Find the nearest See & Do in Aberdeenshire
Heading to Aberdeenshire and looking for something to do or a place to visit nearby. Coast Radar is not just a list of beaches but we bring you the whole Aberdeenshire coast including castles, lighthouses, piers, museums, beautiful gardens, seaside towns, National Trust and other heritage properties.
When on an information page you can also use our tools to search for nearby Aberdeenshire seaside towns, and the surrounding coast for the best beaches and places to stay and eat.
Finding the best things to see and do on a Aberdeenshire day out with your family or friends is easy – simply explore the links below, to find the closest hit the jump to my location compass or use the search bar to plan where your next Aberdeenshire activity could be.
- Aberdeen Art Gallery is one of Aberdeen’s most popular tourist attractions. An attractive example of late 19th century architecture, it houses one of the finest art collections in Britain with paintings, sculpture and graphics from the 15th century to the present day. Gallery Shop, Gallery Cafe, Creche Services and Wi-Fi at Aberdeen Art Gallery. Aberdeen Art Gallery has disabled access. Pushchairs are available for small children. Guide dogs are admitted.
- Grampian Transport Museum is about 25 miles from Aberdeen in the village of Alford. Here, you’ll find a vast range of transport exhibits, from the 1800’s first automobiles to some of the latest dream machines unrivalled for speed. The museum is very hands on and you’re allowed to climb aboard the cars and carriages and really feel like you’re in the drivers seat! You’ll the bus and railway collections and Junior Driving School is soon to open for 5 – 11 year olds! Imagine having your own early driving lesson. The exhibits are changed annually and updated so that you can return and not feel like you’ve seen it all already. It’s perfect for kids as it’s very interactive – especially the boys in the family! There’s a great tea room if they all get hungry and the museum offers group discounts.
- Crathes Castle is a fairytale castle reminiscent of Rapunzel and many a handsome prince! Well positioning in the Aberdeenshire countryside the 16th Century castle is surrounded by woodland to the east of Banchory. It’s said that Crathes Castle has good connections to King Robert the Bruce and it will certainly give you happy memories as you walk around it’s stunning grounds and explore the towers, turrets and hear the stories of its resident ghosts. King Robert the Bruce granted the lands of Leys to the Burnett family in 1323: the ancient Horn of Leys, which can be seen today in the Great Hall, marks his gift.This is an excellent example of architecture from the time and still has originally painted ceilings and portraits of the families who have lived there. There are many trails through the estate for you to explore one of which is wheelchair friendly taking you on a lovely trail through the woods and past the mill pond. There is a visitors centre, an exhibition and a tea shop on the estate and parking is suitable for all. Open all year round but check the website for times.
- Duthie Park is 44 acres (180,000 m2) located in Aberdeen by the banks of the River Dee. The park was given to the council in 1881 by Lady Elizabeth Duthie of Ruthrieston, in memory of her uncle and of her brother. The park is noted for the spectacular David Welch winter gardens with tropical and arid houses which contain the second largest collections of bromeliads and of giant cacti respectively in Great Britain (second to the Eden Project in Cornwall, England). Originally opened in 1899, the greenhouses had to be demolished and rebuilt after suffering storm damage in 1969.
- Daviot is home to a superb Neolithic stone circle. There are ten stones in the circle with one lying flat. The circle has been used as a burial ground and to the south of the main circle is a smaller circle that was excavated in the 1930’s that also seems to have been used as a cremation cemetary in about 1500 BC. This circle is about 20m in circumference and the stones vary in size from about 20 tonnes down. The flat stone looks like two stones but apparently this is one stone that has been split due to freezing and thawing! It’s one of Scotlands many mysteries and the country is full of stone circles with around 99 of them having been identified in the area and most having been built over 4000 years ago as lunar calenders to show the seasons passing. The village of Daviot is also the birthplace of theologian William Robinson Clark and also home to the House of Daviot, an explosive facility and the first GM crop field in Scotland! (There is also a good pub – The Smiddy Bar)
- Cathedral of St Marchar was named after a disciple of St Columba and the initial site was set up in around 580AD. In the 1130’s it was named a Cathedral and underwent extensive restoration in the 13th Century under Bishop Cheyne and saw Sir William Wallace hung, drawn and quartered. His dismembered body was sent to different parts of Scotland but some say that his left arm was interred within the walls of St. Machar’s. After the war of independence construction continued under Bishop Alexander Kinnimund (1355-80) and Bishop William Elphinstone (1431-1514). The nave and towers on the west – which form the modern church were only one part. To the east of the nave, there was a crossing which had one large central tower. There was also a choir to its east and transepts pointing north and south. In 1520 a ceiling of panelled oak bearing 48 heraldic shields was commissioned by Bishop Gavin Dunbar (1518-1532). It was finally complete in 1530.
- Blairs Museum was originally within Blairs College where it stayed for 157 years. Here, articles that pertain to Scotland’s Catholic heritage are stored and include renown works of art – textiles, paintings, silver and memorabilia – donated over the years by priests, friends, bishops and Scots Colleges. It is a rara and wellworth seeing collection of religious heritage. Today, Blairs Museum gives visitors a unique insight into Scotland’s Catholic heritage, providing an enjoyable, memorable, and inspiring experience for all. Highlights include:Paintings Sacred Silver and Gold Church Textiles
- Dunnottar Castle is that unforgettable experience of Scotland and brings to life the movie ‘Brave’. This is the dramatic and evocative ruin of a fortress set on a cliff top on its own peninsula in Scotland! Walk around the extensive buildings and explore the keep through the barracks, lodgings, stables and storehouses to the less-ruinous chapel and drawing room. Here you’ll discover the importance of Dunnottar, an impregnable Castle that holds many rich secrets of Scotland’s colourful past. William Wallace, Mary Queen of Scots, the Marquis of Montrose and the future King Charles II, all graced the Castle with their presence. Most famously though, it was at Dunnottar Castle that a small garrison held out against the might of Cromwell’s army for eight months and saved the Scottish Crown Jewels, the ‘Honours of Scotland’, from destruction. Crown, sceptre and sword now take pride of place in Edinburgh Castle. A darker chapter in the history of Dunnottar is that of the ‘Whig’s Vault’. The gruesome story of the imprisonment in 1685 of a group of Covenanters who refused to acknowledge the King’s supremacy in spiritual matters. The Castle was the home of the Earls Marischal once one of the most powerful families in the land. The last Earl was convicted of treason for his part in the Jacobite rising of 1715, and as a result of his estates, including Dunnottar, were seized by the government. The buildings were thereafter much neglected until 1925 when the 1st Viscountess Cowdray embarked on a systematic repair of the Castle. The Castle was officially made open to visitors thereafter.