Find the nearest See & Do in Aberdeen
Heading to Aberdeen 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 Aberdeen 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 Aberdeen 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 Aberdeen 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 Aberdeen activity could be.
- 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.
- Drum Castle is one of the oldest in Scotland and has enjoyed housing 24 generations of the Irvine family for over 6 centuries! It was given to the National Trust of Scotland in 1975 by the last Laird of Drum. Just 8 miles from Aberdeen the castle overlooks the River Dee and has 3 different architectural styles – medieval, Jacobean and Victorian! The medieval tower was built way back in teh 13th Century with the Jacobean mansion added in 1619 and the Victorian part in 1872. Inside are memories from the past including portraits, furniture and vaulted ceilings decorated with shields in the great hall. There are huge grounds attached to the castle and beautiful gardens and in the 1930’s a golf course was added and a stunning Pond Garden was built by the Trust. The Garden of Historic Roses was opened by the trust in 1991 to mark the castle’s Diamond Jubilee. Divided into four quadrants, each has a design from one of the last four centuries and roses from that period. Drum Castle is open for tours and available for weddings and corporate hire.
- 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.
- Codona’s Amusement Park was established by the Codona Family in 1969 and is currently still managed by the family. It is situated adjacent to the Aberdeen Beach and Queens Links on the coast of the North Sea. Facilities include an outdoor amusement park, Sunset Boulevard (indoor complex), indoor and outdoor adventure golf and food/drink outlets.
- Aberdeen Lifeboat Station is one of the oldest in Scotland with the first being built on the North Pier in 1802. The crews here have been saving lives for over 200 years whether in the ocean or during floods inland. They have received 26 awards for gallantry! Aberdeen is an Observe station and has no access to the public as it is within the secure industrial harbour area. Visit by appointment only.
- 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.
- Oldmeldrum is an old town about five miles north-east of Inverurie and some 17 miles north-west of Aberdeen on the main road to Banff. Some of the History of the Battle of Barra has lingered here with the army of John Comyn being housed here in 1307. For tourists, the history of the town is in its buildings like the Morris Hotel built in 1673 and the old market square and other grey stone buildings that can look quite brooding in colder weather! The Olde Worlde shops here are great to browse if you’re tired of the countryside and all that fresh air and the square is lovely in the Summer months with freshly planted beds and plenty of places to sip coffee and watch the world go by. The streets forming much of the rest of Oldmeldrum twist their way narrowly away from the central square, clearly revealing that the town’s growth was organic rather than planned. On the north side of the town is Glen Garioch Distillery. Built in the same grey stone as much of the rest of Oldmeldrum, this comes complete with a four storey malt barn, two pagodas, a still house that lies end-on to the passing street and a visitor centre. The distillery, pronounced “Glen Geery” can trace its origins back to 1797. Just to the north of the town is Meldrum House, now a hotel and golf club. The Meldrum family probably built a castle here in about 1236. It was converted over time into a larger castle and then a mansion. Meldrum House’s most longstanding resident is said to be the ghost of a lady in green, who may or may not be the same ghost as the lady in white who appears during thunderstorms and on one occasion kissed a surprised guest. But why the name of Meldrum should have turned into Oldmeldrum remains unclear. In recent years Oldmeldrum has been bypassed by a road which leads around the west side of the town from the B9170 Inverurie Road in the south-west to the A947 Banff road to the north of the town.