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Aberdeen Outdoor activities

Our most recommended Aberdeen Outdoor activities

From Aberdeen: Castles, Whisky and Food Tasting Tour

1. From Aberdeen: Castles, Whisky and Food Tasting Tour

Visit Aberdeen, known as "The Silver City by the Golden Sands". Enjoy a tour of Glen Garioch Distillery with a whiskey tasting, discover Aberdeen's ancient history on a visit to the East Aquhorthies Stone Circle, make a stop at Castle Fraser, and enjoy a sampling of local food. Visit the Glen Garioch Distillery for a taste of Scotland's whisky. Enjoy the option to participate in a guided tour to learn more about creating a perfect single malt whisky. Take part in a guided tasting of Highland whisky at the end of your tour. Next up, learn about Scotland's ancient history. Visit one of Aberdeen's largest stone circles at East Aquhorthies Stone Circle, a recumbent stone circle – a type of circle only found in north-east Scotland. Finally, explore Castle Fraser, one of the many charming castles that dots the area. Discover the walled garden, wind your way down spiral staircases, and explore the rooms of the Fraser family who inhabited the castle for hundreds of years.

Loch Ness and the Highlands 1-Day Tour from Aberdeen

2. Loch Ness and the Highlands 1-Day Tour from Aberdeen

Your tour departs Aberdeen and heads straight for the ‘Whisky Capital of the World’, Dufftown. Unfortunately it's too early in the morning to taste the whisky at the Glenfiddich Distillery, but you have time to take a photo of the iconic site and grab a coffee. Venture through the heart of Speyside and arrive at Loch Ness for an optional boat trip which is bookable via your guide on the day of the trip. Onboard the ship, you travel over the widest and deepest part of the loch and get a fine view of Urquhart Castle. Upon your return back on dry land, it’s time to travel deep into the past at Clava Cairns. This spot is situated in a gorgeous green grove and boasts well-preserved ancient burial tombs. They even say this spot was the inspiration for Outlander’s Craigh na Dun. Follow this up with a trip to Culloden Battlefield, the location of the final Jacobite Rising. It’s an eerie, flat, tragic landscape that can put the history of Scotland into perspective. The interactive exhibition center here really brings it all to life. Have a comfort break within the gorgeous Cairngorms National Park before you reach Aberdeen 8:00 PM.

From Aberdeen: Balmoral Castle and Royal Deeside Tour

3. From Aberdeen: Balmoral Castle and Royal Deeside Tour

Join our small group tour and experience the beauty of the royal deeside with it's connections to the monarchy and stunning scenery. The first stop on this tour will be at Balmoral where you will walk in the footsteps of generations of royals who have called this castle home. Balmoral castle was the late Queen Elizabeth's private country retreat and a beloved home. King Charles, who has his own private home on the estate, has a great affection for the castle and grounds. When visiting we highly recommend the audio tour where you will hear stories from people who lived and worked at Balmoral as they guide you around the estate. Scotland is iconic for its beautiful rugged mountains, hills of heather and cool clear rivers running through the countryside. On this short scenic drive we detour through the fringes of the highland moors and heath lands of the east Cairngorm national park. Ballater will be next on your tour and is is a picturesque Victorian village. This planned agricultural town dates back over two hundred years and is set around a central village green and the impressive Glenmuick Kirk which held its first service in 1800. A stroll around the town reveals an interesting range of many specialty shops and good selection of restaurants and cafes to enjoy some of the local food & drink. As we start to make our way back to Aberdeen we will visit the iconic Cambus O'May suspension bridge, a very popular outdoor destination for visitors walking in the area. A walk up to the Tomnaverie recumbent stone circle, is a breathtaking experience. A characteristic feature of this type of circle is a large stone on its side, flanked by two upright stones, usually on the south or south-west arc of the circle. The stone circle surrounds a burial cairn dating to about 4,500 years ago. Finally a visit the Queen's view just outside Tarland. The view gained its name from Queen Victoria who quickly fell in love with the view of the lower valley of the Dee which includes a view of the peak of Lochnagar. The view is particularly loved for its unspoiled beauty which has not changed greatly for hundreds of years making it even more remarkable, and a view which is iconic of Aberdeenshire.

From Aberdeen: Aberdeenshire Guided Day Trip & Castle Visit

4. From Aberdeen: Aberdeenshire Guided Day Trip & Castle Visit

The Falls of Feugh Just before joining the River Dee at Banchory, the Water of Feugh tumbles over a jumble of boulders and rock steps to form an attractive set of rapids with an old stone road bridge over the top. These are the Falls of Feugh, and they’re a popular beauty spot for locals and Aberdonians alike. The falls have a reputation for being a good spot to watch salmon running upstream. The Highlands in miniature Cairn o' Mount is the name of a prehistoric round cairn in Aberdeenshire. The winding road takes us through National Forestry Woodlands to heath land and heather covered hillsides. The route passes along Clachnaben and its granite Tor which is a popular walking trail to the top of the the Cairn which offers spectacular views over the Aberdeenshire countryside. We like to call it our highlands in miniature as it offers similar landscapes and hillside views closer to Aberdeen. Discover how whisky is made Sir Alexander Ramsay, the founder of the distillery, was one of the Scottish landowners who campaigned to license Scotch Whisky distillation and in 1824 the Fettercairn distillery was opened. Fettercairn distillery lies in the heart of rich farming land which has always attracted visitors. Fettercairn distillery has a unique still which creates their iconic character along with working closely with local barley producers and using their own spring water. This visit will include a tour of the distillery as well as a tasting of two of their whiskies in their visitor centre. Explore beautiful seaside Stonehaven Stonehaven, originally a fishing village but evolved into a Victorian resort town in the 1800s. You will be taken on a short guided walking tour of the harbour area and old Stonehaven before having some free time to explore the village and enjoy lunch. Be sure to stroll the boardwalk and Stonehaven beach to see the sculptures created by artisan Jim Malcolm, who for years was dubbed the Stonehaven Banksy for the sculptures he created anonymously. Spectacular Castle Ruins Dunottar is easily one of Aberdeenshire's most iconic castles. For over 1000 years Dunnottar Castle played a crucial role in Scottish history. The Castle has played host to some of the nation's historical figures including William Wallace and Mary Queen of Scots and for its role in saving the Honours of Scotland from Oliver Cromwell's army in the 1650s. The castle ruins are extensive with many rooms and buildings to explore. Envision what life would have been like as you walk through the settlement, part military barracks and part stately home for the Earls of Marischal. ***There are a lot of steps/stairs up to the castle, so this is not suitable for people who have mobility issues. There are some wonderful photo opportunities along the coastal path and a great walk over to the war memorial on Black Hill above Stonehaven.

Dunnottar Castle and Royal Deeside 1-Day Tour from Aberdeen

5. Dunnottar Castle and Royal Deeside 1-Day Tour from Aberdeen

Travel in style in a Mercedes luxury 16-seat mini-coach from Aberdeen to one of Scotland’s archetypal structures, Dunnottar Castle. Witness the stunning fortress set on a cliff by the sea. It’s seen more battles than you’ve had cups of tea and is an essential Scottish destination. Your next stop is the Falls of Feugh. These cascading falls are mesmerizing; and if you’re lucky, you may even spot a salmon jumping up the river. It’s now time for lunch in Braemar, a lovely little village in the Cairngorms National Park with royal connections and plenty of local delicacies to try. After your delicious lunch, you'll then head to the Muir of Dinnet Nature Reserve and get the opportunity to go for a stroll. Keep your eyes peeled for otters, birds, and adders on this quintessential woodland walk. You leave the Cairngorms National Park and arrive in Aberdeen in the early evening.

Speyside Whisky Trail 1-Day Tour from Aberdeen

6. Speyside Whisky Trail 1-Day Tour from Aberdeen

Leaving Aberdeen in the morning you’ll arrive first in Royal Deeside, one of the favored holiday locations of the British royal family. At the Cambus O’May forest, walk in the woods and reenergize in the pristine environment that makes this area such a draw for visitors. Invigorated by the walk, head deeper into the national park as you travel past Cockbridge and Tomintoul. This legendary stretch of road regularly sees the first of the snowy winter weather and crosses the mountain pass known locally as the Lecht. You’ll have plenty of time for photo opportunities on this unforgettable route. Then, delve into the home of whisky in the Speyside region. Stop at the Speyside Cooperage where you’ll get to know the history of Scotland’s oak casks. Next, head to one of the Speyside towns for lunch before visiting Cardhu distillery. This is the first distillery pioneered by a woman, Helen Cumming. Today, Cardhu is the most important whisky in Johnnie Walker Black Label. You leave Cardhu full of appreciation for whisky and arrive in Aberdeen in the early evening. It’s now up to you whether you continue the whisky tasting into the night.

Other Sightseeing Options in Aberdeen

Want to discover all there is to do in Aberdeen? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Aberdeen

The route we took the day of the trip was altered due to flooding but this didn’t affect the enjoyability of the trip. Beautiful scenery, historical locations, and unique interesting facts kept me engaged the entire time!

I had a personalised experience which I totally loved. The tour guide was very helpful and answered my questions about the history of the places we visited. The landscape is amazing and the experience is worth it.

Fantastic experience! Highly recommended. Docker, the guide, fabulous. He made many stops so we could take photos and he was very aware of the group. I recommend it without a doubt.

It was wonderful! Our guide was very knowledgeable and welcoming to the trip. Everything was well planned and on time. Recommend it to all!

Wonderful guide as Alice gave us a excellent commentary on d Aberdeen shire n really informative tour, thank you