Grampian Escapes and Tours

If you are thinking about joining us on tour from Aberdeen and want to know more? Read through out tour itineraries and descriptions to discover what you can see.

Taste of Scotland

Castle Fraser on the Taste of Scotland Tour

For those who only have one day to visit Aberdeen, this tour gives you a snapshot of what the area has to offer.

Scotland is synonymous with Castles and Whisky, so what better way to get a true taste of Scotland than by visiting both while in Aberdeenshire.  Not only will you see the culture of the region but you will also be able to taste our provenance with samples of our local food & drink along throughout the day.  This tour is an experiences for all your senses and is a wonderful day out.

Stop 1: Aberdeen Beach

Aberdeen is “The Silver City by the Golden Sands”.   With a long sandy beach  it is the perfect place for watching the ships, spotting the dolphins and sea birds as well as enjoy a breath of breezy North Sea air. 

Stop 2: Glen Garioch Distillery

A visit to Glen Garioch Distillery will give you a taste of Scotland, with their fabulous whisky!  You can take guided tour of the distillery to learn more about the art of creating a perfect single malt whisky and the history of one of Aberdeenshire’s historic distilleries.  At the end of your tour is a guided tasting.

Stop 3: East Aquhorthies Stone Circle

One of Aberdeen’s largest stone circles and it is a perfect opportunity to hear about some of Scotland’s ancient history.  East Aquhorthies Stone Circle is a recumbent stone circle – a type of circle only found in north-east Scotland.

Stop 4: Castle Fraser

Aberdeenshire has a wonderful collection of  castles, in fact we have more castles here per acre than anywhere else in Scotland!  Castle Fraser is one of our favourites and we will visit the walled garden with vegetable, herbs and ornamental plants and flowers.  The Castle is a unique experience and you can explore the different rooms which tell the stories of the Fraser family who inhabited the castle for hundreds of years.  The Fraser’s of Castle Fraser have some interesting characters and you’ll hear stories from different family members who lived in the castle as your tour the building.

Balmoral and Royal Deeside

The river Dee running through Royal Deeside

Join our small group tour and experience the beauty of the Royal Deeside with it’s connections to the Monarchy and stunning scenery. Starting from Aberdeen we will follow the River Dee to the Royal Residence, Balmoral. 

Stop 1: Balmoral Castle & Estate

Deeside is most famous for Balmoral Castle and the history with the Royal family who have loved this area for generations. Balmoral Castle & Estate was the late Queen Elizabeth’s private country retreat in Scotland.

When visiting the estate, we  recommend the audio tour!  You will hear stories from people who lived and worked at Balmoral as they guide you around the estate.

Stop 2: The Rugged Highlands

Scotland is iconic for its beautiful rugged mountains, hills of heather.  On this short scenic drive we tour through the edges  of the highland moors and heath lands of the east Cairngorm National Park.

Stop 3: Ballater

Ballater is is a picturesque Victorian village.   A stroll around the town reveals an interesting range of many specialty shops, restaurants and cafes to enjoy some of the local food & drink.

Stop 4: Cambus O’May Suspension Bridge

The Cambus O’ May bridge spans the river Dee and  was built in 1905.  Footpaths from the bridge lead to Torphantrick Wood and the Muir of Dinnet nature reserve and were popular spots for visitors.

Stop 5: Tomnavarie Stone Circle

Tomnaverie is a recumbent stone circle, a kind of monument found only in north-eastern Scotland. The stone circle surrounds a burial cairn dating to about 4,500 years ago.

Stop 6: Queen’s View

Just outside the village of Tarland is the Queen’s View. The view is particularly loved by the royals who find it an unspoiled beauty spot and a view which epitomises Aberdeenshire.

Coastal Villages of Aberdeenshire

Crovie on the Northeast Coastal Trail

Discover the northeast coast with our small group tour and we will visit some of the region’s most dramatic coastline. Visiting a few of Aberdeenshire’s most beautiful fishing villages, learn about its maritime past, influential characters and hero’s and marvel at the views along the way.

Stop 1: Gardenstown & Crovie

We make our way through the Aberdeenshire countryside, to the coastal villages of Gardenstown and Crovie. Built into the red sandstone cliffs the villages have a special and remote atmosphere. 

The village of Gardenstown has a lot of history in this small community built on the edge of the hillside.  There are walks along the coastal path which take you to Crovie, that dates from the 18th century, a time when the sea was the only mode of transport. The smallest and most remote of Buchan cliff-foot fishing villages.

Stop 2: Pennan

The people of Pennan were dependent on the sea and most families had small boats for their own personal use. Where the men would catch the fish, it was usually down to the women and children to try to sell it to clients in the country. 

Pennan became famous in the 1980s for being used as one of the main locations for the film Local Hero, and representing the fictional village of Ferness.New Aberdour Beach

Stop 3: Coastal Caves and Cave Dwellers

This small be interesting beach has limestone caves which were used to help conceal contraband that was smuggled into the northeast.  One cave was also home to an infamous resident, Jock the Cave Dweller.  Walk in his footsteps and explore the beach before we head off to our next stop.

Stop 4: Fraserburgh & Kinnaird Lighthouse

The town name means, ‘burgh of Fraser’, after the Fraser Family who bought the land in 1504 and built the family castle. The castle was later altered to become one of the first lighthouses in the northeast of Scotland in 1787.

Stop 5: Cruden Bay & New Slains Castle

William Hay, 18th Earl of Erroll, established the fishing community of Port Erroll in the 1840s.   Tourism provided in thanks to the long pink curve of the Bay of Cruden sands and scenic cliffscapes to the north were attracting visitors.

An iconic feature of Cruden Bay is New Slains Castle, perched on the edge of the cliffs. The castle is a blend of several different architectural styles and periods.   The castle fell in in ruin in the late 19th century.

Stop 6: Collieston

Collieston was established as a fishing village by the 16th century, and it provides the first safe harbour in over fifteen miles of beaches and dunes stretching north from Aberdeen. 

The numerous sea caves and small coves with shingle beaches provided ideal terrain for smugglers. Learn about notorious smuggler Phillip Kennedy and his exploits while trying to outrun the exciseman.

Taste of Aberdeenshire

Dunnottar Caste on Taste of Aberdeenshire Tour

Aberdeenshire has a gorgeous landscape and this tour will show you a snapshot of it.  As well as discovering what makes the region great including Fettercairn whisky and one of our more impressive castles, you will be offered samples of some of our great food and drink produced in the northeast of Scotland.

Sgtop 1: Banchory & Falls of Feugh

Just before joining the River Dee at Banchory, the Water of Feugh tumbles over a jumble of boulders and rock steps to form an attractive set of rapids. These are the Falls of Feugh, and while not particularly high, they’re a popular beauty spot.

Stop 2: Cairn O’ Mount

Cairn o’ Mount is the name of a prehistoric round cairn in Aberdeenshire.  The winding road takes us through National Forestry Woodlands to heath land and heather covered hillsides.   We like to call it our highlands in miniature as it offers similar landscapes and hillside views closer to Aberdeen.

Stop 3: Fettercairn Distillery

Fettercairn distillery lies in the heart of rich farming land – a beautiful rural setting which has always attracted visitors. The distillery has a unique still which creates their iconic character along with working closely with local barley producers and using their own spring water.  

This visit will include a tour of the distillery as well as a tasting of two of their whiskies in their visitor centre.

Stop 4: Stonehaven

Stonehaven was originally a fishing village south of Aberdeen but has evolved into a Victorian resort town in the 1800s.  You will be taken on a short guided walking tour of the harbour area and old Stonehaven before having some free time to explore the village and enjoy some lunch.

Stop 5: Dunnottar Castle

Easily one of Aberdeenshire’s most iconic castles, Dunnottar is an impressive site. For over 1000 years Dunnottar Castle played a crucial role in Scottish history. 

The castle ruins are extensive with many rooms and buildings to explore.  Most of what visitors see today are buildings dating from the 16th & 17th century but earlier structures can be seen. 

Note: There are a lot of steps/stairs up to the castle, so this is not suitable for people who have mobility issues.