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Tourists and lovebirds say Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire top in Scotland for making memories

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Rowing at Duthie Park, ice cream at the beach and getting lost in the maze at Hazlehead Park are some of the ways many of us whiled away our holidays in Aberdeen.

It appears those in the north-east were not the only ones enjoying these special memories.

New research from VisitScotland reveals these hazy days have made a lasting impression on many UK holidaymakers.

According to a recent survey, Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire have been named as the top places in Scotland that holiday-goers say they hold a special connection or memory to.

A pooch enjoying the weather in Duthie Park, Aberdeen. Picture by Wullie Marr

As part of their Scotland is Calling campaign, VisitScotland wanted to try and uncover how UK holidaymakers feel about their trips in Scotland and also the emotions and memories they hold with each region.

Around 26% of participants said they have a strong emotional connection or fond memory with Aberdeen City and another 24% said the same for Aberdeenshire totalling half of all respondents.

What emotions do Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire inspire?

While the majority of those taking a break in Scotland felt “happiness” as a top emotion, those looking back on adventures in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire said they felt “excited”.

For those visiting Aberdeen, this was closely followed by “adventurous” and then “love”.

The city was a favourite among Northern Irish respondents with 51% saying they had a strong connection or special memory with Aberdeen.

Image: VisitScotland

In Aberdeenshire, the second top emotion was “happy” with “inspired” coming in third and was more popular with visitors from the West Midlands (41%) and fellow Scots (34%).

This associating of emotions and memories with specific places is not something new.

The psychological concept known as “place attachment” explores the bond between person and place.

Dr Carlos Galan-Diaz, an environmental psychologist at St Andrews University, said: “It is consistently proven that human emotions are present in every aspect of our lives, including where we choose to live or visit for a holiday.

“Our time spent in these places has consequences on our feelings from the moment we visit.

“It can be as simple as being in your favourite place and feeling a sense of happiness immediately, or it can be as long-lasting as our ‘moods’.

“As humans, we have tendencies to bond with and be surrounded by other living things, and our favourite places can help to restore our bodies and minds.”

Scotland’s favourite place for couples

Watch out Paris, it appears the UK’s lovebirds have a new city of love in mind.

Around 48% of the respondents who held a strong emotional connection with Scotland because they got engaged here, said they got engaged in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

Another four in 10 who remembered Scotland fondly because they got married there said they got hitched in Aberdeen or Aberdeenshire.

Alice Leys and Andrew Lampert got married at Dunnottar Castle. Image: Alice Leys

David Jackson, regional director at VisitScotland, said it was “fantastic” to see Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire as the top locations in Scotland that visitors hold a special connection to.

He added: “A year-round destination offering benefits of a city break with rural escape, the north-east of the country offers something for everyone from excitement and adventure to inspiration and love with many choosing to celebrate life moments such as an engagement or wedding here.

“Our latest marketing campaign, Scotland is Calling focuses on this appeal highlighting the ways in which Scotland can fulfil a visitor’s emotional needs.

“We hope the campaign will inspire more people to discover the magic of visiting Scotland and the north-east during the autumn months and winter months and create new special memories and life moments.”