As lockdown begins to ease throughout Scotland and the UK, many of us are out exploring in the springtime sunshine and enjoying seeing the Granite City on foot.
Whether you’re with us for a business visit or a staycation, we’re positioned right at the heart of the city’s restaurant scene, with historical sites, excellent transport links and fantastic shopping opportunities all within reach. We’ve put together this guide to our favourite walks – so whether you appreciate stunning beaches, riverside strolls or intricate architecture, you’ll find something to suit your tastes.
Silver City with the Golden Sands
Aberdeen’s long, welcoming beach has long been a favourite with tourists and locals alike. Only a 15 minute walk from The City Rooms Aberdeen, start your walk beside Corona’s Amusement Park – the biggest of its kind in Scotland. From here, head south to travel towards the historic village of Footdee, known as ‘Fittie’ to locals. Packed with rows of 19th– century cottages, these were originally created to rehouse the city’s fishermen. Now a riot of colour and quirky exterior designs, the charming little houses make for an excellent Instagram opportunity.
Retrace your steps to walk north up the beachfront promenade. Eventually, you’ll reach the mouth of the River Don – and from here, our second walk.
Donmouth Local Nature Reserve
Designated a Local Nature Reserve in 1992, this stunning beach site marks the point where the River Don opens into the North Sea. It’s a hive of activity all year round, with ample opportunities to spot waders, terns and various seabirds during the spring and summer. If you’re really lucky, you may see seals hauled out onto the sand spit near the mouth of the river. Cross the Bridge of Don and walk further into the reserve to visit the Brig ‘o Balgownie; the original northern gateway into Aberdeen, dating from the 13th century.
Head back to King Street to continue on foot or by bus or car back to Union Street.
Granite and gothic
Union Street – Aberdeen’s ‘Granite Mile’ – has long been the city’s architectural and social heart. Named after the Acts of Union of 1800 with Ireland, the street features Union Bridge; the world’s largest single-span granite bridge created to elevate the walkway above the Denburn valley below.
Halfway along Union Street’s length, it’s at this junction that you can see the elegant Doric columns on the corner of Union Terrace and Union Street. Their intricate design is echoed further eastbound on Union Street in the screen of St. Nicholas Kirk, designed by John Smith in 1829 and fronting the kirkyard of St. Nicholas Uniting church.
Continuing back towards The City Rooms, a diversion onto Broad Street is highly recommended – for it’s here that you’ll see the second-largest granite building anywhere in the world. Marischal College is still in the possession of the University of Aberdeen and is the headquarters of the city council. Following recent renovation, it displays an impressive sparkle in direct sunlight. The southern-facing tower of Marischal College, including the spire of Greyfriars’ Church, is an impressive testament to the intricacy and skill of Scottish architect Alexander Marshall MacKenzie.
From here, it’s only a five minute walk back to the comforts of The City Rooms Aberdeen.
And when you’re finished with the day’s adventures, you can relax and recharge with the home comforts and sumptuous luxuries of The City and Victoria Court, including luxury beds with fast, free Wi-Fi and en-suite showering facilities where available.
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