Aberdeenshire and the adjacent regions of Angus and Moray together make up the gentle hill country of Northeast Scotland.
Here, just east of the Cairngorms, the land flattens out and transitions into agricultural areas, rolling golf links, cliffs, sandy beaches and the pretty fishing villages of the Moray and Banffshire Coasts.
It’s a wealthier part of Scotland thanks in part to the presence of oil, the whisky distilleries of Speyside, and good off-shore fishing. But in terms of tourism it’s all too often overlooked.
Aberdeenshire itself huddles around Scotland’s oil city Aberdeen; Angus lies around the fairly bedraggled city of Dundee, though both cities are worth a look if you’re in the area.
Both cities also have worthwhile castles in their vicinity and are around an hour’s drive of Cairngorms National Park, while Moray Coast iself leads to Inverness‘ doorstep.
The Moray and Banffshire coasts are known for their series of pretty fishing villages which particularly thrived during the 19th-century herring boom.
Coastal roads join several attractive villages which are worth a look, including:
So perfect are the conditions here for the drink that over forty distilleries operate, with a good number of them opening their doors to visitors. If visiting them is to be a big part of your trip, be sure to investigate the The Whisky Trail, a website devoted to getting the most out of this experience.
Otherwise, unless you are here for Speyfest, a late-summer folkfest, you can be forgiven for passing through Speyside fairly quickly en-route to the more beautiful Moray Coast, or the more spectacular Cairngorms National Park – at the northern and southern end of the river respectively.
Once famed for “jam, journalism and jute” over the last fifty years or so Dundee has fallen on hard times.Now it’s hard to recommend the city for much more than a couple of attractions – namely Discovery Point, with its British Antarctic Expedition ship, and the Verdant works, an old Jute Mill. The future looks promising though, thanks to the construction of a new Design Museum by the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Yet the area around Dundee (much of it the region of Angus) contains quite a few draws. Foremost is the Meigle Museum with its many Pictish treasures. It’s easily combined with a trip to elegant Glamis Castle, which lies about 8 miles away from the museum.
Meanwhile some attractions in Cairngorms National Park are little more than an hour’s drive from Dundee – including ski and hiking centre Glenshee and the pretty hiking and biking destination of Glen Clova.