Tourist trails

Find out more about the following tourist trails to explore in Aberdeenshire:

The Aberdeenshire Historic Bridges trail

Bridges Trail cover

From an Iron Age route over the Cairn O’ Mount to the Hanoverian Military Roads between Deeside and Donside and along the dramatic 130-mile North East Coastline, the Aberdeenshire Historic Bridges Trail (PDF 1.21MB) takes you through 2,800 years of history on a 300-mile circular route around Aberdeenshire. 

The Castle trail

Castle Trail leaflet cover

Aberdeenshire is known as ‘Scotland’s Castle County’, with 300 castles, stately mansions and ruins scattered across the landscape, and more castles per acre than anywhere else in the UK. Explore the 19 magnificent sites along Scotland’s Castle Trail (PDF 4.09MB) the only one of its kind in the country.  Discover the dark, dramatic and often gruesome stories that bring the rich heritage of these historic fortresses to life. 

The Coastal trail

Coastal Trail cover

Did you know that Aberdeenshire’s coast was rated as one of the most scenic in the world by National Geographic magazine?  Explore the 165-mile signposted Aberdeenshire Coastal Trail (PDF 6MB) to see the delights of this incredible part of Scotland for yourself.  You’ll discover dramatic clifftop walks, captivating coves, beautiful nature reserves with an abundance of wildlife, expansive beaches, charming towns and villages, world-class links and parkland golf courses and much more besides. 

The Historic Churches trail

the historic churches trailFind out about 12 of Aberdeenshire's most interesting Historic Churches and how to visit them in the Historic Churches leaflet (PDF 2.48MB). 

The stone circle trail

The stone circle trail coverAberdeenshire is home to 10% of the total number of stone circles recorded in Britain. The region even boasts its own unique style of circle: the recumbent stone circle. You can visit 10 of the best on the stone circle trail (PDF 2.32MB). 

The Secret Malts of Aberdeenshire trail

Secret Malts coverWithin an hour's drive of Aberdeen, there are a number of small and intimate distilleries that are less well known than their cousins ‘over the hill’ in Speyside.  We call these the ‘Secret Malts of Aberdeenshire (PDF 3.94MB) ’. Of the eight distilleries featured in this guide most of them are relatively small in scale, but each has its own distinctive history, style and taste. Visitors can get a real insight into the science and art of the distiller, whose skills have remained almost unchanged for hundreds of years. 

The Pictish Stone trail

Pictish trail front cover

As one of the heartlands of the Pictish Community, Aberdeenshire is home to a large number of the elaborately decorated Symbol Stones for which the Picts are famed. Visit 10 of the best with the Pictish Stone Trail (PDF 3.59MB). 

The Peterhead trail

Peterhead trail leaflet coverThis is a walking tour around Peterhead – Aberdeenshire’s biggest town – and highlights over four hundred years of history, stories, events, local scandals, gossip and sensations. Follow the Peterhead Trail for the whole torrid story of Britain’s most easterly town. Twenty six story boards tell tales from Peterhead’s past. There are three routes – a short town centre route, a longer route along the coast past Buchanhaven and the third is our brand-new trail extension between the town centre and Peterhead Prison Museum. You don’t have to walk the whole trail at once - dip in and out at your own pace. View the Peterhead trail map (PDF 2.2MB). 

The Victorian Heritage trail

Heritage Trail coverRoyal Deeside has been a favourite holiday destination of the Royal Family ever since Queen Victoria and Prince Albert first visited and fell in love with the Balmoral Estate in 1848. Since then successive generations of the Royal Family have adopted the area as their tranquil retreat. The Victorian Heritage Trail pinpoints many of the historic places that make the picturesque Dee and Don Valleys, in the north east of Scotland, a truly majestic place. 

Historic Harbours trail

Historic harbours trail leaflet coverThere are 21 harbours in Aberdeenshire, from Sandend in the west to Johnshaven in the south. Visit 12 of the oldest historic harbours to find out about Aberdeenshire's maritime heritage. 

Banff and Macduff trails

There are 8 trails available for those wishing to explore Banff and Macduff at their own pace. Listen to members of the local community telling some of the stories which make Banff and Macduff since so special, and discover the hidden history of Banff and Macduff.