Located in the northeast corner of Scotland, Aberdeenshire stands as a testament to the country's rugged and passionate spirit. With its sweeping landscapes that stretch from the dramatic North Sea coastline to the mountainous terrain of Cairngorms National Park, Aberdeenshire offers a rich mix of picturesque beauty.

Our area guide takes you through the multifaceted region of Aberdeenshire, moving along its pebbled beaches, historic towns like Stonehaven and Peterhead, and the lively city of Aberdeen. The guide provides practical information on living in Aberdeenshire, including details about housing, transport, landmarks, schools, and the typical high-quality Scottish lifestyle.

History of Aberdeenshire

Aberdeenshire's history goes back over 8,000 years, with relics of Bronze Age and Roman civilizations scattered throughout the county. It was once the stomping ground of the ancient Picts - fierce warriors who left their mark with impressive stone carvings, many of which can still be seen today. Castle-filled landscapes and charming market towns bear a testament to its rich, medieval history. Throughout the years, Aberdeenshire has played an instrumental role in Scotland's industry - from farming and fishing to oil and renewable energy.


Aberdeenshire's charming countryside is dotted with a host of remarkable landmarks, each seeping in rich historical significance. Chief among these are Balmoral Castle - the Scottish residence of the British Royal Family, which is noted for its stunning architecture and serene location amidst the rolling Scottish Highlands. Dunnottar Castle - perched dramatically on a rocky headland offering exquisite coastal views is another marvel of this region. Heading towards the sea, the ruggedly beautiful cliff known as the Bullers of Buchan offers panoramic coastal views that are sure to leave an indelible impression.

Landmarks we love

  • Aberdeen Maritime Museum: Located in the heart of Aberdeen, the Maritime Museum provides a comprehensive history of the city's long-standing relationship with the North Sea, from fishing to oil exploration.

  • Cairngorms National Park: Stretching over parts of Aberdeenshire, this national park offers visitors world-class countryside, rich wildlife, and adventurous outdoor activities.

  • Stonehaven Tolbooth Museum: A former 16th-century jail and courthouse in the historic town of Stonehaven, this museum showcases the town's history, including its fishing and maritime past.

  • Footdee (Fittie): A unique and preserved fishing village in Aberdeen, Fittie boasts well-kept gardens and quirky artistic touches.

  • Portsoy Harbour: A quaint and historic port town, with a traditional harbor which hosts the famous annual Scottish Traditional Boat Festival.

Top 10 things to do in Aberdeenshire

  • Visit Balmoral Castle: Explore the Queen's Scottish summer residence, surrounded by spectacular landscapes and scenic walking trails.

  • Cruise the North Sea: Board a boat from Aberdeen harbour and cruise along the coast, experiencing the region's marine wildlife.

  • Explore Cairngorms National Park: Wander into the heart of the national park for hiking, biking, and stunning vistas.

  • Visit a Whisky Distillery: Aberdeenshire is home to Scotland's only malt whisky trail. Visit any one of the region's distilleries to learn about the process and enjoy a tasting.

  • Check out Dunnottar Castle: Marvel at the drama of this coastal fortress, which has played a key role in Scotland's history.

  • Meet Marine Life: At the Macduff Marine Aquarium, visitors can learn about the diverse marine life of the North Sea.

  • Dolphin Watch: Spot dolphins at the mouth of the River Don, one of the best places in Europe to watch these charismatic creatures.

  • Stonehaven Open Air Pool: Take a dip in Scotland’s only heated seawater lido, a popular location since the 1930s.

  • Peterhead Prison Museum: Delve into Scotland's criminal past at this unique museum, based in a former prison.

  • Visit Fyvie Castle: Explore this lavish castle known for its haunting legends and impressive art collection.

Our recommended areas to live in Aberdeenshire

  • Aberdeen: Known as the 'Granite City' for its distinctive silver buildings, Aberdeen is a vibrant city offering a range of amenities, like shopping avenues, cafes, and schools. It's an ideal choice for people looking for city life amidst the calm of the countryside.

  • Banchory: Surrounded by beautiful countryside, Banchory offers a friendly, community-focused way of life. With local amenities and excellent schools, it's a great place for families.

  • Inverurie: Known for its historic charm and proximity to stunning natural landscapes, Inverurie offers an idyllic rural lifestyle without sacrificing on modern conveniences.

  • Stonehaven: A picturesque seaside town, Stonehaven is known for its stunning beach, historic attractions, and friendly community spirit. It's a charming place to call home.

  • Peterhead: This bustling fishing town offers the chance to live by the sea, with a range of amenities and a vibrant local community.

Best schools in Aberdeenshire

Aberdeenshire offers a strong portfolio of educational establishments, housing several reputed primary and secondary schools along with high-standard special educational institutes. Schools in the region offer a well-balanced curriculum, facilitating all-round learning and catering to the different needs of individual students. Further education is provided by the North East Scotland College and Robert Gordon University, both in Aberdeen, while the renowned University of Aberdeen offers an excellent range of courses for undergraduates and postgraduates. Children in Aberdeenshire are well served with an excellent selection of sports and recreational activities to enhance their learning experience.

Transport links in Aberdeenshire

Aberdeenshire is well-served by a robust infrastructure of road, rail, and sea transport systems that provide splendid connectivity not only within the region but also with other parts of Scotland. The A90 and the A96 roads provide easy access from Aberdeen to towns and villages throughout Aberdeenshire. Aberdeen Railway Station is a major transportation hub, with regular services to Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Inverness. The city is also served by a comprehensive network of bus routes complemented by inexpensive taxi services. The region’s coastal towns are well-connected by ferry services, while Aberdeen Airport links Aberdeenshire to the rest of the UK and Europe.

In conclusion, Aberdeenshire is a region that balances the unspoiled charm of the Scottish countryside with the convenience of modern living. Its rich heritage, stunning landscapes, cultural richness, excellent educational institutions, and robust transport links make it a highly desirable place to live. Whether you're a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, a whisky enthusiast, or someone looking for a vibrant community for your family, Aberdeenshire has plenty to offer. Take a stroll through Aberdeenshire and discover its many delights - from the tranquil shorelines and mesmerizing castles to the bustling city lifestyle in Aberdeen.

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