Aberdeen became something a lot more substantial when Old Aberdeen and New Aberdeen became one.
Old Aberdeen was where Scholars, Monks and travellers settled. Its main focus back in the 1400s, when it was formed, was St Machar Cathedral, as well as King’s College.
There are some stunning things to see, including the Brig o’ Balgownie, which was previously known as The Bridge of Don. Traffic is no longer allowed due to a much newer bridge being down towards the sea, which copes with heavy traffic throughout the day. Being built in 1320, bridges of that era were a lot higher than modern ones. Walking is allowed, and when you are on it, it feels high. It must be a 30/40 feet drop into the river. Some daredevils even jump off it in the summer months. Not advised unless you know what you are doing!
Old Aberdeen Townhouse was at the centre of business back in the 1700s and 1800s. Its Georgian building is stunning. With cobbled streets leading up to it, you are almost sent back in time. Also known as King’s Museum, it’s now maintained and looked after by Aberdeen University. Whilst certainly not a large museum, its displays are well worth a look.
Seaton Park is huge and located right next to the Don River. Its 27 hectares include a massive grass area, parklands, wooded areas and walled gardens. Aberdeen Football Club used to train here daily until their move to Cormack Park outside of the city in 2020. Students, families, tourists and locals can be found in the park, relaxing, strolling or even having a picnic in the summer months. To relax and get away from the bustle of a large city, this a great escape.
Powis Gate is a very unusual site and a definite photo opportunity. Built-in 1883, these towers are inspired by Turkish castles. These are now also maintained by Aberdeen University. They commemorate the freeing of slaves in Jamaica.
Cruickshank Botanic Garden is another gem in Old Aberdeen. This garden packs an enormous punch for only 11 acres, and its main attraction is a sunken garden and herbaceous borders. Whilst this is a favourite of gardeners, the more general public can take in the sights too.
For the keen drinkers, The Bobbin pub is a favourite for the students of Aberdeen. It boasts a large area open area and serves food throughout the day. Another well-recommended pub is The Machar Bar which you have your choice of over 150 whiskies.
Built-in 2012, the Sir Duncan Rice is a fabulous construction. Whilst the library of the University it’s well worth a visit. The ground floor is the most impressive, with a double-height roof. Opened by the Queen, it deserves much praise for its unusual yet striking appearance.Next: Art Gallery