Aberdeen's Best Parks and Gardens

Heather, Hazlehead Park
Heather, Hazlehead Park | © Rachel Paterson/Flickr

Despite being known as the Granite City, Aberdeen is full of green places to sit and pause, or walk and admire the flowers. From large scale parks or warm glasshouses, to churchyards and inviting patches of grass, here are eight of Aberdeen’s parks and gardens you won’t want to miss.

1. Duthie Park and David Welch Winter Gardens


Duthie Park sits on the banks of the River Dee, and takes in 44 acres of land. Featuring a boating pond with pedal boats and kayaks, a play area, large expanses of grass and beautiful flowers, this park is a popular family destination, although it is large enough that if you desire peace and quiet you should be able to find a spot for yourself. There is also a café and toilets. The Winter Gardens are spectacular, and worth a visit of their own, with the second largest collection of giant cacti in the UK, and year-round colour.

Duthie Park, Great Southern Road, Aberdeen

Year Round Colour, Duthie Park | © Alan Porter/Flickr

2. The Mither Kirkyard


The Kirk of St. Nicholas Uniting may seem like an odd choice to add to a list of parks and gardens, but this little oasis of green and trees is quite magical. The church is also known as the Mither Kirk (Scots for Mother Church) and is often full of wee birds singing. The trees provide welcome shelter, whether from rain, snow, wind or even sunshine, right in the heart of the busy centre of Aberdeen, and the ancient gravestones themselves are fascinating.

St. Nicholas Kirk, Union Street, Aberdeen

St. Nicholas Kirkyard | © denisbin/FlickrSt. Nicholas Kirkyard | © denisbin/Flickr

3. Union Terrace Gardens

3. Union Terrace Gardens
© dun_deagh/Flickr

Just a short walk west of St. Nicholas, these gardens date back to 1879 and the mature elm trees at one end are an even older remnant of a wood that once stood here. The gardens are shaped like an amphitheatre and concerts are sometimes held here. With the city’s crest made out of flowers, and several other beds of colour to catch the eye, this is a perfect spot to sit in the sun and have a picnic lunch, just off one of the busiest streets in Aberdeen.

Union Terrace Gardens, Union Terrace, Aberdeen

Union Terrace Gardens | © dun_deagh/Flickr

5. Johnston Gardens

5. Johnston Gardens
© Graeme Churchard/Flickr

A photographer’s favourite, Johnston Gardens is a hidden gem, with pools, streams, bridges and a huge variety of shrubs and plants. Situated in the west end of Aberdeen, this is a quiet oasis of calm, and especially stunning in autumn, when all the leaves turn brilliant shades. There are many bird nesting boxes, encouraging wildlife to the area. Popular with wedding parties as a backdrop for photographs, Johnston Gardens may not be the largest in Aberdeen, but they are certainly one of the most beautiful.

Johnston Gardens, Viewfield Road, Aberdeen

Johnston Gardens | © Graeme Churchard/Flickr

6. Victoria Park


In spring Victoria Park is perhaps the best-scented place in Aberdeen, with its rhododendrons in full bloom and their heady perfume filling the area. Centred around a fountain made of fourteen different varieties of granite, the park was named after Queen Victoria and opened in 1871. It continues to flourish as a popular spot for locals and visitors alike. There are plenty of benches to pause and sit, and there are clean public toilets too.

Victoria Park, Watson Street, Aberdeen


7. Hazlehead Park


On the western fringes of the city, Hazlehead Park is huge and offers a wide variety of activities for all visitors. With many trees and wilder spots it is ideal to walk around taking in the wealth of wildlife it attracts, or perhaps a round of golf at one of the courses? There are football pitches, children’s play areas, a pitch and putt course, Scotland’s oldest planted maze, and even a petting zoo. The café at Hazlehead Park is an excellent spot to sit with a drink or grab a bite to eat. Situated in one of the rose gardens, the Piper Alpha memorial remembers the 167 oil workers who died in the disaster.

8. Seaton Park

Cathedral, Park

On the banks of the River Don and next to St. Machar’s Cathedral and Cruickshank Botanic Garden, Seaton Park is one of the busiest parks in the city. Featuring a walled garden, lush flower beds, many mature trees and wide open green spaces, this is an ideal spot to spend a summer’s afternoon. The walk from the Cathedral to the gardens deserves a special mention, as it features a wonderful display of flowers each year. Walking along the river bank gives you the opportunity to spot nature, and if you continue a little further you reach the Brig o’ Balgownie, mentioned by Lord Byron in his famous poem, Don Juan.

Seaton Park, Don Street, Aberdeen

Brig o’ Balgownie | © Boon Low/Flickr

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,100 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article