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12 of the best arts venues across north and north-east of Scotland

Inside His Majesty's Theatre in Aberdeen.
From Victorian theatres to modern arts spaces, take a look at our pick of the best 12 arts venues across the north and north-east. Picture by Jim Irvine / DC Thomson

Art, culture and creativity is rich across the north and north-east of Scotland. To explore it at its best, take a look at these 12 arts venues hosting music, comedy, dance and more in the coming weeks.

His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen

His Majesty'd Theatre in Aberdeen.
His Majesty’s Theatre. Picture by Wullie Marr / DC Thomson.

Since opening in 1906, His Majesty’s Theatre has been one of Aberdeen’s premier venues for showcasing international touring companies, nationally renowned artists and homegrown talent.

Its capacity sits at 1,400 and its decadent design was created by architect Frank Matcham. Comedian Dara Ó Briain performs at the venue this Sunday.

Visit Aberdeen Performing Arts’ website for more information.

An Lanntair, Stornoway

Visual arts, cinema and live music venue An Lanntair in Stornoway.
An Lanntair, Stornoway. Picture by John Maher.

From visual arts to cinema and live music, An Lanntair is a creative beacon which serves the diverse communities of the Outer Hebrides with its varied programme of events.

Based in Stornoway, connecting with its sense of place is key for the multi-arts venue, which opened in 2005. Festivals such as HebCelt, held annually in July, are key attractions here.

Visit An Lanntair’s website for more information.

The Barn, Banchory

Creative arts venue The Barn in Banchory.
The Barn, Banchory. Picture by Mike Meller.

Putting inclusivity to the forefront, The Barn in Banchory regularly offers its 20,000 yearly visitors the chance to engage with creative arts that conjure up causes for reflection.

Enabling rural audiences access to creative arts is at the venue’s core. This weekend, Plenty? Festival takes place, encompassing live music, performances and workshops around the ideas of more and less.

Visit The Barn’s website for more information.

Mareel, Lerwick

Arts and music venue Mareel in Lerwick.
Mareel, Lerwick.

Shetland has a thriving creative community. Its main hub for showcasing the best of what it has to offer is Mareel in Lerwick.

Since 2012, the UK’s most northerly music, cinema and creative industries centre has welcomed performers including Martha Wainwright as well as screening contemporary cinema.

Take the time to visit its cafe bar which offers scenic views.

Visit Mareel’s website for more information.

Eden Court, Inverness

Theatre and music venue Eden Court in Inverness.
Eden Court. Picture by Sandy McCook / DC Thomson.

Perched close to the banks of the River Ness, Eden Court is a multi-faceted arts venue which has served Highland communities for more than 40 years.

Housing three connected buildings that span three centuries, you are really spoilt for creative choice here.

Music, comedy and live theatre events are plentiful over the coming months.

Visit Eden Court’s website for more information.

St Margaret’s Braemar

Street view of St Margaret's Braemar.
St Margaret’s Braemar. Picture by Paul Glendell / DC Thomson.

A true success story of arts venue conservation in recent years, St Margaret’s Braemar’s transformation from a neglected church to a now thriving arts space has been remarkable.

In recent weeks, the venue has welcomed Dougie MacLean to its stage as well as author Ian Rankin as part of Braemar Literary Festival.

Visit St Margaret’s Braemar’s website for more information.

Music Hall, Aberdeen

The front of The Music Hall in Aberdeen.
Music Hall. Picture by Chris Sumner / DC Thomson.

Aberdeen’s Union Street is home to the Music Hall, one of Scotland’s most historic concert halls.

2018 saw a major redevelopment of the venue, which has welcomed many famous faces to its stage throughout its history, including David Bowie.

Its biggest event of the year is set to be Paolo Nutini’s upcoming sell-out performance on November 1.

Visit Aberdeen Performing Arts’ website for more information.

Ironworks, Inverness

Music venue Ironworks in Inverness seen from the outside.
Ironworks. Picture by Sandy McCook / DC Thomson.

With the sad closure of this much-loved Inverness venue looming at the end of this year, there has never been a better time to show support for some of the final events taking place at Ironworks.

Chart-topping Scottish band The Snuts visit on Friday October 28 (sold out) while a Hogmanay Bash with Rhythmnreel will offer an emotional farewell to the venue.

Visit Ironworks’ website for more information.

The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen

Band Los Bitchos on stage at the music venue The Lemon Tree in Aberdeen.
Los Bitchos in concert at The Lemon Tree. Picture by Paul Glendell / DC Thomson.

With a rich history for showcasing big-name bands such as Radiohead, The Lemon Tree continues to be a top spot for experiencing music, comedy, theatre and dance in Aberdeen.

The venue’s intimate feel brings audiences right to the heart of the action. You’ll often find homegrown talent performing here and the venue’s bookings already stretch way into 2023.

Visit Aberdeen Performing Arts’ website for more information.

Lyth Arts Centre, Caithness

A picture of local band Neon Waltz, who will be performing at music venue Lyth Arts Centre in Caithness.
Neon Waltz will be performing at Lyth Arts Centre in December.

Coming off the back of a packed programme as part of this year’s Northern Stories Festival, Lyth Arts Centre is a hub for creativity in Caithness.

Music, stories and plenty of interactive workshops are all regular attractions here. Local music stars Neon Waltz have two dates lined up at the venue in December, which is sure to attract attention.

Visit Lyth Arts Centre’s website for more information.

Aberdeen Arts Centre

The outside of Aberdeen Arts Centre seen from King Street.
Aberdeen Arts Centre. Picture by Jim Irvine.

Community-focused arts is at the core of Aberdeen Arts Centre.

The category A listed building on the city’s King Street houses a 350-seater auditorium and has been open since 1963.

Run by a team of volunteers, the venue hosts pantomime this weekend (Harry Panto: Return to Frogwarts).

Visit Aberdeen Arts Centre’s website for more information.

The Tivoli Theatre, Aberdeen

The stalls of The Tivoli Theatre in Aberdeen.
The Tivoli Theatre. Picture by Paul Glendell.

How many theatres can say that they’ve had Charlie Chaplin perform on their stage? The Tivoli Theatre in Aberdeen certainly can.

Today, The Tivoli hosts all manner of performances. Its original Victorian feel is etched throughout the venue’s decor and 3,000 people would pass through its doors every day at the venue’s peak.

Visit The Tivoli Theatre’s website for more information.