Living in Area guide: Aberdeenshire
From attractive fishing villages to quiet towns hidden away in Royal Deeside, beautiful Aberdeenshire is full of wonderful places to live, and each location has its own history, character and unique appeal. On top of the charming villages and towns, Aberdeenshire offers its residents a huge variety of things to see and do, including festivals, castles and nature reserves.
Royal Deeside, as the name suggests, has been popular with the Royal Family as a holiday destination since the mid-19th century. It's easy to see why too; the area is full of ancient castles, picturesque towns, mountains and rivers. The Royal Family love the location so much that Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, chose it as the home of Balmoral Castle - still used by the family today as a holiday home. You can even go and visit the castle when it's not in use. Balmoral is just one of over 300 castles located in Aberdeenshire - no wonder it's known as castle country!
Plenty of cultural entertainment
If you're interested in learning a bit more about the history of Aberdeenshire, it's worth visiting some of the many museums on offer. The Tolbooth Museum in Aberdeen, for example, is a civic history museum and hosts exhibitions on crime and punishment, local history and archaeology. Best of all, it's free to visit.
Art more your thing? Then a visit to the Aberdeen Art Gallery is a must, as it's home to works by a huge range of artists including Damien Hirst, Henry Raeburn and Monet. There are also a huge number of local arts and crafts shops and galleries within Aberdeenshire, so if you're looking for something a little bit different for your new home, you're sure to find something you like.
Music lovers will be pleased to know that there are a variety of live music venues in the region too, ranging from the contemporary, such as The Lemon Tree, to the renowned His Majesty's Theatre and the Music Hall.
Back to nature in Aberdeenshire
The large number of nature reserves in Aberdeenshire means that it's a paradise for anyone who loves to walk, take photographs and go bird watching. Sands of Forvie, one of the country's biggest sand dunes, is home to the largest population of eiders in the UK during the summer. More than 225 species of bird have been sighted in the reserve, so you can be sure you'll spot something different every time you visit.
In the winter, head to Loch of Strathbeg, Scotland's largest landlocked lagoon, to see thousands of ducks, geese and swans fly in. It's an unforgettable sight. Of course Aberdeenshire isn't just home to birds; nature reserves like Muir of Dinnet are perfect for seeing badgers, foxes, deer and bats as well as birds of prey.
Don't forget to catch some of the great festivals taking place across the region too, including the Stonehaven Fireball Ceremony. After all, what better way to bring in the New Year than throwing fireballs into a harbour?
Aberdeenshire has so much to offer, it's impossible to list every single attraction and sight. The abundance of activities to fill your weeks, combined with stunning scenery and beautiful neighbourhoods, means you really are spoilt for choice when it comes to finding a new place to live in Aberdeenshire.