Aberdeen

Sparkling under endless summer days and shimmering beneath the Northern Lights in winter...

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... Aberdeen’s silvery granite heart merges centuries of history and a modern vibe. The oil capital of the UK, its rocking city nightlife is just a stone’s throw from bottlenose dolphins in the harbour. As the locals say, it’s braw.

Arriving at Aberdeen Airport 

Step off your flight, collect your bags and you could be strolling down Union Street and chatting with the locals in Doric faster than you can say ‘fit like’.

The best way to reach the town is by bus. Services are regular, cheap and you’ll be in town in around 30 minutes.

Stagecoach Bluebird’s Jet Service 727 stops outside the terminal building, bound for Aberdeen Union Square bus station. There’s one every 10 minutes on weekdays and every 20 minutes at weekends. Buy a single ticket on board, or a dayrider ticket for unlimited all-day travel.

First Bus runs a regular service to central Aberdeen and accepts contactless payment.

Taxis are a good option if you’re in a hurry. They’re right outside the front of the terminal and can get you to town in around 25 minutes. Expect to pay around £15 for your trip – all depends on the traffic, of course.

Want to let the train take the strain? The closest railway station is at Dyce, around two miles (3km) from the terminal. Aberdeen's main station is a 10-minute journey, while Inverness is two hours away. Beware, there can be a gap between services and they’re even less frequent at weekends.

If you’re planning to get behind the wheel, book your car hire in advance.

Getting active

Yes, Aberdeen is the UK’s most northern city. No, that doesn’t mean staying indoors by the fire nursing a warming whisky (although that’s nice too). Outdoors there's a vast natural playground. Get ready to play.

Surfing

Take your board (and definitely bring your wetsuit – and hood, and gloves, and booties) and experience surfing at its most exhilarating. Give it a go at Aberdeen beach.

Golf

Walk in the steps of golfers who’ve put themselves to the test at the Royal Aberdeen Golf Course since 1780, or seek out the local municipal courses – picturesque, challenging and unforgettable.

Cycling

Take the bike on the 41-mile (66km) Deeside Way from the city to Ballater in the Cairngorms National Park. The Lecht 2090 snow sports centre is the place for summer mountain biking.

Walking

Aberdeenshire has hundreds of well-trodden trails to explore. Head to Banchory and follow the mighty River Dee to Milton of Crathes and tackle the treetop challenge at Crathes Castle. Or just give the legs a workout with a stroll around the 44 acres of pretty Duthie Park.

Winter sports

Get your ski legs on. The Lecht is around an hour’s drive away; it has 12 lifts and you can hire your gear on the day. Or practise your moves at the city’s dry ski slope.

Excursions

There’s loads to see and do in Aberdeen. And tonnes more just a short jaunt away.

Explore Royal Deeside

Walk in the steps of royalty at the Queen’s Highland retreat, Balmoral. Explore vast Highland estates and secluded glens. Look up – golden eagles soar on the thermals, swooping suddenly to snare their prey. Take a highland safari to see nature at its best.

Take the road to Dundee

The city of Dundee is an hour away by train, and a world away in character. Rapidly becoming one of the UK’s most vibrant cities, it combines its industrial heritage with a true spirit of adventure. From the new V&A Museum of Design to its ties with the Beano magazine and Captain Scott’s Antarctic vessel RSS Discovery, there's lots to explore.

Get in the spirit

Aberdeenshire has the perfect combination of crisp, clean mountain water and toasted barley from the fertile farmlands – perfect ingredients for Scotland’s national drink. There are more than 14 famous distilleries in Aberdeenshire, each an equally excellent day out.