Visit Aberdeenshire

At a glance...

Aberdeenshire stretches from “one of the last great places on earth” (the Cairngorms) to “one of the world’s top-rated coastlines”. So says National Geographic. And The Scotsman (one of Scotland’s national newspapers) calls its city of Aberdeen – where ships dock right up against the city-centre streets and dolphins leap in the busy North Sea harbour – “one of the most architecturally distinctive in Europe”. There’s something about the scale of this place between the mountains and the sea. You can roam for miles across great estates, expanses of moorland, ancient Caledonian forests, rolling farmland, vast dunes, wide sandy beaches and expansive coastlines. History is writ large here too. Ancient sites and symbols mark this as a heartland of the ancient Picts. In the millennia that followed, no fewer than 300 castles were planted here. And of course this majestic place has long been loved by monarchs … and by the salmon that return each year to power upstream in the fastflowing snow-fed waters of the Dee and the Don. You could call this True Majesty. 

 

World-class Golf

Scotland is famous as the birthplace of golf and for its golf courses, but some areas are still begging to be discovered. Great dunes stretch along Aberdeenshire’s coast – some of them said to tower 100 feet high. In this extraordinary sandscape are some of the world’s most challenging links courses, designed by top names in golf architecture such as Old Tom Morris, James Braid and Dr Martin Hawtree. Here along Scotland’s north east coast the skies are vast, the light clear, the air clean and fresh. The panoramic views and elemental power can take a golfer’s breath away. This is stirring stuff. Historic too: Aberdeenshire has two of the top 10 oldest courses in the world. 

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Iconic Castles

Deep in an ancient pine forest, beside a fastflowing river, on a high snowbound mountain pass, among rich rolling farmland, and perched on cliffs some 50 feet above the sea. These are some of the spectacular settings for Aberdeenshire’s 300 castles: there are more here per acre than anywhere else in the British Isles. Most you can see, many you can visit – and some you can even stay in. This corner of Scotland had strategic importance across centuries of turbulent history – invasions and war, rebellion and uprising, independence and occupation were all played out here. 

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