Despite its location on Scotland’s east coast, Aberdeen is easily accessible, with the international airport situated about 11km from the city centre. Transfers into the city are reasonably easy – take an inexpensive bus all the way or a cab for about £10. Trains and coaches are also available from London to Aberdeen although, given the duration of the journey – seven or 10 hours respectively – a cheap plane ticket with BA, BMI, RyanAir or easyJet is a more sensible option.
Aberdeen caters for all tastes and budgets when it comes to holiday accommodation and, due to the relatively small size of the city, all are within walking distance of the town centre and only a short drive away from its rural surroundings. There are numerous B&Bs, youth hostels and self-catering apartments dotted around the city and, for those looking for a slightly more luxurious break, there are several four- and five-star hotels. See www. visitscotland.com.
EATING AND DRINKING
If you’re passionate about food and drink, Aberdeen cuisine can satisfy your needs. Aberdeen Angus, Speyside salmon, Walkers shortbread and Baxter’s soups and jams are all produced locally. And if you’re after a local tipple, the prestigious whisky distilleries of Glenfiddich, The Glenlivet, Macallan and Glenfarclas are all within stumbling distance. Just remember to pack your aspirin.
SOAKING IT ALL UP
When it comes to golf, you’re literally spoilt for choice: links courses, clifftop courses, woodland courses, Britain’s highest course, a riverside course or a championship course, just to name a few. In fact, there are more than 70 golf courses in and around Aberdeen. For the most breathtaking views, try out the Stonehaven course, perched on the cliffs along some of Scotland’s most stunning coastline.
Of the 350 castles in the area, it’s Dunnottar, located only a few miles south of Aberdeen along the coast, which stands out above the others. Invaded by William Wallace and used by Mel Gibson in his version of Hamlet, this is a castle brimming with historic folklore. Its awe-inspiring home on the North Atlantic’s doorstep is one of those locations that has to be seen to be believed.
Scotland’s Malt Whisky Trail
The world’s only malt whisky trail, in the Speyside region, is a short drive from Aberdeen and provides a brilliant excuse not only to see some of the country’s most beautiful scenery, but to get plastered while doing it. We’re not talking budget grog here either, folks, but the crème de la crème of Scottish Whiskies.