Grampian Escapes and Tours

Edzel Arch

Thinking about joining us on Tour but want to know more? Browse through some of the most popular tours and discover what you can see during your stay in Aberdeen.

Taste of Scotland

Castle Fraser on the Taste of Scotland Tour

Only have one day to explore Aberdeen? Then one of our “Taste” tours is perfect for you.

Scotland is the home of castles and whisky, and we are blessed to have several to explore in Aberdeenshire.  On our “Taste” tours, you experience the culture of the region and be able to taste samples of our local food & drink throughout the day.  This tour is an experience for all your senses and is a wonderful day out.

Stop 1: Aberdeen Beach & Fittie

We start with a short stop at Fittie, an 18th century, purpose-built small fishing community at the foot of the River Dee. Next to the harbour and a long sandy beach, it is the perfect place for watching the ships, spotting the dolphins and enjoying a breath of breezy North Sea air. 

Stop 2: Glen Garioch Distillery

A visit to Glen Garioch Distillery, 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 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 is called Castle Country; we have more castles than anywhere else in Scotland!  Castle Fraser is one of our favourites and we will visit the walled garden, grounds, and castle structure.  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 we guide you through the estate.

Balmoral and Royal Deeside

Highland cows in front of Balmoral Castle

Experience the beauty of Royal Deeside with its connections to the Monarchy, stunning scenery, and beautiful locations to visit.

Stop 1: Balmoral Castle & Estate

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

Stop 2: The Highland Cows

The are not many creatures who are more photogenic and cuter than the Scottish Highland Coo. There are a couple of locations where we can often meet some of these beauties and get some lovely photos.

Stop 3: Ballater

Ballater 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. We’ll have time for lunch and maybe an ice cream treat before we continue our day.

Stop 4: Cambus O’May Suspension Bridge

The Cambus O’ May bridge spans the river Dee and was built in 1905.  A lovely place to watch the river flow past the hills, spot some salmon or Red Kites and enjoy the peace of the woods.

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

With 165 miles of coastline, we have some dramatic landscapes and charming fishing villages along the sea’s edge.

Stop 1: Gardenstown & Crovie

We make our way through the Aberdeenshire countryside, to our first visit. The village of Gardenstown is 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 stop is time & tide dependent, Aberdour has a small be interesting beach with limestone caves, once used to help conceal contraband that was smuggled into the northeast.  One cave was also home to an infamous resident, Jock the Cave Dweller.  

Stop 4: Fraserburgh

The town name means, ‘burgh of Fraser’, after the Fraser Family who bought the land in 1504 and built the family castle. A short visit for lunch & refreshments.

Stop 5: Buller’s of Buchan

Nature lovers will love this stop.  During spring and early summer, this is a haven for seabirds who build their nests on the cliffs to breed. Home to cormorants, kittiwakes, crossbills and our beloved Puffins too.

Stop 6: Cruden Bay & New Slains Castle

William Hay, 18th Earl of Erroll, established Port Erroll in the 1840s.   Tourism provided income thanks to the long pink curve of the Bay of Cruden sands and scenic landscape to the north. 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.

Taste of Aberdeenshire

Dunnottar Caste on Taste of Aberdeenshire Tour

On this “Taste” tour, we are heading to south Aberdeenshire. A visit to stunning Dunnottar Castle and equally impressive Fettercairn Distillery along with a beautiful drive through our countryside.

Stop 1: Banchory & Falls of Feugh

Near 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, are 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.