Scotland’s third most populous city stands proudly on the coast of the North Sea. Aberdeen combines all the amenities of a modern metropolis with all the charm of a historic destination. As far as activities and sights are concerned, Aberdeen is a very family-friendly location with plenty of places that children will find fascinating and fun. The city is conveniently located midway between Edinburgh and Inverness, making it an ideal place to stop on a Scottish road trip holiday.
Aberdeen sits right on the border of Scotland’s castle country and is located within an hour’s drive of over 300 castles where children can exercise their imagination and pretend to be royalty for the day. The most famous in the region is Balmoral Castle, where Queen Victoria and Prince Albert once shared a romantic weekend together. Just a few miles down the road is the distinctively pink Craigievar Castle, which would not look out of place in a Walt Disney film. The best way to see multiple castles in a day is by car, and tourists planning on visiting Aberdeen should consider car hire if they plan on getting the most out of their trip. Rental cars can be easily booked from Aberdeen’s airport where you’ll find all the major national companies like National Car represented.
Satrosphere Science Centre
A trip to the Satrosphere Science Centre just outside central Aberdeen is a must for anyone with a passion for science. Specifically catered to children, it may even inspire some kids to grow up to be scientists themselves. In a departure from traditional, stuffy museums, Satrosphere features interactive exhibits that illustrate how science is present and relevant in our everyday lives. Children (and adults) have the opportunity to learn about everything from basic scientific principles, to more abstracted topics like the environment and our ecosystem.
Aberdeen lays claim to a stunning golden sand beach that is a favourite amongst both locals and visitors. Aberdeen Beach is lined with excellent family friendly attractions, including Codonas Amusement Park and Queen’s Link. Between the two, you’ll find great restaurants, cinemas and amusement park rides and games that offer fun for the whole family. Of course, the stunning North Sea is not to be neglected. Aberdeen has become known as a great place to view bottlenose dolphins in the wild. Dolphins can often be seen right from the shore, but if you want a closer glimpse you can take part in a nature cruise where it’s possible not only to see dolphins and whales, but adorable puffins and a variety of other seabirds as well.
Aberdeen Fish Market
If you can get your kids up early enough, consider taking them to the Aberdeen Fish Market. This colourful market has been around for centuries and offers a glimpse into modern maritime and seafaring culture. Fresh fish are offloaded from trawlers and brought into the market where they are auctioned off in the following hours. Fishing has long been a major industry in Aberdeen and the city has had a covered fish market since the 1800s.
Just a 15-minute drive from Aberdeen, Doonies Farm makes for an excellent day or half day trip from the city. The farm is dedicated to preserving the heritage of rare breed farm animals native to the UK, and is both educational and entertaining for visitors of all ages. You’ll encounter dozens of different rare breed species of cow, horse, pig, duck and chicken and learn about their unique history. Kids will revel in the opportunity to see these animals up close and will even have a chance to pet some.
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Written by John