Tourist Information in Aberdeenshire
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Aberdeen City Town Information

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At first glance this is a thoroughly grey city. Look beneath the surface, though, and it is uniquely fascinating. Known as the ‘Granite City’ thanks to the grey stone used in many buildings, it has terraced gardens, flower-decked parks – it’s famous for its displays of roses – and a skyline dotted with sky-touching spires, the most notable of which is the 195ft tower of St Nicholas Church. The city is famous for golf and is a popular seaside resort with two miles of golden beaches.

Typical granite houses in Belvidere St - Photo © Richard Slessor
Typical granite houses in Belvidere St
Photo: Richard Slessor CCL

Aberdeen boat club on the Dee Estuary - Photo © Richard Slessor
Aberdeen boat club on the Dee Estuary
Photo: Richard Slessor CCL

Lying at the mouth of the salmon rivers Don and Dee, it has an ‘old’ part containing fine architecture and the twin-spired 15th century cathedral of St Machar. Founded by the saint in 580AD, Aberdeen was called Devana by the Romans and was granted a royal charter in 1179 by King William the Lion. Within 200 years it was a prosperous port dealing in cargoes such as fish, wool and timber.

Its great castle was destroyed in 1308 when supporters of Robert the Bruce evicted a garrison of English troops. The city itself was burned down by Edward lll, resulting in a ‘new Aberdeen’ with a thriving harbour.

Aberdeen Harbour at sunset - Photo © Richard Slessor
Aberdeen Harbour at sunset - Photo: Richard Slessor CCL

Scotland’s third largest city still has a thriving fishing industry and acts as a base for the exploration of North Sea oil fields. Its Harbour Board claims to be the oldest business in Britain while its university is the fifth oldest.

Aberdeen Beach - Photo © Richard Slessor
Aberdeen Beach - Photo: Richard Slessor CCL

Azalea garden at Hazlehead park - Photo © Richard Slessor
Azalea garden at Hazlehead park
Photo: Richard Slessor CCL

The ornate 19th century Marischal College is possibly the largest granite building in the world and here visitors will find curios aplenty at the anthropological museum. The Gordon Highlanders Museum also has an array of interesting memorabilia.

The Provost Skene’s House houses a fine museum while one of the oldest houses in Aberdeen is the 16th century Provost Ross’s House. The Old Tolbooth - scene of public executions - still displays the ‘Aberdeen Maiden’, forerunner of the guillotine.