Archaeolink Prehistory Park (Aberdeenshire)
Archeolink takes you back ten thousand years and you travel from the Mesolithic era to Roman times through the use of with indoor and outdoor exhibitions.
This is a living historical experience with hands on activities, workshops and guided tours everyday. Archaeolink is a multi award winning living history park and visitor attraction, with a central focus on education, participation and fun. Situated in the beautiful countryside of Aberdeenshire in the shadow of the dramatic Bennachie mountain range, the park occupies a central location in the diverse archaeological landscape of North East Scotland.
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In this 'you may also like' section we attempt to answer what else can I do? Here you have a list by order of being the closest some more beaches, things to see and do, places to eat and upcoming events.
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- Glen Garioch Distillery is renown for its light clean malt that has spice and peat to give it body. The area the distillery stands in is known as ‘The granary’ as it’s a fertile area in the valley of the Garioch and is famous for producing the best barley in all of Scotland. The distillery is on the edge of Oldmeldrum and has been operating since 1794. Guided tours are on the hour from Monday to Friday and include a small tasting too!Gift shop Car Parking Toilets Wheelchair access
- Castle Fraser was built in 1575 and is one of the grandest of the Scottish baronial tower houses. The present castle contains an evocative Great Hall, fine furniture and many Fraser family portraits. There are fantastic views of Bennachie from the top of the tower and you can walk through the beautiful gardens including the walled garden and woodland. The castle has its own secrets like the Laird’s Lug, a spy hole, a wooden leg and hidden trapdoors in the floor to secret staircases! Homemade treats and lunches are baked in the traditional Victorian kitchen and there is a shop for souvenirs and dogs are welcome in the grounds. The children’s Woodland Secrets play area is an enchanting wooded area with a tepee, bamboo snake walk, giant xylophone and lots of other areas for children to hide and climb. The whole children’s area is built from natural materials and is therefore very environmentally friendly. There is access to this area by wheelchairs and pushchairs. The scented walled garden is accessible by wheelchairs or pushchairs. Printed room guides are available. The ground floor of the castle is accessible by wheelchairs and pushchairs, and although the rest of the castle is not accessible there is a detailed photo album in the reception area where visitors can look at the upper-floor rooms in more detail. There are disabled toilets in the courtyard near the shop and tearoom, which are accessible for both pushchairs and wheelchairs. Disabled parking is available near the front of the castle. The castle is open daily all year round.
- Fyvie Castle was built in the 13th Century and is about a mile from the village of Fyvie in among the most beautiful countryside in the lowlands of Aberdeenshire. Historically, this castle is really interesting as it stands in Fyvie parish and has a great spot on the banks of the river Ythan. The atmosphere here is one of mystery as the woods cast their leafy spells and the waters of the lake add a brooding mystique to the area. Once a royal stronghold, part of a chain of fortresses, this castle shows you treasures of structure, staircases, panelling, portraits, arms, armour, tapestries and the opulence of the time in the interiors. There is a well laid walled garden and extensive grounds with an ice house, racquets court, bird hide and of course the loch! The Castle is a National Trust for Scotland property and is open for the public from April to October.
- Craigievar Castle is just South of Alford in Aberdeenshire. This is a fairy tale castle seven-stories high in the Scottish Baronial style. Here are the fancy turrets and gargoyles on pink walls, crafted plaster work ceilings and secret staircases of your dreams! The Great Tower stands just as it was when completed by Master William Forbes Danzig Willie in 1626. The simplicity of its lower towers contrasts perfectly with the turrets, the cupolas and corbelling that embellish the roof-line. Within its walls the collection includes an excellent show of family portraits. There is also original Jacobean woodwork and some beautiful furniture, including the ‘Craigievar table’. This perfect Scottish castle remains as unspoiled as it was when lived in by the Forbes-Sempill family. Surrounding the castle are extensive parkland grounds with two waymarked walks. There is also a small Victorian kitchen garden and a Scottish glen garden. The parkland around the castle is beautiful with majestic specimen trees and views that stretch for miles over the countryside right up to the Grampian Mountains. The castle is normally open to tourists during the summer months. The castle has holiday accommodation available at the Steading and Kennels cottages from April to the end of October. The castle is open throughout the Summer in the UK.
- Kirkhill Forest is a great place to get out into the fresh air and walk, cycle, explore or just breathe! This is a working forest with waymarked circular walks, a permanent orienteering course and longer multi user trails. There are great views to the northeast from the summit of Tyrebagger Hill, and a whole network of forest roads and tracks for you to explore.The main entrance is less than 5 km from the outskirts of Aberdeen – a real ‘green lung’ for the city. This wood is very popular with walkers, horse riders and especially with cyclists.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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