Tourist Information & Hotels in Aberdeen, Grampian & Royal Deeside
Scotland's North East corner offers the visitor a tremendous variety of things to see and do. Aberdeen has one of Scotlands most enchanting skylines, with its tall spires, harbour and granite buildings. If you choose to stay in Aberdeen, then you will have a fantastic range of 1st class shops, vibrant nightlife combined with a thriving cultural calendar. Aberdeen is Scotland's 3rd largest city, after Edinburgh and Glasgow. In the city there is loads to do for all the family: Storybook Glen, Duthie Park Winter gardens, Gordon Highlanders Museum and Codona's Beach Amusement Park.
Surrounding Aberdeen you'll be spoilt for choice. The Whisky Trail is less than one hour away by car, where you can take a guided tour of one of the 7 malt whisky distilleries - Glenlivet, Glenfiddich , Cardhu and Glenfarclas being the most popular ones. The Whisky trail stretches approximately 40 miles from Grantown on Spey to Elgin.
The Castle Trail takes in 13 of Scotland's finest castles such as Crathes Castle, Craigievar Castle and Castle Fraser. To the north of Aberdeen, there is a magical coastal drive visiting many small and quaint villages and small towns, such as Banff, Portsoy and Pennan - with its famous telephone box from the highly acclaimed film "Local Hero". This is an area where there are many sign posted coastal & beach walks. Long distance footpaths and cross country routes, to sand dunes and cliff top trails. Walking in the Grampians, Royal Deeside and Moray Coast is easily combined with a visit to many castles, historic gardens and whisky distilleries. It is simply great walking country as there are many reasons to stop off along the way!
For the Garden lover, the Grampian area is well tended for. The temperate climate allows many exotic plants to thrive in the Grampian area. The main gardens in the Grampians are Crathes Castle, Drum Castle, Hazlehead Park, Leith hall, Kildrummy or Ballindalloch Castle . The 2 most popular gardens to visit are Pitmedden with its 17th century formal garden and the Biblical Garden in Cooper Park, Elgin.
South West of Abeerdeen along the fertile plains of the River Dee is the area of Royal Deeside. Made famous, of course, by Balmoral Castle, the Royal residence, the gardens and part of the castle is open to visitors. The Royal Family has been regularly visiting Royal Deeside since Queen Victoria's reign, and the development of Balmoral Castle by the Royal Family has over the last 150 years had a profound affect on the area. Banchory, Aboyne, Ballater, and Braemar have many Victorian buildings. The area inspired the recent film "Mrs Brown".
The area of Royal Deeside is relatively small, from Banchory near Aberdeen to Glenshee 50 miles further south. The Western end lies within the Cairngorm National Park a great walking area, with Ben MacDui being the 2nd highest UK peak after Ben Nevis in Fort William.
In the wintertime, the area is lively with skiers at Glenshee, where you can stay at the Angus Hotel or the Lecht, near Tomintoul and the Gordon and Richmond hotels.
If you choose to stay in Royal Deeside (see hotels), then the Whisky Trail, Castle Trail, Cairngorms, and Grampian Gardens are all within easy driving distance. Within Royal Deeside, a visit to Braemar is worthwhile, especially during the world famous Braemar Gathering and Highland Games time, and also the Balmoral Castle and Crathie Church.
In Aberdeen & the Grampians you can choose from 25 link courses, like the traditional Royal Aberdeen (6th oldest golf course in the world), Cruden Bay, Murcar and Moray Old. There are some amazing scenic courses at Cullen, Stonehaven, Royal Tarlair, Banff and Fraserburgh.
In Royal Deeside, not all golf courses are 18 holes. Several courses date back to the 19th century, and all courses, apart from Balmoral, which is by invitation only, welcome visitors. The most prestigious golf courses in Royal Deeside are Braemar - the highest 18 hole golf course in the UK, Ballater, Aboyne and Banchory. (See golf hotels).