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    Updated on May 5, 2020. Posted on May 5, 2020

    Aberdeenshire's Best Kept Secrets

    The past couple of months have seen significant changes to travel, with many countries around the world introducing tight restrictions around the movement of people. As a result, many of us are now planning on – when restrictions ease somewhat – holidaying in our own countries, otherwise known as the classic staycation. The good news is the UK has many incredible landscapes and towns and cities of its own truly worth exploring. Today, we’ll look at Aberdeenshire’s best-kept secrets and hidden gems:

    Vast Array of Wildlife

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    Although Aberdeenshire is famed for its stunning countryside and beaches, did you know just how vast the array of wildlife is here? In the Cairngorms – the largest national park in the UK – there is an abundance of wildlife such as deer, hare, black grouse and even eagles; the park is also the home to some of the rarest animals in the UK, including the Scottish wildcat. Want to see more? Next, head over to the shores of Aberdeen where you'll find cruise ships offering trips out to the water to spot the local sea life – here, if you’re lucky, you may just see a dolphin or even a killer whale!

    Granite City

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    Many of us will have heard Aberdeen being lovingly referred to as the ‘granite city’ due to its reliance on the granite rock for its architecture, but did you know Aberdeen is home to the second-largest granite building in the world? Marischal College, dating from 1837, is the second-largest granite building and is currently occupied by the local council, although owned by Aberdeen University. The college has many closed displays and galleries which are now available to the public online, with other parts of the college open to visitors.

    Johnston Gardens

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    A fan of Japanese culture? Then you’ll love Johnston Gardens. This beautiful garden will transport you to Japan with its glistening streams, rushing waterfalls and a huge variety of plant life. These gardens have even won the Britain in Bloom award numerous times.

    Footdee

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    The area of Footdee in Aberdeen, often referred to as ‘Fittie’ by the locals, is an old fishing village at the east end of the harbour. This historic part of the city will transport you back to the old days of Aberdeen with its cobbled paths and quaint cottages once built for the fisherman moving to the area.

    Peterhead Prison Museum

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    This might sound like a strange one at first, but a trip to Peterhead Prison Museum is truly worth it! The prison first opened in 1888 and was Scotland’s first convict prison and was in use until 2013. Today visitors can explore the prison and learn of its history, including the time prisoners rioted in the 1980s – leading to a rescue mission from the SAS!

    Dracula's Home

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    A fan of Bram Stoker’s Dracula? Then you will want to head over to the ruins of New Slains Castle near Cruden Bay. These impressive yet eerie ruins perched on a hillside overlooking the North Sea are said to be the inspiration for Dracula’s Castle. In 1895 Bram Stoker visited the area with his family and is said to have been so taken by New Slains that it inspired his creation of Dracula’s home.

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