Aberdeenshire is a Highland county: a county of wild mountains and wild seas.
Its coastline rounds the “Cold Shoulder” of the Highlands, in an area known as Buchan, and on this northern coast are the fishing towns of Fraserburgh and Peterhead. The county’s coast then stretches round to face the open North Sea, and south to the county town, Aberdeen and the River Dee, the lower reaches of which form its southern border with Kincardineshire. The coast is largely rocky with few headlands.
The City of Aberdeen is the landward heart of the North Sea oil business, which has made Aberdeen one of Britain’s wealthiest towns and also a centre of engineering excellence. Aberdeen is home to one of the four ancient universities of Scotland.
The shire reaches far inland along the valley of the Don and up the Dee deep into the Grampian Mountains to the heart of the Cairngorms. These inland parts the county are known as Mar. Here is mountain and forest, cut with fertile valleys. This part of Aberdeenshire contains several Munros (mountains over 3,000 feet), of which the highest is Ben Macdhui (second only to Ben Nevis in the whole of the British Isles), standing at 4,296 feet, on the Banffshire border.
County Town: Aberdeen
Main Towns: Aberdeen, Ballater, Braemar, Dyce, Fraserburgh, Huntly, Inverurie, Peterhead.
Main Rivers: Dee, Don, Ythan, Deveron.
Highlights: Balmoral; Slains Castle, Peterhead; Provost Skene’s House, Aberdeen; Loanhead Stone Circle.
Highest Point: Ben Macdhui, 4269 feet.
Area: 1,950 sq miles