Scotland - where to go? Near to Aberdeen(11 Posts)
I'd like to take a short trip to Scotland which needs to include a day trip to Aberdeen, and wondering where to stay - only ever been to Edinburgh before, and there are so many different regions to consider, I have no clue where to begin! So I'm looking for some recommendations.
Will be going mid-April, driving up from Yorkshire, 2 adults 3 kids aged 5-8. Thinking of staying in a cottage somewhere for approx 3 nights which would include the day to Aberdeen.
I did a wonderful trip to Scotland which involved stopping in Aberdeen. I'm not really a fan of Aberdeen (only went there to visit someone and wouldn't go back) but loved the rest of Scotland!
Dunnottar Castle and Stonehaven (just south of Aberdeen) are a great day trip - you can visit the castle and then go to Stonehaven for lunch and/or ice cream (and there's a beach if the weather is good).
You could also go to the Cairngorms which are beautiful and have lots of outdoor activities.
Then there's Inverness which is a great city and a good base for visiting Loch Ness - the children might enjoy going to the visitor centre and learning about the legend of Nessie?
The only problem is that 3 nights definitely won't be enough
PS There are lots of other great places to visit but they're further away so I've focused on places near Aberdeen.
Thank you so much for the ideas - I'll be visiting family there but only for a day, and it's such a long journey I thought it would be nice to extend the trip to visit some other nearby places. I had forgotten about the Loch Ness legend, the kids might love that! Is it not a bit far from Aberdeen, though?
Googling the other places you've mentioned now
How about Braemar or Ballater? Bother in the nice Royal Deeside area and less than an hour to Aberdeen.
Stonehaven is great, and the local hotels and restaurants are struggling up there after the oil price drop so will be very glad of your custom (always very friendly anyway).
Suggest you stay in Stonehaven (Try The Belvedere hotel which is very family friendly or ask them for recommendations for a house/ cottage) and drive into Aberdeen from there (20mins and along by the sea for most of it). You can then use it as a base to drive into the highlands from there via the Slug Rd (The old cattle drovers way) towards Banchory and Balmoral as well as a fantastic walk around Loch Muich (pron. "Lock Mick") if it's a nice day which will give you a proper taste of the mountains while staying on the flat... Keep your eyes peeled for deer, eagles, red squirrels. Stop offon your way in/ out at that time of year at the Falls of Feuch to see Salmon Leaping/ smacking into rocks, it's quite the spectacle.
If that's your thing being outdoors then you can also head south from Stonehaven to Glen Esk which is a dead end road with a ruined castle and the chance to see Scottish Wild (furious?) cats... South of Stonehaven towards Montrose is the fantastic but little known St. Cyrus beach.
Stonehaven has loads of places to eat and some of the (officially) best Fish and Chips in the UK - I'm personally loyal to 'The Carron' but you won't be disappointed at any of them - unfortunately I don't think the heated open air swimming pool will be open for the summer by then but you can't have everything... Go and have a pint sat outside The Marine Hotel and look out to sea... then maybe have another at The Ship and do the same... Then have a load more at the Belvedere... All three do good food You could also have dinner at the Tollbooth (Seafood £££) or the Carron (Scottish ££)...
I could go on... in fact I might...
Disclaimer: I don't work for the Scottish Tourist Board, I'm not Mayor of Stonehaven but as you can possibly tell, I'm missing the place :-)
Oh no, too many options now! I might actually go for your itinerary Windhover , Stonehaven sounds amazing.
Please forgive my ignorance - is Cairngorms National Park the Highlands, or just a part of it? Will consider Braemer and Ballater too as potential places to stay, I really like the idea of being right in the middle of it all.
Ten minutes outside of stonehaven you suddenly are in the middle of it.. Braemar and Ballater nice but you can go through on the way to Balmoral in a day.
Just wanted to update and say thanks for all the suggestions - I've booked a cottage very close to Stonehaven, which looks ideal! I'm really grateful to you all as I'd never heard of Stonehaven before, or any of the surrounding places to visit, so many thanks for enlightening me
I'm sure you could find a distillery to go round if that's your thing!
Crathes Castle is lovely.
Stonehaven is a great base and I'm sure you'll have a fab time!
Just a wee note of caution that the roadworks for the Aberdeen bypass are in full flow just now, with some contraflow arrangements etc - so you might just want to leave yourselves a little extra time if you've to be in a certain place at a certain time 😊
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