St Nicholas House, 68 Station Road
St Nicholas House, 68 Station Road
Welcome to our Aberdeenshire area guide, where we explore this beautiful Scottish county, looking at various highlights as well as more practical details, such as transport links, property prices, schooling and more.
The quality of life is what people come for; some of the most beautiful views in Scotland, fine castles, extensive and beautiful coastline, great salmon fishing, deer stalking, skiing and riding all through the Cairngorms National Park.
There is tangible prosperity, brought by the oil dividend in Aberdeen and now the renewables industry. This keeps hotels busy and good restaurants packed – Eat On The Green overlooking picturesque Udny Green offers a warm welcome and fine dining using local ingredients created by award winning chef Craig Wilson. The schools are excellent, both state and private, and the golf is world-class; three new golf courses are coming, from Donald Trump, Jack Nicklaus and Paul Lawrie.
The Strutt & Parker Banchory office covers the vast majority of Aberdeenshire and The City of Aberdeen, with a very broad range of houses: country mansions, modern apartments, farmhouses, stone cottages and plenty of development opportunities, all set in stunning surroundings and with more land than you would get for your money in other parts of the country.
Outdoors enthusiasts will love Aberdeenshire; there is over 200 km of rugged coast with beautiful scenery, sheltered bays and bustling fishing villages and the Cairngorms with stunning landscapes, mountains and peaceful, secluded forests. The coastline, lochs and rivers provide endless opportunities for watersports fanatics and anglers; the mountains offer 2 ski centres; and there are numerous excellent golf courses. The wild, unspoilt landscape of the whole county is fantastic for walkers, climbers and cyclists.
Aberdeenshire also benefits from a very rich history; those looking for more leisurely things to do in Aberdeenshire might enjoy following the castle trail, which ensures you don’t miss a single one of the area’s 20 castles! Gastronomists will fall in love with the fresh produce available, which can be enjoyed at the number of wonderful eateries, markets and farm shops in the area.
The high standard of living, low unemployment and low crime rate make Aberdeenshire a fine place to live. Here are some other reasons why we love Aberdeenshire:
Our Banchory office recommends the following:
Aberdeen is on the North-East coast of Scotland and is sometimes known as the Silver City with the Golden Sands; much of Aberdeen’s architecture is built with the local grey, sparkly, granite and the city has long, sandy coastline. The City of Aberdeen is the region’s economic, retail and educational hub with the thriving oil industry, numerous big name shops and two Universities. It has won the Britain in Bloom competition an astounding 10 times, reflecting the stunning scenic landscape surrounding the city; the Bennachie hill walks are long, well-marked paths with breath-taking scenery.
The Granite Park restaurant is described as a hidden gem, holding its own in a city that is inundated with fine independent eateries. To the north of the bustling city is the beautiful and peaceful Balmedie beach, very popular with the locals for walking, horse-riding and enjoying the abundant wildlife and fantastic views.
Aboyne sits on the river Dee, 30 miles west of Aberdeen and just 4 miles from the Cairngorms National Park. The village was modelled by the Marquess of Huntly on an English village with a green at its centre. Sitting in remarkably beautiful and unspoilt countryside, in terrain which lends itself extremely well to gliding, the sport has become very popular in the area. The summer residence of the Royal Family, Balmoral Castle, is set in 49,000 acres of rugged Scottish landscape, is nearby. Tourists flock to the village in the summer months; during the August highland games, its population doubles.
The nearby White Cottage restaurant is, as its name suggests, a typical local cottage, with a room for displaying antiques and is a hit with tourists and locals alike.
Banchory is a popular commuter town, 18 miles west of Aberdeen, where the Feugh River meets the River Dee. The area is perfect for outdoor and wildlife lovers. The Falls of Feugh attract visitors hoping to see salmon leaping the falls. Fishing opportunities are extensive with a number of local trout fisheries in addition to the world famous River Dee. There are 3 golf courses in the town and a further 6 within half an hour’s drive. The surrounding countryside offers limitless possibilities for exploring and can be viewed in breath-taking panorama from Scolty Tower.
A town with a fascinating history, Banchory has two famous castles; Crathes and Drum, both now run by the National Trust for Scotland. As well as the castles, there is a lot to do in Banchory, including riding the steam train on the Royal Deeside Railway, the annual Banchory show and Banchory museum, which celebrates the traditional culture of the Dee Valley and has resident genealogy experts. Woodend barn, on the edge of Banchory, hosts a diverse arts programme as well as serving food made from locally sourced ingredients.
The town of Huntly lies on the main road between Aberdeen and Inverness. Huntly is a granite town centered on the main square with shops, restaurants and hotel, interesting historic buildings including the Victorian Town Hall, church, and the Clock Tower dating from1890. Huntly Castle is one of three castles nearby and, although ruined, has been restored so visitors can envisage its former glory. The Castle Hotel, partly built with stones from the ruins of Huntly Castle, gets fabulous reviews for its luxury cuisine and accommodation.
Another ideal location for outdoor enthusiasts, Huntly offers salmon and trout fishing on the rivers of Deveron and Bogie and the Highland Horseback, which starts nearby, runs the 200 miles to the west coast. A local independent bakers – Deans – are well reputed locally for their ‘melt in the mouth’ shortbread biscuits and also have a popular café and visitor centre.
Inverurie is a Royal Burgh and a thriving market town located 20 minutes north west of Aberdeen, in the valley of the river Don. The town has a bustling, triangular centre with an impressive and unusually large number of independent stores to complement the big name retailers. The town is also home to a good range of eateries with Fennel serving well-received simple but tasty dishes made from local produce and the Porterhouse Restaurant, located in a traditional stone building next door to the Thainstone cattle mart, also serving good local food.
Nearby Castle Fraser which dates from 1575 is a grand tower house, managed by the National Trust for Scotland. The house is open to the public during spring and summer and the particularly popular gardens and woodland walks, are open all year round.
Stonehaven, known locally as Stoney, is a former fishing village 15 miles south of Aberdeen. The town has a long beach with large cliffs at either end, home to Fowlsheugh, an RSPB seabird colony. Stonehaven has a vast amount of cultural attractions throughout the year; highland games every July, the fireballs ceremony, which forms part of the Hogmanay festivities, and the RW Thomson Classic Car Rally, which celebrates its namesake, the native inventor of the pneumatic tyre, are just a selection. Furthermore, the town has a monthly farmers market, the award-winning Carron fish and chip shop and a museum of local heritage.
Dunnottar Castle, a ruined cliff top medieval fortress, can be approached via a beautiful costal path from Stonehaven Harbour and its fascinating history can be explored and the stunning surrounding scenery enjoyed.
Aberdeenshire schools are well known for their high standards of education.
Robert Grodon’s College, Albyn and St Margaret’s School for Girls all get good reviews. Robert Gordon’s College in the Schoolhill area of Aberdeen city is in the top 5 schools in Scotland, getting good academic results and sporting achievements, whilst remaining a large but notably friendly school.
Aberdeenshire, along with other areas of Scotland, does very well for state schools, with Cult’s Academy in Aberdeen and Banchory Academy doing particularly well. Aberdeen Grammar School and Westhill Academy also have good reputations. Aberdeen City has an impressive number of well-regarded primary schools: among others, the schools of Ashley Road, Broomhill and Milltimber are all rated at least as very good.
Outside the City, the picture is very similar. Both Banchory and Banchory-Devenick primary schools are reported as good as is the Mill O’Forest School in Stonehaven. Torphins School, near Aboyne, St Andrew’s School in Inverurie and Dunnottar School in Stonehaven are all very good.
For a more comprehensive list of schools in Aberdeenshire we recommend the Good Schools Guide.
Good train links serve the Aberdeenshire area: hourly trains take you from Aberdeen to Kings Cross in about 7 hours, to Edinburgh in 2 and a half hours and to Huntly in 50 minutes. Twice hourly services run to Aberdeen from Inverurie, taking 21 minutes, and from Stonehaven, taking just 16 minutes.
Outdoors enthusiasts will love Aberdeenshire; there is over 200 km of rugged coast with beautiful scenery, sheltered bays and bustling fishing villages and the Cairngorms with stunning landscapes, mountains and peaceful, secluded forests.