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7 scenic picnic spots in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire

Fancy a picnic with a view? I've got you covered.

People enjoying the sunny weather on Newburgh Beach,
Newburgh Beach is one of my favourite places in the north-east. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

Picnics are the perfect way to get out of the house and spend time with family, loved ones and your four-legged pals.

Personally, when I head out for a picnic in Aberdeen or Aberdeenshire, I always go for scenic spots so I can enjoy my food with a view.

From watching the seals at Newburgh Beach to admiring the grounds at Johnston Gardens, check out some of the picturesque places to enjoy a picnic in the north-east (when the sun’s shining).

Aden Country Park, Mintlaw

Not only does Aden Country Park boast plenty of space to settle down with your food and drink and picnic blanket – 230 acres, to be exact – and admire the beautiful surroundings, but there’s also a wide range of recreational amenities to enjoy.

This includes a café, children’s play area, walks and trails, sensory gardens, a dog agility and exercise area, and more.

You could even extend your stay and head to the four-star Aden Caravan and Camping Park for a night or two.

Address: Station Road, Old Deer, Peterhead AB42 5FQ

People walk by buildings in Aden Country Park.
Aden Country Park. Image: Kami Thomson/DC Thomson.

Johnston Gardens, Aberdeen

Johnston Gardens are beautifully landscaped grounds with streams, ponds, waterfalls, rockeries and a lovely bridge that has become a popular spot for photographers in recent years.

At this time of year, the park comes alive as all the flowers and plants – both aquatic and on the land – blossom, with mallard ducks and breeding moorhens visiting too.

It’s not only a great place for photography and walks, but also for enjoying a picnic in Aberdeen.

Address: Viewfield Road, Aberdeen AB15 7XE

A duck swims under a bridge in Johnston Gardens.
Johnston Gardens. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson.

Balmedie Beach, Aberdeen

Balmedie Beach is one of Scotland’s longest beaches, stretching south for 14 miles from the mouth of the River Ythan to the River Don at Aberdeen.

Its easiest access is via Balmedie Country Park. Here, there is an attractive play park and picnic area.

After you’ve finished tucking into your spread, you can explore the beach’s sand dunes.

Address: Balmedie AB23 8WU

People on Balmedie Beach on a sunny day.
Awesome Aberdeenshire: Balmedie Beach is a perfect place to picnic. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson.

Pitmedden Garden, Ellon

The grounds at Pitmedden Garden provide the perfect sanctuary for visitors, who can appreciate its box hedging, sculptures, and the wildlife and the woodlands that surround it.

For those who haven’t visited in some time, Pitmedden Garden now has a naturalistic and sustainably designed 21st Century twist on a traditional garden, designed by celebrity gardener Chris Beardshaw.

Address: Pitmedden, Ellon AB41 7PD

The picture-perfect landscaped grounds of Pitmedden Garden are ideal for a picnic.
Pitmedden Garden. Image: Kami Thomson/DC Thomson.

Hazlehead Park, Aberdeen

Originally part of the great hunting forests of Stocket just outside the Granite City, Hazlehead Park is one of Aberdeen’s oldest historic properties.

The park encompasses both city and countryside with its formal garden layouts, woodland walks, nature trails and bridleways.

It also boasts a maze, miniature zoo – known as Pet’s Corner – a large children’s playground and a café.

Address: Hazlehead Avenue, Aberdeen AB15 8BE

A bench inside a flower garden in Hazlehead Park, a fine spot for a picnic in Aberdeen
Fancy a picnic in Aberdeen? Consider Hazlehead Park. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson.

Sandend Beach, Banff

Set in the small fishing village of Sandend on the Moray Coast, Sandend Beach is popular among keen walkers and surfers alike.

There are plenty of beautiful spots to play in the sand, hunt for shells or simply get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

And those looking to stock up for their picnic can stop by one (or several) of the popular eateries in Portsoy, Macduff or Banff on the way, including Portsoy Ice Cream, Annie’s Cakery, The Banff Deli, and more.

Address: 1c Seaview Road, Sandend, Banff AB45 2UE

The beach in the foreground with the homes of Sandend village in the distance
If the question is ‘picnic near me?, the answer could well be Sandend village. Image: Shutterstock.

Newburgh Beach, Newburgh

Newburgh Beach is famous for its seal colonies, which occupy the beach in their hundreds throughout the year.

A mere 20 minutes north of Aberdeen, the wonderful sandy beach is home to an extensive sand dune system at the mouth of the Ythan River.

Forvie National Nature Reserve is also one mile from Newburgh and is well worth a visit, being home to eider ducks, diving terns and oystercatchers.

Address: Newburgh Seal Beach AB41 6BY

People walking along Newburgh Beach, which is a fine picnic spot in Aberdeenshire
Newburgh Beach is one of several perfect picnic pit-stops in Aberdeenshire. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson.

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