For students headed to university, there is no denying that Aberdeen has a lot to offer. From the picturesque coastline to the thriving nightlife, you may find yourself looking to escape the hustle and bustle.
Step outside the city and discover an array of exciting tours and day trips. The best of Scotland, you will find history in the castles, stunning Highland views, and the tale of what lies beneath Loch Ness.
1. Highland Fling Tour
If you've been waiting to discover the great outdoors, it starts by following the Highland route to the heart of one of Scotland's largest national parks – Cairngorms.
With your hiking shoes at the ready, take in the breathtaking views by heading to the top of CairnGorm Mountain which is 1,245 metres high. If you're an animal lover, the park is home to many rare and endangered species such as the bushy-tailed red squirrel, feral Scottish wildcat and soaring raptors. With stops in the villages of Carrbridge, Aberlour and Dufftown, prepare to become one with nature.
2. Aberdeen Loch Ness Tour
Looking to uncover the mystery beneath the water?
Out of the city and through the mountains, learn about the history of the surroundings and the famous Loch Ness. Approximately 23 miles long, see whether you make the ultimate discovery and catch a glimpse of the Scottish beast. If you dare to take a closer look, you can head on a boat cruise and sail along the dark waters. For those who prefer to stay firmly on land, you can visit medieval fortress Urquhart Castle. With lots of photo opportunities along the way, you never know what may be seen in the background…
With so many great transport links, you don't need to sign up to a tour to visit the capital of Scotland. Just a two-hour train ride away, you can explore everything the elegant and charming town has to offer. With an array of stylish boutiques, quaint eateries and different cultural events taking place in the city centre, prepare for a jam-packed day.
4. St Andrews and Glamis Castle
Welcome to the home of golf! If you're looking for somewhere to show off your swing, then look no further than this beautiful seaside town. Home to seven unique courses, golf has been played in this part of Scotland since the 16th century. After playing a few rounds, explore the town and university where Prince William studied and first met Kate Middleton.
5. Balmoral & Braemar Tour
Starting off early from the city, visit the Scottish holiday home to the Royal Family since the time of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Set on beautiful grounds, visitors are given the freedom to explore the surroundings and take in the decadent scenery. With an audio tour available, find out how the Royals live when they come to visit. After working up an appetite, the tour heads to Braemar for lunch and then to Duke of Rothesay Highland Games Museum to find out all about the famous Scottish tradition.
6. North Aberdeenshire and the Moray Coast
With long sandy beaches and remote fishing villages, the coast is a great place to escape the busy cosmopolitan feel. Book on to one of the boating trips to see if you can spot dolphins and other exciting marine life. If you're waiting for your catch of the day, you can join one of the many fishing adventures, in the villages of Boddam, Rosehearty, and Fraserburgh. Home to the deepest seawater tank in Scotland, visit the Macduff Marine Aquarium to see the wide variety of sea life from short-snouted seahorses to wolf fish.
7. Castles Tour
The day starts on the coast by exploring the dark history behind Slains Castle. First built around 1597, the castle is believed to have inspired the setting for Bram Stoker's Dracula. Next, the tour heads inland to the House of Schivas. Still haunted by the ghost of Mary Grey, learn about the fire that caused devastation. If you're left feeling a little shaky, the last stop is at a local brewery for some craft beer tasting.
8. BrewDog Dogtap and Dogwalk Brewery tour
With regular buses running out of the city centre, find the headquarters of this famous craft brewery. Offering a range of tours throughout the day and evening, it has its own restaurant serving tasty dishes from around the world. After a delicious lunch, you can find out how BrewDog beers are made. After a recent expansion of its Lone Wolf distillery, you can also take the opportunity to try a range of whisky, gin and vodka.
If you have an eye for design then this is the city for you. Just under 90 minutes on the train, it is home to Scotland's first design museum. Take a trip to the waterfront and find the eye-catching Victoria and Albert Museum. Inspired by cliffs on the north-east coastline, the building is made famous by its curving concrete walls. Inside, celebrate Scotland's design heritage with more than 300 innovative designs, unique exhibitions and much more.
10. The Whisky Experience Tour
Ever wondered how Scotch is made?
This day trip will open your eyes to the secrets behind this famous drink and with some tasting sessions along the way, you'll be left feeling warm inside. Leaving early from Aberdeen in the morning, this tour takes you to Glendronach and Glen Garioch distilleries. After learning about how the whiskies are made, enjoy an exclusive tasting session which matches your favourite drams with a range of cheeses.
With so many tours heading out of the city, you're bound to find something that will pique your interest. From discovering the rich history to learning the great traditions, this is a Scottish adventure just waiting for you to discover.