January 10, 2013
With its sandy coastlines, regal roots, glorious golf courses and easy accessibility to Aberdeenshire and the Grampians, Aberdeen’s Granite City is one of our favourite adventure spots. We select the Northeast’s finest.
With over 50 golf courses to choose from in the Aberdeen area, that’s almost one for every week of the year should we fancy a swing in golf’s spiritual home. The Royal Aberdeen is the sixth oldest golf course in the world, and a popular choice with pro golfers (and us!), for its Balgownie and Silverburn courses, complete with rich turf and tight rolling fairways. Links Road, Bridge of Don, +44 1224 702571, www.royalaberdeengolf.com.
Along with the Scots, we love a good castle and Aberdeenshire, with its royal connections, is famed for being castle country with a great trail for visitors to follow. We usually start 10 miles outside Aberdeen at Drum Castle before heading for the ruined medieval fortress of Dunnottar Castle and the neo-gothic brilliance of Drumtochty Castle. A full castle trail map for the very keen can be downloaded at www.aberdeen-grampian.com. Start at Drum Castle, Drumoak.
Widely considered one of the most haunted places in Scotland, we’ve had our share of frights at the Tolbooth Prison, the site of an eerily preserved 17th century gaol, and once home to the infamous Fittie Witch. Staff sightings have helped fuel the legend with many ghost hunters visiting to see if the fact meets the fiction. Tours can be arranged if you’re brave enough. Castle Street, +44 1224 621167, www.aagm.co.uk, opening times vary throughout the year.
The French Alps it’s not but Aberdeenshire’s Glenshee Ski Centre and The Lecht are two of our favourite places to hit the Scottish slopes when the ski and snowboard bug bites. If you need to brush up, we highly recommend lessons at the Aberdeen Snowsport Centre, which offers special classes available depending on age and skill. And we are completely addicted to their tubing slope, complete with inflatable rings to slide around in, open to big and little kids alike. Garthdee Road, +44 1224 810215, www.skiaberdeen.com.
The Aberdeen area is renowned as one of the best spots in Europe for dolphin spotting, and as wildlife lovers, we follow the locals to look out for them in the summer months around Aberdeen Harbour, as well as in the isolated inlets around Cruden Bay beyond the city. Bottlenose dolphins are particularly prevalent in the area in winter and between April and May, with porpoises also regularly making an appearance around the harbour. Aberdeen Harbour and beach.