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.

Essential sights

Old Aberdeen

Winding cobbled lanes, pretty stone cottages and 500 years of history. Old Aberdeen combines ancient dwellings with a laidback student vibe, vintage book shops and artisan coffee. Compare medieval St Machar’s Cathedral and its magnificent Heraldic ceiling, with the swirling atrium of the 21st-century Sir Duncan Rice Library.

Aberdeen Beach

Frolicking on the beach in the UK’s most northerly city sounds crazy, but generations of Aberdonians swear by the benefits of a bracing walk along the sweep of golden sand. And who could resist a spin on Codona’s waltzers? The funfair’s big wheel is a must for its glorious views. Take a scarf.

Footdee

Pronounced ‘fittie’, the delightful old fishing community at the eastern edge of Aberdeen harbour has curious cottages, colourful outhouses and busy gardens packed with flowers. Look for the cheerful artwork that harks back to the village’s seafaring roots, and quirky chimney pots, designed to keep the seagulls at bay.

Dolphin-spotting

Bottlenose dolphins are regular visitors – a harbour cruise is the best way to get up close. Head to Donmouth Local Nature Reserve where the seals love to sunbathe, or further north to Newburgh Beach, where they chill out on the banks of the Ythan Estuary.

Tollbooth Museum

One of Aberdeen’s oldest buildings and a stone’s throw from the city’s Maritime Museum, Tollbooth Museum is worth a visit for the incredibly well preserved 17th-century gaol. Exhibitions feature local history and crime and punishment.