Aberdeen

Aberdeen City | City | ★★★

[Union Street]

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 (14/12/16)]

Location

📌 Aberdeen ★★★
The city centre, around the junction of Union Street & Market Street, is at G.R.: NJ 942062 ///slang.stones.craft

🚶 The city centre is compact, with a longer hike to the beach. After that you'll be on the buses.
🚌 Aberdeen has good rail and coach links with the rest of Scotland, its own airport, and ferries to the Northern Isles. There's a good local bus network.
🚗 City centre parking has a charge, but there are free spots further out if you're prepared to walk.



See & do (<1 mi away)

📌 Aberdeen Art Gallery ★★★
Description: Large gallery, founded in 1884, showcasing a wide range of art.
Schoolhill, city centre, G.R.: NJ 939064 ///submit.range.tins
Open daily | Free

📌 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.
Shiprow, city centre, G.R.: NJ 944062 ///leap.lately.laser
Open daily | Free

>> Provost Skene's House (not yet featured)

📌 Queen's Links ★★★
Description: Superb sandy beach, stretching 2 mi between the Don and Dee river mouths.
The middle part of the beach by Codona's amusement park is by the Esplanade, or a 20-min walk east of the city centre, G.R.: NJ 955066 ///skirt.snow.tune

📌 Tolbooth Museum ★★
Description: 17th century jail right in the city centre. Crime and punishment displays, lots of narrow staircases.
Castle Street, city centre, G.R.: NJ 944063 ///order.starts.basin
Open daily | Free

Nearby (1-5 mi away)

>> Aberdeen green spaces page: Duthie Park ★★★ (1 mi ↓); Johnston Gardens ★★★ (2 mi ←); Seaton Park ★★★ (2 mi ↑); Hazlehead Park ★★★ (3 mi ←)

📌 Footdee ★★
Description: Beautiful fishing suburb which feels like a standalone village, with picturesque rows of old cottages.
1 mi east of the city centre, G.R.: NJ 958057 ///crowd.look.puddles

>> King's College (Aberdeen) (not yet featured) (1 mi ↑)

📌 Girdle Ness ★★
Description: Rocky headland with lighthouse and excellent views of the sea and Aberdeen harbour.
Off Greyhope Road, 2 mi east of the city centre, G.R.: NJ 972053 ///codes.span.hiking

>> The Gordon Highlanders Museum (not yet featured) (2 mi ←)

📌 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.
The Chanonry, 2 mi north of the city centre, G.R.: NJ 939088 ///slam.marked.gently
Open daily | Free

>> Walk: Kincorth Hill - Granite City back garden ★★ (2 mi ↓)

📌 Zoology Museum ★★
Description: The University of Aberdeen's interesting collections of stuffed animals, bones and related material.
Tillydrone Avenue, 2 mi north of the city centre, G.R.: NJ 937085 ///backup.goats.risk
Open weekdays | Free

>> Countesswells (5 mi ←)

[Marischal College is an amazing building, now Aberdeen City council's HQ (14/12/16)]

[Aberdeen beach (18/9/11)]

[View of the city from Kincorth Hill (25/9/11)]

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