Aberdeenshire is a wonderful place to holiday. It has activities all year round, from skiing and snowboarding in winter through to beach life on the coast in summer. Here we explore our favourite things to do whilst in this beautiful part of Scotland (though we should say, it was hard to choose!).
1. Immerse yourself in nature at Cairngorms National Park. There’s nowhere else on Earth quite like the Cairngorms. Mountainous and packed with forest paths, rivers, lochs, distilleries, wildlife and charming villages, the National Park is twice the size of the Lake District, and we think more than twice as lovely. In fact, there isn’t much you can’t do here: windsurfing on Loch Morlich, skiing and snowboarding on 5 of the UK’s 6 highest mountains, hiking, climbing, steam railways, whisky trails, spotting rare and endangered native wildlife: it’s all here. And that’s not the half of it!
2. Visit the Queen’s holiday home at Balmoral Castle. It’s not a bad place to call your summer house, and Balmoral Castle is a fantastic day out for all the family. Open to the public from 1st April to 31st July every year, you can explore the castle and its grounds, as well as take a safari tour of the manicured parkland and gardens, before heading out into the remote wilderness of the mountains and highlands beyond. The nearby Royal Lachnagar Distillery and Royal Station at Ballater are also well worth a visit.
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3. Live the beach life in Aberdeen. Just half an hour from our Banchory lodges, Aberdeen is a vibrant, bustling city. We love to spend the day there in summer, with the beachfront home to a huge number of activities and attractions. The beach itself was awarded the Resort Seaside Award in 2013, and is home to the Beach Leisure Centre, a cinema, ice rink, retail park, lots of places to eat and drink. Additions like the fantastic Aberdeen Science Centre and the Maritime Museum make for a brilliant day out.
4. Spend a day at a fairytale castle. It’s pink, it’s turreted and it was apparently the inspiration behind the Cinderella Castle dreamed up by Walt Disney – now so iconic to the brand. Yet not enough people know about Craigievar Castle; it’s a wonderful day out, with woodland trails, tours of the castle and an impressive display of art, armour and weaponry. The grounds are home to the rare pine marten, amongst numerous other wildlife species. Great for a woodland walk!
5. Explore Scotland’s coastline. The Aberdeenshire Coastal Trail is spectacular. Covering 165 miles of dramatic seascapes, you’ll be enthralled by clifftops, hidden coves, delightful villages and indigenous wildlife. It’s a bracing, enchanting walk like no other; take a few days over it, stopping at the various charming towns along the way.
So there you have it, five of our favourite things to do in Aberdeenshire. It’s by no means an exhaustive list – we know there are numerous gems we’ve failed to mention! What are your top Aberdeenshire attractions? We’d love to hear!
Aberdeenshire is a fabulous base for a holiday; why not find out more about our lodges in Aberdeenshire here and start planning your visit?