With the snow (or sleet) starting to fall, Christmas season is in full swing in Aberdeen.
Aberdeen’s Christmas Village is in its second week, and the annual Christmas parade saw the crowds (and a fox) turn out to see the lighting of the tree.
But is the tree in the right spot in its current location, towering over the square at Castlegate? Or should it be moved somewhere different.
Some of our readers thought the tree would be better placed elsewhere, while others defended its traditional home.
Defenders at the Castlegate
Derek Mcinally was a staunch defender of keeping the tree in its traditional spot.
He commented: “Yes, I have been in Aberdeen 32 years and the tree has always been there.”
Kenny Leslie agreed: “Traditional place for tree, why change just for the sake of it.”
Move the Christmas market to Castlegate?
Some suggested the city should double down by moving the Christmas market to Castlegate as well.
The Aberdeen Christmas Village is currently just down the road outside Marischal College.
Michael Diamond wrote: “I would love to see all our amazing local street food and drink vendors given a chance to use the space. I am sure the Castlegate could be better used over the festive period. In any other major European city a big plaza like this would be a vibrant and exciting destination in its own right. Lets get imaginative and make it happen.
David Spaver Scott agreed: “Why not close that end of King Street right round to the current market and make it a much bigger event similar to the bigger cities Christmas markets!! Aberdeen is falling behind in every way as a major city and this is another example.”
Laura Craig had fond memories of times at Castlegate, writing that the market “was brilliant there.”
She continued: “Many a Sunday falling out of Portals for a shotty on the dodgems … Oh some memories.”
Others defended Castlegate, saying the area was in need of a boost.
Christiano Shuttle-Worth wrote: “Every time the Castlegate gets anything, you lot are wanting it moved. Any other city in the world, a square like that would be celebrated & thriving. Bars, restaurants, bakery, a book shop, art gallery, bubble tea.. just for starters. But cause there’s sometimes a drunk or two sat there, bad.”
Gordon Beattie added: “Castlegate needs something to brighten up the area, while ACC wait for the 26 year old, pedestrianisation, regeneration experiment, to kick in.”
The siege of Castlegate: ‘Nobody goes there’
Others were less convinced that Castlegate was the best spot for the tree moving forward.
Mandy Urquhart wrote: “It used to be lovely seeing it even if driving. I’m never down that way now, between bus gates and one-way systems.
“It needs to move but such a shame as Castlegate would have been a lovely location for a proper Christmas Market, not a second Codonas.”
Matthew Newbiggin thought the Christmas tree was not in the best place.
He wrote: “No! We need to start pulling attractions together, and create pockets of busy areas nearby local businesses. The Castlegate is now unattractive, poorly lit, and has next to no other attractions!”
Others were concerned about the conditions in the area.
Ronnie Kain wrote: “I’m afraid the more people walking on that disgrace of a surface, would put pressure on the NHS repairing all the broken legs, hips etc.”
Alex Mitchell noted the windy conditions make Castlegate unsuitable.
He wrote: “There have been many attempts to restart the markets on the Castlegate, but ultimately the stallholders pulled out because there simply wasn’t the trade to make it worth their while and because even they couldn’t stand that level of cold for hours on end.
“Yes, that’s partly why nobody goes there… it’s also perishing cold, with the gales blowing up from the Harbour.”
Could UTG or along the Dee be a better spot?
Some had suggestions for other locations, like the Union Terrace Gardens.
Christine Mackie wrote: “They need 2 Trees one in UTG the other at the Castle Gate I am sure a business would provide the Christmas
City council plans to move the market down the road to Union Terrace Gardens never materialized.
Others had more novel suggestions.
Neil McIntosh wrote: “It’s the center or town, mind you you can’t really pass that area. Should maybe put it along the dee as there’s more chance passing there.