ★★★☆☆; Seaton Park ★★★☆☆
Name: Girdle Ness ★★☆☆☆
Description: Rocky headland with lighthouse and excellent views of the sea and Aberdeen harbour.
Location: Greyhope Road, 2 miles east of the centre, G.R.: NJ 972053 ///codes.span.hiking
Name: St Machar's Cathedral ★★★☆☆
Description: Beautiful Church of Scotland cathedral with parts dating to the 1100's, hidden away in the city's old town.
Location: The Chanonry, 2 miles north of the centre, G.R.: NJ 939088 ///slam.marked.gently
Open (2018): Daily
>> see separate post for Walk: Kincorth Hill - Granite City back garden ★★☆☆☆
Name: Zoology Museum ★★☆☆☆
Description: The University of Aberdeen's interesting collections of stuffed animals, bones and related material.
Location: Tillydrone Avenue, 2 miles north of the centre, G.R.: NJ 937085 / backup goats risk
Open (2017): Weekdays
|[View of the city from Kincorth Hill (photo from a few days later)]|