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Places Of Interest in Aberdeen

Places 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 Castle [map] 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 [map], 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 their kind.

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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