Aberdeen is Scotland’s third largest City, the powerhouse of the North East, and is nicknamed the ‘Granite City’ due to its proliferation of granite buildings. It nestles 120 miles north east of Edinburgh, in the middle of Scotland’s northeast coast. It sits on the banks of two rivers, the Dee and the Don, and is based around a working harbour that has been central to the life and prosperity of Aberdeen since Roman times. Stunning countryside is within easy reach of the City.
Originally focused around sea trade and fishing, the industry focus shifted in the last quarter of the 20th century, following the discovery of oil in the North Sea, which caused a financial boom to the City, peaking in the 1970s. It is still the UK’s premier City for the oil industry and the City’s oil industry gateway is fast-becoming a tourist attraction in its own right. Aberdeen is a fairly small City – with a 2014 population of just shy of 200,000 for the City itself, with a further 30,000 calling the local authority area home.
For shoppers, Aberdeen has it covered, with some of the biggest designer and high street names based there. There are large shopping centres and unique independent retailers. There is also a huge range of craft and vintage markets, outdoor farmers’ markets and international food markets.
Aberdeen is home to Aberdeen Football Club, and there are 52 golf courses within easy reach of the City. Aberdeen Sports Village hosts first class sporting facilities including indoor football and hockey pitches, a fully equipped gym, as well as an extreme sports facility, Transition Extreme.
There are lots of family-friendly attractions in and around Aberdeen to suit all ages. From picnics on the beach to outdoor obstacle courses to fun and educational museums that cover Aberdeen’s 8,000-year history, there is something for everyone. A popular leisure location is Glen Tanar Natural Nature Reserve, which sits in a glen at the heart of Royal Deeside, and boasts ancient trees, red squirrels, and a good number of wild salmon.