Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire are areas of exceptional beauty, culture and heritage. Whether you’re enjoying the unspoilt countryside and dramatic coastlines or busying yourself amidst the countless shops, bars, cafes and restaurants in Aberdeen City centre, there’s something to suit everyone.
The region is widely renowned all over the world due in large part to its North Sea oil and gas industries alongside its long and successful maritime and agricultural heritage. Because of this, the North East has played a pivotal role in the economic advancement of Scotland and the UK as a whole, and now sits comfortably as a key hub in the European petroleum industry. Impressively, Mercer’s global rankings Quality of Life Report consistently names Aberdeen as an ideal environment in which to live and work.
Aberdeen is the third largest city in Scotland, home to over 250,000 people. You may often hear it referred to as the Granite City because of the ancient and imposing granite architecture which very much defines it, acting as the perfect backdrop to such a strikingly vibrant city. Aberdeen is also globally connected, with excellent air, sea, rail and road links. The City offers a superb student lifestyle for those at college or university.
Aberdeen is a major shopping destination with shopping centres and stores located within easy walking distance of each other. There are four main shopping centres in the heart of the city: the Trinity Centre, the Bon Accord Centre, the St. Nicholas Centre and the newest and largest centre Union Square, which boasts over 60 shops and restaurants, a 10 screen cinema and a hotel – all under one roof! The Merchant Quarter in the West End is also a popular spot, with unique retailers offering something a bit different to that of the High Street, and with countless bars and restaurants for you to enjoy.
In the centre of Aberdeen you’ll find an eclectic mix of bars and clubs, many of which offer great student deals. Movie lovers can visit one of Aberdeen’s three multi-screen cinemas, and for those interested in the Performing Arts there are venues such as the Music Hall, His Majesty’s Theatre and the Lemon Tree which all offer something different, depending on what you like - eating out will never be a problem either, there are over 300 restaurants to choose from!
For those of a quieter nature there are numerous museums and art galleries for you to enjoy, and leisure lovers can make the most of the gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools available, one of the most impressive being Aberdeen Sports Village - the premier sport and exercise facility in Scotland. There is also the beautiful, sandy beach which acts as the city’s coastline and proves very popular with water sports enthusiasts and walkers.
Aberdeenshire is home to a beautiful combination of rugged coastlines, towering mountains and rolling fields and farmland. The towns and villages scattered across the area are quaint and charming, each with their own distinct attraction. You’ll find cosy restaurants serving fresh seafood, local pubs perfect for a pint and independent galleries and shops selling local arts and crafts. You’ll also find extensive agricultural and maritime industry – for example, the UK’s largest white fish and pelagic port is based in Peterhead!
For those who want to explore the history and culture of the land, there’s plenty to do. Aberdeenshire is home to over 300 castles – that’s more per acre than anywhere else in the UK! You will also find countless whisky distilleries, farmers markets, parks and gardens, as well as stunning woodland walks. If outdoor pursuits take your fancy, Aberdeenshire boasts fantastic areas for hill walking, skiing and various water sports. Glenshee Ski Centre and Lecht 2090 in the Eastern Cairngorms are very popular, as is the Nordic Outdoor Centre in Huntly – the only purpose built all-weather facility for cross-country skiing in the UK.
To find out more about Aberdeen City and Shire, the following websites have lots of helpful information:
Visit Scotland: www.visitscotland.com
Aberdeen City Council: www.aberdeencity.gov.uk
Visit Aberdeen: www.visitaberdeen.com
Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Future: www.acsef.co.uk
It may be surprising, but the Aberdeen area is considerably cheaper to live in when compared to Edinburgh and Glasgow. If you want to secure a bit of part-time or holiday work in order to top up your finances however, there is ample opportunity to do so. Visit www.agtb.org or www.thisisnorthscotland.co.uk for more information.