You will find more castles in the North East of Scotland than anywhere in the UK. Many of the most appealing settlements are along the coast, but while the fishing industry is but a fondly held memory in many parts, a number of the northeast’s ports were transformed by the discovery of oil in the North Sea in the 1960s – particularly Aberdeen, Scotland’s third-largest city.
Aberdeen, also known as the ‘Granite City’ is the capital of the region. A busy, prosperous, hard-working city with an international population and a thriving oil industry. With its sparkling granite buildings, Aberdeen has one of Scotland's most enchanting skylines, while the city's Old Town has a magical air of time gone by. A fantastic range of first-class restaurants and a vibrant nightlife combined with a thriving cultural calendar and shops galore all help make Scotland's third largest city a modern and lively destination that's well worth the trip.
The coast around Aberdeen moves from rocky cliffs to the south to a long stretch of sandy beach that starts at the city and stretches north up to the Ythan Estuary. The majestic Grampian Mountains dominate the skyline to the west of the region whilst miles of unspoiled and often dramatic coastline frame the area in the east. Vast empty beaches interspersed with picturesque fishing villages and dramatic cliff top scenery are waiting to be explored.
North of the glens and west of Aberdeen is Deeside, a fertile, ruggedly attractive area made famous by the Royal Family: Balmoral has been a royal residence since Victoria’s time. Beyond are the eastern sections of the Cairngorms National Park and travelling north into Moray brings you to Scotland’s most productive whisky-making area, Speyside.
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