Enjoy a coastal getaway to the silver city
Aberdeen is known as ‘the Silver City’ thanks to its grey granite buildings, contrasting with the warm red sandstone of Glasgow and the creamy Craigleath stone characteristic of Edinburgh. Far from being a dull grey though, the granite is flecked with mica that sparkles in the sunshine, much as the herring – or ‘silver darlings’ – once did in the nets of the fishermen who plied the waters here.
Thinking of a Weekend Escape to to this compact and striking city? Here's our round up of rated things to do, places to stay and eateries to enjoy on your trip.
Things to do
Athough it’s Scotland’s third largest city, which has grown well beyond its historic boundaries of the dee and the Don, the heart of Aberdeen is still a good size to explore on foot. Union Street is lined with imposing granite buildings with museums, galleries and shopping centres clustered at its eastern end, along with one of the city’s major landmarks – Marischal College. Further north is the University which is Britain’s fifth oldest, founded in 1495.
Old Aberdeen, just a mile north of the harbour, is the medieval core of the city and is blessed with both the stunning collegiate architecture of King’s College and the distinctive twin-towered St Machar’s Cathedral.
Follow the seafront Esplanade from the mouth of the River Don to the harbour at Footdee (pronounced ‘fitty’) for a glimpse of the city’s rich maritime history. Trawlers still use it today, as do ferries to Shetland and Orkney, but it’s the boats serving the off-shore oil rigs that make up most of Aberdeen’s traffic now. The discovery of North Sea oil in the 1970s came just as the fishing industry went into decline, keeping Aberdeen the vibrant city it is today.
Places to stay
There’s a good range of hotels to suit most budgets as well as cost-effective guesthouses and self-catering in Aberdeen.