Monday, 24 March 2014

Things to See and Do in Aberdeenshire {part 2}

Balmoral Castle via
Two of my older sisters are coming to visit in May. I have so much I want them to see and so many ideas about what we should do. I want to share with you more of what there is to see and do here in Aberdeen City + Shire. If you're heading to Scotland I hope you will add some of these sites to your list!

I am not usually a tour kind of person. I like to head out on my own. But, these tours are a little different and definitely on my list. What a great way to sit back, relax and let someone else do the planning!

+ Wilderness Scotland are rated No. 1 adventure travel company in Europe by National Geographic Magazine. They are a pretty pricey but I'm sure they are the best of the best. So why not splurge and have someone else show you around the highlands?

+ Puffin Cruises offer daily sightseeing and fishing trips. They are one hour north of Aberdeenshire in the gorgeous Banffshire Coast. They have 3 hour wildlife tours for just £25 per person. Want to see dolphins, puffins, seals and birds? Then this is the place! What a perfect way to experience untouched Scotland.

+ Want to experience Scotland by motorcycle? Then you're in luck! offers self guided tours and a beautiful way to see Scotland!

+ Braemar Highland Safari's offers 3-4 hr scenic drives through Cairngorms National Park {the heart of the Highlands}. They are a great price at just £30-£35 per tour. I'm all over this one!

Aberdeenshire is home to over 300 castles! That's more castles per acre than anywhere else in the UK. Welcome to Castle Country! Listed below are the most well known castles in the this area.

Crathes Castle
Haddo House
Balmoral Castle
Dunottar Castle

Tourist Trails::
If you're looking for some help in planning your itinerary might I suggest one of these trails? They are all mapped out and ready for you to discover Scotland!

+ Victorian Heritage Trail- Queen Victoria and Prince Albert first visited and fell in love with this area in 1848.

+ Castle Trail- Experience 17 of Scotland's Castles right here on this trail!

+ Coastal Trail- Discover part or all of the route's 165 continuous miles of cliff-tops, coves, beaches, charming towns and villages, and marvellous wildlife. 

+ Scotland's National Tourist Routes- Scotland has 12 National Tourist Routes. Fancy a driving holiday? Spoil yourself, rent that dream car, book a chalet for a week and explore amazing roads like these!

ps. Looking for more? Take a look at Part One in this series.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Things to See and Do in Aberdeenshire

When planning a trip to Scotland many people head straight for the capital, Edinburgh, and then go west to the Highlands. It seems to be the course for many travellers. It was the same for us. We lived just outside Glasgow for 5 and a half years. We have been to Edinburgh more times than I can count yet I'd never made the trek to Aberdeen. Now we live here and love it! I'm here to make a plea for Aberdeenshire and why you must travel the 1 hour and 45 min north of Edinburgh and see this beautiful place.

Things to See::

+ "Scotland’s only dedicated Castle Trail lets you discover the dramatic stories of 17 of Aberdeenshire’s most famous castles. This itinerary is organised into 4 broad areas of Aberdeenshire to group the castles around a main hub town. A visit to any of the castles makes an ideal day out or navigate your way along sections of the trail for a longer break." -Visit

+ One of the best places to look for wildlife is Cairngorms National Park, Britain's largest National Park and the heart of the Highlands. Or how about a trip to see The Falls of Feugh. The footbridge is a popular place to see salmon leaping!

Things to Do::

+ Why not take a costal walk that passes the impressive Slains Castle, the inspiration for Dracula, and reaches a massive blow hole and several natural arches. I'm always up for a day with a sea view!

+ Scotland is the birthplace of golf and Aberdeenshire has what you want. Trump International Golf Links is on the coast and is said to be the most ambitious course ever created. While I'm not a golfer, I have been here and it is so gorgeous!

Where to Eat::

+ The Carron Fish Bar in Stonehaven is where I had the best fish n' chips of my life. I can not recommend it enough! My Mom and I ate here on our way home from Dunnottar Castle and I'm still thinking about it. It was that good. You need to make this a must on your list. FYI: This is the birthplace of the deep fried Mars Bar.

+ Farmer's Markets are regular features across Scotland. The Aberdeen Country Fair held on Belmont Street on the last Saturday of each month is the largest in Scotland. You can pick up a range of delicious produce such as local cheeses, cured meats and handmade chocolates. Will I see you there?
There will be several more posts in this series and will include different cities too. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Scotland's National Tourist Routes

Campbelltown, Scotland
 Fancy a driving holiday? Spoil yourself, rent that dream car, book a chalet for a week and explore roads like these!

Scotland has 12 National Routes for you to enjoy diverse landscapes, towns and villages. If you're planning a trip to Scotland you are going to want to check these out.

For our First Anniversary Luis and I took a road trip through the highlands. It was amazing and I'd wished I was an awesome blogger to photograph and write about it all. I have very few photos of our trip. We left from Glasgow and took a few tourist routes to get up to Thurso--the Northern most point of mainland Scotland. It was amazing!

We drove on tiny one lane roads {pictured above} nestled deep in the Scottish mountains. I remember coming over the crest of a hill and stopping the car to look down on hundreds of majestic deer. It was a site I won't ever forget. We just sat there for ages watching these deer. We started counting their antlers and trying to find the oldest one. We actually found an 18 point! It was all just incredible. We sat there for probably an hour. Just waiting for the deer to pass the road.

We drove through small villages and big cities. Any chance we got we drove the coastal routes. There is just something about the ocean that never gets old. We passed castle after castle and saw wildlife and derelict estates just about everywhere.

I would encourage anyone who is visiting Scotland to rent a car and head out on one of these routes for a few days. It is an amazing way to see this country!