9 Stunning Pitstops Along the Aberdeenshire Coast

Puffin | © Harald Deischinger/Flickr

Aberdeenshire has 165 miles of coastline to explore; a coastline that has been rated one of the most scenic in the world. One of the reasons for this is due to its varying nature — long and empty sandy beaches here, hidden sheltered coves there, with towering cliffs filled with seabirds and topped with ancient castles. Here is our guide to nine of the most marvellous spots to visit along the Aberdeenshire coast.

Duff House

Designed by William Adnan and built for William Duff of Braco, Duff House is a simply magnificent example of a Georgian house. Constructed between 1735 and 1740, the mansion is full of art, both in the stone carvings on the outside and also within, as it has been a part of the National Galleries of Scotland since 1995 — exhibiting art on a revolving basis. The rooms are beautifully furnished and, as the building is owned by Historic Environment Scotland, it is open to the public. As well as the interior, the outside has lovely walks along the River Deveron, and through the grounds and woods surrounding the house. It has been said that Duff House is one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in the world.

Duff House, Low Street, Banff, +44 1261 818181

Duff House

1. Museum of Scottish Lighthouses


Museum of Scottish Lighthouses
In 1787, the 16th-century Kinnaird Castle was converted into the very first lighthouse in Scotland, which is now incorporated into the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses. With a purpose-built museum beside the castle, and a wealth of exhibits, the visitor can also tour the castle and lighthouse. If you have ever wondered how lighthouses were built on tiny rocks in the middle of the sea, then you can find the answer here. The museum is open all year, with reduced winter hours.

2. Dunnottar Castle

Architectural Landmark

2. Dunnottar Castle
© pbutke/Flickr
If you visit Dunnottar Castle on a day full of sea mist, you can be forgiven for thinking you have somehow stumbled across a set from Game of Thrones‘ Iron Islands. Ruined castles don’t come much more atmospheric than this one, with a steep descent, then ascent, just to reach the entrance, sheer cliffs and sudden drops, with birds flying below you. Fought over for centuries, Dunnottar used to house the Scottish crown jewels, and was at the forefront of Scottish history until it was forfeited. The last Earl was convicted of treason due to supporting the Jacobite cause in 1715 and the castle was sold and stripped of everything of value, including the floors and ceilings. Thankfully, in 1925, the castle was bought and urgent repairs undertaken.

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