Of Interest in Aberdeen
|| You’ll never be
short of things to do during your stay in and around Aberdeen as the
city is packed to bursting with some fascinating places of interest.
From the golden sands of Aberdeen beach to some of the oldest
buildings in Scotland, the Granite City has all the right ingredients
for a day out to remember.
The Grampian Highlands are well known for their many
castles – more than 350, to be more precise – and Aberdeen
makes a great base for seeing many of these historic buildings. Among
the gems that are well worth making the trip out of the city centre
for are Craigievar Castle [map],
which is believed to have inspired Walt Disney to design the fairytale
Disney Castle, Slains Castle [map],
where Bram Stoker’s Dracula was brought to life, and Balmoral
the Royal family’s Highland hideaway.
Situated some 15 miles from Aberdeen near the scenic town of Stonehaven,
you’ll find Dunnottar Castle [map],
a dramatic ruin where the 1990 film version of Hamlet, starring Mel
Gibson, was filmed. This castle has been home to many of Scotland’s
famous outlaws, including William Wallace, Mary Queen of Scots
and the Marquis of Montrose. Most famously though, Dunnottar Castle
is where a small garrison held out against an English army for eight
months, saving the Scottish Crown Jewels from destruction in the process.
Back in central Aberdeen there are plenty more places of interest
worth visiting, such as the Cathedral Church of St Andrew [map],
which first opened in 1817. Designed by mason Archibald Simpson, the
building is made from Craigleith sandstone and became the Cathedral
Church of the Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney in 1914. The gothic-style
church has had numerous extensions over the years, most notably Sir
Robert Lorimer’s porch in 1911.
Next up on Aberdeen’s historical trail is King's College
which is part of the University of Aberdeen and was founded in 1495
by Bishop William Elphinstone. Along with the college itself, you’ll
also be able to see Kings College Chapel, which was built between
1500 and 1506. Within the main part of the chapel are 52 choirs stalls
commissioned by Elphinstone, which were carved locally by Flemish
and Scots master-joiners and are regarded as the finest examples of
Other historic buildings worth checking out in central Aberdeen are
St Machar's Cathedral [map],
the 16th century Provost Skene’s House [map],
Marischal College [map],
and the Kirk of St Nicholas [map].
Aberdeen is known to many as the City of Roses, as a staggering
12,000 different types of rose cover every square inch of Duthie
Park's Rose Hill [map],
helping the city to win 13 Britain in Bloom titles and even getting
it excluded from the competition on occasions to ‘ensure a fair
competition’ for other towns in the UK!
There are a number of country parks in Aberdeen but to see the city
in all its floral glory then Duthie Park [map]
is the place to be. Along with the Rose Hill, you’ll also find
the Winter Gardens here, which is Europe’s largest
indoor garden collection, with flowers, fish, birds and insects
from all over the world.
Nearby Hazelhead Sculpture Park [map]
will also captivate your imagination with its beautiful scents
and colours, and mixture of traditional and modern art sculptures.
This place is home to the Piper Alpha Memorial rose garden,
which is dedicated to the memory of the 167 oil workers who died in
the North Sea in 1988.
Other attractions also worth a look in the Grampian Highlands are
the many whiskey trails – well northeast Scotland is
‘Whiskey Country’, the Bridge of Don [map],
which dates back to 1830, the Maritime Museum [map]
and Aberdeen Art Gallery [map].
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