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Aberdeen - Outside the city

The area surrounding Aberdeen is a key attraction on an Aberdeen city break. Royal Deeside is known the world over for its stunning scenery and fabulous attractions, while the Cairngorms National Park with its unspoiled beauty and host of activity options is also easily accessible. You'll find it difficult to choose between our top ten recommendations for getting out and about in the area around Aberdeen.

Cairngorms National Park
This spectacular national park is the UK's largest area of arctic mountain landscape. Home to 25% our rarest species of birds, animals and plants, you'll find moor lands, forests, rivers and lochs here. 
Visit the website of the Cairngorms National Park
Around 98 miles from Aberdeen City Centre

The Castle Trail
Step back in time exploring thirteen of the world's most unique castles. Experience the fairy tale magic of Craigievar or the country house grandeur of Leith Hall. This clearly sign-posted route is within easy driving distance of the city. 
Visit The Castle Trail website
Nearest: Drum Castle approximately 10 miles from the city centre
Furthest away: Corgarff Castle approximately 55 miles from the city centre

Glenshee Ski Centre
36 runs, 21 lifts and mountains of adventure await you at Glenshee. Whether you're a first-time boarder or an experienced skier, you'll find an amazing diversity of terrain to enjoy. 
Visit the Glenshee Ski Centre website
Just over 70 miles from the city centre

Deeside Activity Park
Catch a salmon, bag a grouse or test you aim shooting clay pigeons. With quad biking, archery and loads more pursuits on offer, this is a must-do attraction for fans of the great outdoors.
Visit the Deeside Activity Park website
Approximately 28 miles from the city centre

Glen Tanar Estate
There's loads to do on this rambling country estate in the Cairngorms National Park, including horse riding, fishing, mountain biking and bird watching. If you want to stay, there are some terrific holiday cottages. 
Visit the website of the Glen Tanar Estate
Approximately 33 miles from the city centre

Royal Lochnagar Distillery
One of Scotland's most exclusive whiskies is crafted in this traditional distillery near Balmoral Castle. See the distillers tend to the mash tun and copper stills then have a taste of the finished product. 
Visit the Royal Lochnagar Distillery website
A little over 48 miles from the city centre

Balmoral Castle
The Scottish home of the Royal Family, Queen Victoria described Balmoral as 'my dear paradise in the Highlands'. Visit this magical castle, set in over 50,000 acres of heather-clad hills, and you might feel the same way. 
Visit the Balmoral Castle website
Approximately 49 miles from the centre of Aberdeen

Museum of Scottish Lighthouses
The first lighthouse built on mainland Scotland is home to this historic collection. Fascinating artefacts and fantastic audio-visual displays make this an illuminating day out. 
Visit the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses website
Around 41 miles from the city centre

The Old Royal Station
An authentic reproduction of Queen Victoria's favourite railway carriage is just one of the highlights on show at this well-preserved Victorian railway station, now a museum and exhibition centre. The Station is located at Ballater, an attractive village in the heart of Royal Deeside.
Around 41 miles in city centre.

Johnston's Cashmere Visitor Centre
The Mill in Elgin is the only one in Scotland that transforms cashmere wool into finished garments. Take a free tour of the entire process with an expert guide. Then try out the delicious home baking in the coffee shop.
Visit the website of Johnston's Cashemere Visitor Centre
Approximately 65 miles from Aberdeen city centre