is Scotland's third largest city. It sparkles with silvery granite and
is bright with flowers. Not only in the city's parks but also in every
other green space, there are floral displays, which belie Aberdeen's northerly
position. City attractions include the Art Gallery, Maritime Museum
and Duthie Park & Winter Gardens. Old Aberdeen, dominated
by the crown spire of 16th century King's College, is also
worth exploring to view St Machar's Cathedral, founded in
1131 and overlooking the colourful displays of Seaton Park.
DEESIDE AND THE SPEY
is also the gateway to Royal Deeside, the lovely valley of the River Dee.
It was also given Royal approval by Queen Victoria, whose husband built
Balmoral Castle as a summer home in the mid 19th century.
The area's many attractions go beyond the outstanding scenery framed by
birches and Scots pines, to include the Royal Lochnagar Distillery
and the Braemar Highland Heritage Centre. In the lower stretches
of Deeside, between Banchory and Aberdeen, there are the fine castles
and gardens of Drum and Crathes. So many and
varied are the area's great, fortified houses and mansions that the sign-posted
Castle Trail directs the visitor to the very finest of
them. One such masterpiece is Fyvie Castle to the north,
a five-towered fortress steeped in five centuries of Scottish history.
also many attractions to the north of the River Dee. Tomintoul, the highest
village in the Highlands, is reached from Deeside by way of a scenic road
winding over the wild heather-clad hills of the Grampians and is on the
area's unique Malt Whisky Trail. This is a sign-posted route
featuring seven whisky distilleries, each with excellent interpretation
facilities for visitors. The trail also passes through the pleasant little
towns of Aberlour, with its attractive parkland walks and Craigellachie
where you can visit the Speyside Cooperage, demonstrating
craftsmanship in barrel making for the whisky industry.
the second largest town in the northeast. Its attractions include the
beautiful ruins of a cathedral and Elgin Museum,
which features mostly local heritage. Down on the coast at the mouth of
the River Spey, the Moray Firth Wildlife Centre offers dedicated
dolphin watching from the shore.
east, the Macduff Marine Aquarium continues the theme with
its displays of marine life. The deepest display tank in Britain can be
seen here as well as the unique kelp reef. Moments away, in Banff, Duff
House widens the cultural choice of the area, displaying important
works of art from the 17th - 19th century. Scotland's Lighthouse
Museum, adjacent to the lighthouse at Kinnaird Head in Fraserburgh,
returns to the maritime theme. Between the larger ports of Macduff, Fraserburgh
and Peterhead, there are some fine stretches of rugged cliff scenery,
rich in wildlife.
and skiing are just some of the activities that can be enjoyed in the
beautiful natural surroundings of this comparatively undiscovered part
of Scotland. Take the inland road by way of castles galore and the beautiful
birch and pinewoods by the edge of the Grampian mountains or follow the
Coastal Trail to make the most of the rugged and unspoiled