Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

July 2016: Aberdeen & Stonehaven

Aberdeen, often referred to as The Granite City, is situated in the northeast of Scotland and is the country's third-largest city, after Glasgow and Edinburgh. The city that stands 'twixt the Don and the Dee (to quote from a 1970s song) has a substantial rural hinterland containing some of the richest agricultural land in Scotland, while fishing has traditionally also been an important industry both for Aberdeen itself and for numerous nearby coastal towns. Aberdeen received an enormous economic boost in the 1970s following the discovery of North Sea oil, and even came to be known as the oil capital of Europe; however the recent downturn in the local oil industry has been mirrored by a corresponding decline in the city's economy. Even so, Aberdeen Airport currently remains the world's busiest heliport, thanks to the North Sea oil industry.

Perhaps in a bid to counter the rather grey image presented by its profusion of granite buildings, Aberdeen has worked hard to be a regular prizewinner for its floral displays, in competitions both within Scotland and covering Britain as a whole. Local people from the city and the wider rural area - especially those in older age groups - have a distinctive accent and can often be heard conversing with each other in the local Doric dialect, a version of Lowland Scots.

City Centre

My visit took place on a predominantly overcast Sunday, which did absolutely nothing to provide a contrast with the grey appearance of all those granite buildings.


It's easy to forget that Aberdeen is also a seaside resort, albeit sometimes a particularly bracing one! I've included a few views for completeness.


Stonehaven & Dunnottar Castle

The following day was a much brighter and altogether more summery affair. The nearby town of Stonehaven provided another convenient sightseeing objective for me, prior to embarking on the journey home. I parked at the harbour and had a look around there, then walked the coastal path to Dunnottar Castle and back.


The small community of Footdee stands at the mouth of the River Dee. It is a self-contained, 19th-century, planned fishing village. The partially traffic-free layout consists of rows of period cottages, interconnected by footpaths as well as a few traditional streets. You'll just have to believe me when I say that the local pronunciation of the name is 'Fittie'.

Base: Mercure Ardoe House, Blairs