The best way to spend a weekend in Aberdeenshire

By Kingfisher Visitor Guides

How to spend a weekend in Aberdeenshire. Check out our itinerary for a weekend tour of Aberdeenshire and its many attractions.

Day one

Start your weekend off with a walking tour of the city centre taking in some of Scotland’s most stunning architecture. Start on Broad Street where you will find Marischal College – known as the world’s second-largest granite building.

Make your way down Union Street stopping at Union Terrace Gardens, a sunken Victorian garden right in the heart of the city.

Interior of Aberdeen Art Gallery

Aberdeen Art Gallery is a must-visit

Aberdeen Art Gallery is one of the city’s most inspiring, welcoming and accessible public buildings, home to one of the best collections of art in the country.

If you’d rather hit the shops, then make a beeline for Aberdeen’s West End where you’ll find designer shops and one-off boutiques. For high-street stores, head to Union Square or Bon Accord shopping centres.

The busy interior of Union Square

Union Square, Aberdeen

Next make your way to Aberdeen Maritime Museum which can be found on Shiprow, just behind Union Street and within view of Aberdeen’s busy working harbour. The museum tells the story of Aberdeen’s strong connection with the sea. Discover the harbour’s shipbuilding history in the 17th century through its fish market heyday right up to the inception of the present-day oil and gas industry.

Then take a short stroll round to Footdee or ‘Fittie’. The tiny cottages of this 19th-century fishing village all back onto the sea with their windows and doors facing inwards to protect from storms.

Ferris wheel and other attractions at Codona funfair, Aberdeen

Codona funfair, Aberdeen

Now you’ll find yourself at the beach. Don’t be surprised to see surfers braving the North Sea temperatures no matter which season you are visiting. The beach area also has a cinema complex, several bars and restaurants, Codona’s funfair and Pittodrie Stadium.

The North East of Scotland is famed for its fine food and drink so it should come as no surprise that there are plenty of top restaurants to choose from. After your meal head to Union Street and its side streets where you’ll find cosy pubs, contemporary bars and a great choice of clubs.

Day two

On your second day of the weekend, head out and explore Aberdeenshire. Scenic Royal Deeside was Queen Victoria’s favourite place to holiday and is still the Scottish holiday home of the Royal Family.

Stop at the 16th-century Crathes Castle just outside Banchory as you head out towards Ballater. The Shire has more than 70 castles so it would be rude not to visit at least one!

Exterior of Crathes Castle in Scotland

Crathes Castle in Banchory

Before you arrive in Ballater you should stop at Cambus O’ May with its Victorian suspension bridge. Ballater itself is a lovely town to wander about in and just a few miles from here is Royal Lochnagar Distillery which offers tours.

There are several different points along your route back to Aberdeen to get out and have a walk, just look out for signposts or stop at Glen Tanar Estate just outside Aboyne. As well as walking you can enjoy activities such as fishing, mountain biking and horse riding here. Make your way back to Aberdeen for dinner or stop at a pub or restaurant along the way. We hope you’ve had a great weekend.

Read more

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Image credits: ©Codona's; Dapple Photography/Aberdeen City Council; Paul Grundy/Union Square; Ruth Black/;

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