Drenched in fresh, salty air and bright, clean light, the seaside city of Aberdeen is the perfect manifestation of all of one's romantic imaginings of Scotland. Here the rugged natural beauty of wide oceans and rolling mountains merges with rich history and fascinating culture. It is unsurprising that it has been praised by National Geographic as "one of the world's top-rated coastlines". Aberdeen's history seamlessly melds with its contemporary, industrious nature. Doric; an original Scots language, can still be heard in the streets, and gothic towers rub shoulders with sleek, modern structures. Lose yourself amid the city's enchanting streets and towering buildings, which glitter in the midday sunshine due to the prized Aberdeenshire granite.
Aberdeen © Alan Jamieson
History buffs will be delighted by the Old Town, which flaunts a university founded in 1495, and by stories of the legendary Picts who once used to inhabit the region. Pay a visit to the seemingly endless beach, where it is possible to catch a glimpse of dolphins frolicking in the expansive bay and to view local fisherman hauling in their catch of the day. Sample this fantastic local produce at one of the many welcoming eateries in the city, not forgetting to finish off the meal with a 'wee dram' of the region's finest whiskey. There are spectacular coastal golf courses to put to the test and unparalleled natural beauty of the nearby Cairngorm mountain range to take in with a hike or by bike.