Set in an idyllic location by the coast, Banff in Aberdeenshire is a simply gorgeous place to live. As well as being able to breathe in the salty sea, you can also enjoy a spot of fishing on the River Deveron that runs alongside Banff. The river is known for being full of salmon and trout, whereas the town is famous for its stunning Georgian architecture.
If you're looking for somewhere quiet and picturesque, yet filled with plenty of things to do, Banff is the perfect place to set up home.
Following the art theme, Duff House is home to a collection of art from the National Galleries of Scotland. There is also a wonderful tearoom inside the grand mansion, serving cakes, coffee and tea. A lovely place to go on a Saturday afternoon after appreciating some fine art. You can even stroll around the grounds at your leisure, which might be needed after all that cake.
Nearby is the Duff House Royal Golf Club, which provides a course that's mostly flat with only a little bit of rough - ideal conditions for a game or two at the weekend. The River Deveron surrounds the course, so be careful not to lose too many balls in it. If you want to improve how you play, you can even have private tuition. Alternatively, if you want to practice on your own, there's a pitching area, practice ground and putting green open to everyone.
If you want to learn more about the history of Banff, it's worth visiting Banff Museum in the high street. It's run by the community and known for housing one of the oldest surviving silver teapots in Scotland. It's fitting, then, that the museum itself is one of the country's oldest. As well as collections of silver, the museum is home to a replica of a 2000-year-old war trumpet and, for the brave-hearted, some examples of taxidermy.
One of the best things about Banff is its sandy beaches. Head to Banff Links to experience the soft sands - you might even spot some porpoises and dolphins. If you're brave enough to get in the cold water, why not trying your hand at surfing? It's a great place for it, and there's a local watersports club nearby if you need a hand staying upright whilst battling the waves.
If you prefer muddy walking boots to sandy sandals, Wrack Woods is another great place to go for a walk. Within the woods is an old mausoleum, ice house and if you walk a little further, the Bridge of Alvah, a single-arch bridge which stretches across the River Deveron. You'll often see people fishing near here and you might even catch a kingfisher trying to get his dinner.
As Banff is a small town, there are only two schools within the town itself: Banff Primary School and Banff Academy - both of which have excellent facilities. They also offer several after school groups, including football, street dance, rugby and the older kids even have the opportunity to get involved in traditional highland dancing. With so many things to try, it's unlikely they'll end up sitting at home bored.
There are a number of unique shops in Banff, as well as well-known high street chains. However, the most famous shop in Banff is The Spotty Bag Shop. A real-life Aladdin's cave, you can find almost anything in this store. From gifts to Halloween decorations and even gardening products, The Spotty Bag Shop covers practically all your shopping needs. Naturally, it's huge in scale too, as the shop spans more than 18,000 sq feet. In fact, it's so big, you'll probably find yourself spending the whole day here.
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