Nestled on the edge of pretty private woodland on the 300-acre Knockespoch Estate looking out over rolling fields, Mar Lodge is the perfect self catering holiday retreat in Scotland for couples. An excellent choice for those with a passion for outdoor activities, stunning scenery and wildlife. Tourist board rating: 4 Star.
On the one hand you have the city of Aberdeen which has undergone a regeneration process in recent years to create a spirited atmosphere with a lively nightlife. Indeed, the esteemed university in the city further adds to its vibrancy and there is a real energy around the place. It is also home to various well known and major stores and the city offers one of the best shopping experiences in the north of Scotland with various shopping malls alongside small, independent outlets.
Aberdeenshire is a county that is steeped in history and a special Aberdeenshire Castle Trail can take you around the various ancient structures within its boundaries. In fact, around sixteen castles are still in existence in one form or another. This includes the magnificent z-plan Brodie Castle which is complete with secret passageways and well-kept gardens and Huntly Castle, which has played an important role in Scottish history particularly throughout the first Jacobite Rising in 1689.
The makeup of the county makes it a prime location for adventure sports with surfing, canoeing and rafting, all popular pursuits in the often temperamental waters off the Scottish coast. The rural nature of Aberdeenshire also provides it with great walking and cycling routes through the windswept hills and landscapes of the Scottish countryside, while more adventurous visitors can take part in hand gliding, mountain biking and horseback riding. Even though the county receives its fair share of snow during the winter months there are some great indoor ski centres where skiing enthusiasts can test their skills on the artificial slopes.
Whisky, of course, plays a major role in Scottish heritage and no more so is this the case than in Aberdeenshire. There are no less than twelve distilleries throughout the county offering their own unique blend of whiskies and methods of producing and storing the famous drink. The Fettercairn Distillery has been open since the 19th century and most distilleries offer tours (and free samples!) for those who want to learn more about this age old tradition. The county is also famous for several foods such as Aberdeen Angus beef, Cullen Skink, butteries and shortbread which can all be tasted throughout the area.
Aberdeenshire has a lot more to offer than its reputation suggests. Even though the city of Aberdeen has gained a reputation as an industrious metropolis due to North Sea oil, it is a welcoming and vibrant city full of nightlife and shopping. The surrounding rural area offers great views of the Scottish countryside, while the long stretches of coastline provide a breezy outlet from urban life. Aberdeenshire is a mixture of urban, rural and coastal areas and combines all three perfectly to create a diverse tourist destination.