It’s one of the most ‘well kent’ parts of Scotland, but there are many hidden gems to seek out in Deeside.
From fantastic boutiques and artisanal jewellers and crafters to restaurants and pubs to enjoy lunch, dinner or a tipple, there’s plenty on offer regardless of the weather.
Here’s a few of the place we feel should be on your “must-see” list when you visit Deeside.
Bentleys Banchory is the boutique that specialises in stylish outfits for all occasions.
They stock high quality womenswear, shoes and accessories all with the vision from today’s current fashion trends. The Bentleys buying team focus on both smart casual and occasion wear so that customers have versatility in their wardrobe and always look fabulous.
Bentleys Banchory products assure that you will turn heads at every occasion.
Bentley’s special occasion department is brimming with outstanding outfits and dresses in a myriad of colours and styles in sizes 8-24. With so many stylish ladies looking for something a little bit different, Bentleys Banchory have chosen styles to suit everyone. Whatever you are looking for a chiffon dress for your son’s wedding in the Seychelles or a little dress and jacket with matching hat in subtle silk to softly tone in with the wedding party, you will find it at Bentleys.
With over 25 years in the fashion business, Bentleys have helped dress thousands of women. Bentleys Banchory has developed a fantastic and loyal customer base, which they are always looking to expand. Bentley’s customers are their number one priority, so whether it be in store or online please rest assured that your needs in both products and service will be taken care of.
Real ales, log fire and award-winning, locally sourced, freshly-produced food – what’s not to like at The Boat Inn Aboyne?
There’s a great range of craft ales and locally distilled artisan spirits, and the live music makes this family-owned 18th century inn a real destination on Deeside.
June sees the launch of the Ransacked Black Oven which will offer visitors wood-fired pizzas to take away.
And with regular appearances by Thomas the Tank Engine, there really is something for everyone!
Make sure to follow The Boat Inn for regular updates on live music and events.
The Cowshed Restaurant and Takeaway offers so much more than the mouth-watering lunches and dinners available on their extensive menu.
Open from 9.30am Monday to Saturday, pop in and enjoy a refreshing cup of tea/coffee accompanied by a fine piece’from the selection of cakes and homebakes. Then sit back, relax and gaze at the amazing views across the fields towards the Hill of Fayre.
Lunch is served daily from noon and the offering includes soup, open sandwiches and paninis, as well as a range of freshly prepared main courses using the very best of local produce available. With prices starting from just £6, the Cowshed offers great value, and with the addition of a kids menu and Senior Citizen portions also on offer, ensures that the Cowshed’s friendly staff can provide something that suits every appetite.
Sunday Lunch is still a traditional affair with the famous ‘Cowshed Sharing Board’ and beef that just melts in your mouth.
Evening meals are served Wednesday to Sunday, offering the staple menu as well as a range of special seasonal dishes created to tempt. With dishes cooked from scratch, the chefs are more than willing to cater for customers with any allergies or specific dietary requirements – all you need to do is ask.
If fish and chips to take-away is your preference then look no further than The award-winning Cowshed takeaway, which is open seven days a week, using only the freshest local fish supplies.
The Cowshed was proud recipient of the Evening Express Takeaway of the Year Award in their first year of business.
The Cowshed can also cater for weddings and private functions and is available for exclusive hire.
Edward J Emslie is a well-established family-owned business, founded in 1985 by the current owner, director, and main carpet fitter, Edward Emslie.
Located in the beautiful village of Ballater on Royal Deeside, they are house furnishers and floor covering specialists. They believe in traditional values and work hard to ensure they can offer customers competitive prices and first rate customer service.
The team aims to offer all that their clients need to turn their house into a home all under one roof including flooring, blinds, Silentnight beds, furniture, fabrics, log baskets, voyage cushions, mats and rugs.
Customers can find help with all aspects of flooring in the Edward J Emslie showroom, in which they aim to provide a friendly, pleasant atmosphere where customers can choose from an extensive range of products or simply enjoy browsing for inspiration.
One of the small, friendly and knowledgeable team is always on hand to offer advice and help.
Footprint is an excellent independent shoe retailer in Aboyne in the heart of Deeside. They have built a reputation for providing customers a first rate service for every footwear requirement.
They stock a wide range of brands including Rieker, Josef Seibel, Padders, Earth Spirit, Rocket Dog, Romika, Adesso, Skechers and many more. They have something to cater for all styles and requirements.
As well as footwear they stock an extensive range of shoe care products, socks and slippers and can offer both in-house repairs or through their approved cobbler.
On top of all this, they provide excellent services such as key-cutting while you wait, engraving, pet discs and can also replace zips on leather goods and stitch leather goods on site.
Footprint is open from 10am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday and is located in Station Square.
A traditional family butchers that was established in 1867, John Troup is at the heart of the Aboyne community.
They are suppliers of locally sourced, top quality beef, lamb, pork and poultry. They also create absolutely delicious homemade pies and have a range of cooked meats.
Located in Station Square in Aboyne, John Troup has the solutions to the perfect menu.
Larks Gallery is a friendly, contemporary gallery owned by Pip Will and located in Ballater.
The gallery aims to promote the very best contemporary art in the North East of Scotland. The area has a wonderful pool of talented artists and skilled artisan makers and there is an ever-changing selection of original paintings and artisan craft on display in the gallery.
They have a monthly featured artist, as well as exhibiting a wide range of mediums and styles throughout the year.
Not only does Larks Gallery exhibit the very best work from leading Scottish artists but are also passionate about exhibiting emerging talents in painting, sculpture, ceramics, glass, wood, textiles, photography and jewellery design giving new artists the opportunity to exhibit their work.
The gallery is open Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday between 10am – 5pm, and visitors are welcome to come in and view the exhibitions and find out about their services.
Lava Jewellery Design has been creating jewellery to mark special occasions for over 10 years.
Duncan and Jacqui Grant founded Lava Jewellery Design in 2006. Both are qualified jewellers, who met while at art school, and they each have over 20 years’ experience in the design and creation of bespoke jewellery.
They specialise in making bespoke wedding jewellery, including shaped or fitted wedding rings, shaped diamond set wedding rings, bespoke engagement rings, gents wedding bands and eternity rings.
They have a range of collections, including the stunning Deeside Collection (pictured). Duncan and Jacqui created the collection after being inspired by the River Dee, having lived a stone’s throw from it throughout their marriage.
They said: “We’ve tried to capture the flowing water in the engraved and raised lines, with the blue diamonds representing the reflected colour of the sky on a sunny day.”
They also have an online shop, which features their range of contemporary Scottish jewellery, or visit the studio workshop in Peterculter to pick the perfect present for special someone.
Norvite’s Farm and Country store at Deeside Activity Park may be the smallest of its three stores in Aberdeenshire, but it is still manages to squeeze in thousands of different products.
A one-stop shop for feeds, bedding and supplies for animals, it also has an attic full of country clothing and footwear as well as lovely country gifts.
Whether picking up wild bird food, coping with lambing, preparing for the arrival of a new puppy or kitting out your horse for the season, the store has an excellent selection for all budgets.
Although it has a reputation for the supply of premium clothing and boots from country brands like Schoffel, Dubarry, RM Williams, and equestrian brands such as Ariat, Cavallo, LeMieux and Pikeur, the store also has a fantastic range of quality items for a keener budget, including Hoggs Countrywear, Joules and Noble Equestrian.
Norvite Farm and Country recently launched an online store, offering local customers the chance to click-and-collect as well as making their product ranges available throughout the UK.
The Wee Boorachie studio and shop is a four-star VisitScotland attraction situated on the Deeside Way in the heart of Royal Deeside.
A lively outlet for UK artists and crafters, it is the perfect place to treat yourself or others.
With over 200 designers, they offer a wide range of products, each individually crafted into unique one off pieces which cater to a wide range of tastes and pockets showcasing the best of British and Scottish crafts.
It provides an outlet for many local crafters and artists who want to sell their work at affordable prices. People come back time and time again.
You’ll not find a place like it anywhere else.
Uniquely it features a knit studio where visitors can watch the creation of knitted fabric on a large manual commercial knitting machine.