Scotland has a number of well-guarded secrets, and some that are doubtless still to be discovered.
Take Aberdeen, for instance. This is a town that has been around for centuries, and yet there are still hidden gems that surprise even frequent visitors.
Now, of course, these aren’t undiscovered secrets that are going to be winning you a Nobel prize. They’re very much on the map, though many of them are hidden within the wraps of Aberdeen and pass many tourists by unnoticed. But, with a little help from us, you can make sure your visit to Aberdeen is filled with wonderful little moments of discovery.
Here are a few of the hidden gems we think you should check out.
What? Dracula? I thought he only hung about in Transylvania? Well, it appears Dracula can be found in many mysterious places – Aberdeen included. If you were to hire a motorhome and take it south through Aberdeenshire – overlooking the North Sea – you’ll come across Slain Castle. This was the inspiration for Bram Stoker while he was writing the book, which means the closest thing we have to that fantastical stronghold is the very castle that resides in Aberdeenshire. Just keep an eye out for a vampire crawling out one of the windows. And if you do, run.
Books And Beans
Talking of books, Aberdeen is one of the most creative places in Scotland. This is reflected in the many book shops that line its cobbled streets, with one of the best being Books And Beans, which sits quietly on 22 Belmont Street. With free Wi-Fi, delicious lunches, coffees and – of course – books, this is a perfect spot to kick up your feet and relax with a brand new story.
Have you ever thought about getting up close to a bear or a tiger? No? Well, we can’t say we blame you for that.
At the Aberdeen zoology museum, however, you can experience these animals safely behind glass, some of which are over two hundred years old. Sure, they might be skeletons, but this is a great educational space to learn more about these animals, their anatomy, their history, and the ways in which they have survived for thousands of years.
You don’t have to travel to distant shores to see dolphins swimming free and happy in the wild. In fact, you don’t need to look any further than Aberdeen harbour.
That’s right – the harbour and the Torry Battery are the perfect places to do a spot of dolphin spotting in Aberdeenshire. From here you might see anything from Risso’s dolphins to bottlenose dolphins, white beaked dolphins, and many even a minke whale or too. The perfect spot for the wildlife enthusiast.
While you’re near the beach, you might as well pop down to Aunty Betty’s seaside ice cream shop. This is a great little spot for treats – including some amazing ice cream cakes – and each cone is often topped with a few sweets too!
Brig O Balgownie
But what about the drive? You are in a motorhome after all. Well, Scotland has plenty of scenic spots to take the motorhome and experience the scent of history as you travel. One of them that didn’t make it onto our top 5 views in Scotland, however, is Brig O Balgownie, a mediaeval crossing that dates all the way back to the 13th century. Perhaps the oldest bridge in Scotland, this is a beautiful piece of architecture which stands tall above the Black Neuk, a still pond which has been written about by Scottish poets and writers.
Ever fancied putting your cooking skills to the test? Well, if you travel to Aberdeen, you can. The famous TV chef, Nick Nairn, runs a cookery school right in the heart of the city, helping wannabe chefs to learn all about the wonders of cooking. This might involve shucking scallops, roasting lambs or simply dressing salads. Start big or small, it doesn’t matter. What matters is… you get to taste it all at the end of the session!
The Secrets Continue…
Well, there you have it. Five hidden gems from the beautiful city of Aberdeen. But there are many more. If you decide to park up your motorhome, you’ll find wonders such as Aberdeen’s summery beach, ancient cathedral, Dracula-themed church or even the Japanese themed Johnston Gardens. Wherever you find yourself, we’re sure it will become a fond memory of your time in this beautiful country.