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The tours around the north-east that offer stunning coastal views and visits to historic attractions

Dunnottar Castle
Dunnottar Castle

Touring is a great way to help explorers make their way through the list of must-see attractions scattered across the north-east.

There’s the increasingly popular North East 250 road trip where people can take in some of the most picturesque sights the region has to offer, and a castle trail for history enthusiasts.

There’s not only a huge variety of attractions to see, but plenty of places to stop for a bite to eat along the way.

As part of VisitAberdeenshire’s Rediscover Your Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire campaign, we have rounded up a selection of road trips to try out, as well as nearby food and drink suggestions. But be sure to check for the opening hours of the business ahead of your visit.

The North East 250 has been described as the ultimate three-day road trip – taking people from the Granite City into the depths of Royal Deeside, through the Cairngorms National Park and along the glorious coastline.

It boasts an abundance of attractions including whisky distilleries, museums and walking trails.

People can get food and drink at the Tor-Na-Coille Hotel on Inchmarlo Road in Banchory or the Banchory Lodge Hotel on Dee Street when venturing into Deeside.

There’s also the Roaring Stag Coffee Roasters at Ballater Business Park, the Saplinbrae Hotel at Mintlaw, and the Beach Cafe in Fraserburgh depending on where people fancy a rest.

While travelling along the coast, there are plenty places where people can experience seafood dishes straight from boat to bowl.

There is The Old Kirk Cafe/Bistro on Church Street, Fordyce, Annie’s Cakery on Station Brae in Macduff, The Knowes Hotel on Market Street, Macduff and The Bay Fish and Chips on Beach Road in Stonehaven.

There’s also The Stack Restaurant and Bar in Muchalls.

The castle trail is the one for history buffs. Known as Scotland’s Castle Country, Aberdeenshire is home to some of the UK’s most famous period properties.

Balmoral Castle. Picture by Kenny Elrick

People can discover 19 of the region’s castles on this trail, as well as their impressive grounds, including Balmoral Castle – the summer residence of the Royal Family – and Dunnottar Castle, found sitting high on above crashing waves outside Stonehaven.

For refreshments in between stops, people can try the Buchanan Bistro, Woodend Barn, Burn O’Bennie Road, in Banchory, Finzean Estate Tearoom, Balnaboth Steading, Finzean, Douneside House in Tarland, The Commercial Hotel, The Square, Tarland or The Fife Arms, Mar Road, Braemar.

Further north, there’s the Peterhead Trail. This is a free self-guided tour around Peterhead, offering two routes – one 2km and the other 5.8km.

People can enjoy the fresh air and explore the UK’s sunniest town, learning all about the Jacobites, secret passages, heroes, poets, unexpected royalty, influential ladies, ghosts, war, witchcraft, murder, armed rebellion and piracy.

Whichever route folk decide on, they can be certain of a true Scottish experience.

The campaign – involving the Evening Express, The Press and Journal, Society and Original 106 – also has its own dedicated section on the VisitAberdeenshire website, where people can explore blogs with ideas for things to do.

For more information on the walks listed, visit

Social Media Campaign

Tor-Na-Coille Hotel

VisitAberdeenshire, The Press and Journal, Evening Express, Society and Original 106 are encouraging people to share an image of their favourite part of the north-east throughout the #RediscoverABDN campaign. To take part, simply follow the steps below:

  1. Take a picture of your favourite north-east attraction, venue, product or landmark
  2. Upload the image to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter including the hashtag #RediscoverABDN and tag @visitabdn

Social Distancing Guidelines

When visiting these locations, it’s important to adhere to the social distancing guidelines currently in place across Scotland – with regards to outdoor activities. These guidelines are below.

  1. People can meet in groups of up to 15 people outdoors, from up to five different households, including your own household. However, children aged 0-11 should not meet in groups larger than 15 people in total at a time.
  2. Keep two metres apart from anyone you meet from outside your household, and don’t share food or utensils.
  3. You should not meet with more than four different households per day, whether indoors or outdoors.
  4. Follow physical distancing guidance and hygiene rules.
  5. There is now no restriction on travel within Scotland as long as individuals are acting in line with all other guidance that supports the route map.

All guidelines can be viewed at


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