Ride the scenic Scottish rail routes through the heart of the nation to the stunning Highlands and back again taking in some of Scotland's most visited heritage towns and cities along the way. The Heart of Scotland tour takes you from the Grampian Highlands and the Cairngorm National Park to Stirling, Inverness and the beautiful capital of Edinburgh.View this tour
Our city guide to Aberdeen
Scotland’s third largest city, Aberdeen is a lively, maritime port of Georgian architecture perched overlooking the wild North Sea and providing an excellent base for exploring the Royal Deeside region of Scotland.
Located on a ridge of land between the Rivers Dee and Don as they reach their end at the North Sea, Aberdeen grew up in the middle-ages as a thriving fishing community and sea port. Her position on two rivers made her an important hub for trade in the Grampian Highlands whilst her sea harbour meant that the city also became, and remains, a key port for connections to the Northern Isles of Shetland and Orkney. In the 1970s the discovery of vast oil fields in the North Sea resulted in a second boom and as a result the city continues to enjoy a healthy affluence rarely found elsewhere in the Highlands.
Known as the “Granite City”, Aberdeen is dominated by its Georgian architecture constructed mainly from local granite stone. Whilst some see this as giving the city a dour complexion, in the sunshine the rock glitters providing a quite magical effect. Main architectural highlights include the castellated Citadel at the cobbled Castlegate standing in the city centre at the end of Union Street and the turreted façade of the Town House. Not to mention the second largest granite structure in the world at Marsichal College. The city centre is also home to an impressive art gallery, including works from Monet and Renoir, and the Aberdeen Maritime Museum which recalls the city’s seafaring history, a theme that can be further explored at the historic port and traditional fish-market both of which are well worth a visit. With its large student population and wealthy oil industry workers the city provides an eclectic mix of nightlife with bars, cafes and restaurants to suit all tastes.
Surrounding Aberdeen in the Aberdeenshire countryside and Royal Deeside area you will find a wealth of attractions and heritage sites. Just down the coast you come to the charming port of Stonehaven and the stunning cliff-top castle ruin at Dunottar Castle, reputedly Scotland’s most haunted castle. Inland there are a number of baronial manors and castles to be explored as well as Scotland’s highest concentration of whisky distilleries, ideal for those looking to sample a wee dram of the “water of life”. Many also use Aberdeen as a base from which to explore as far inland as Crathes Castle, Braemar, Ballater and nearby residence of the Queen at Balmoral Castle.
A vibrant city with a rich maritime history, Aberdeen provides an ideal base from which to explore the North East of Scotland.
A Scottish Castle Driving Tour - Experience Scottish hospitality at its traditional best on this exclusive tour staying in sumptuous and historic castle and manor-house hotels. This itinerary takes you from historic Stirling and Edinburgh to the remote Mull of Kintyre and the dramatic West Coast to the Isle of Skye and Scottish Highlands. Along the way you’ll experience the very best of both Scotland’s landscapes and heritage. Enjoy included admission to dozens of historic attractions by day and the utmost of comfort and character at your accommodation each night.View this tour
Experience some of Britain's most spectacular and scenic rail journeys as you explore Scotland and the Highlands by train. Cross the Glenfinnan viaduct on the famous West Highland way and visit famous destinations including the Isle of Skye, Inverness and the capital city of Edinburgh.View this tour
One of our best Scotland Driving Tours – Scotland Explorer offers a comprehensive itinerary taking you on a journey to the corners of this beautiful nation; see Scotland from the bustling cultural and historic cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh to the expansive wilderness of the Scottish Highlands. From the rugged beauty of the West coast and Isle of Skye to the cultural sites of the East Coast and Aberdeenshire. Along the way see sparkling lochs, towering mountain ranges, ancient castle ruins, and whisky distilleries – a truly Scottish experience.View this tour