Aberdeenshire and Moray cover a large chunk of northern Scotland – some 3500 square miles, much of it open and varied country dotted with historic and archeological sights, from neat NTS properties and eerie prehistoric standing stones to quiet kirkyards and a rash of dramatic castles. Geographically, the counties break down into two distinct areas: the hinterland, once barren and now a patchwork of fertile farms, rising towards high mountains, sparkling rivers and gentle valleys; and the coast, a classic stretch of rocky cliffs, remote fishing villages and long, sandy beaches.

For visitors, the large city of Aberdeen is the obvious focal point of the region, and while it’s not a place to keep you engrossed for long, it does have some intriguing architecture, attractive museums and a lively social scene. From here, it’s a short hop west to Deeside, visited annually by the Royal Family, where the trim villages of Ballater and Braemar act as a gateway to the spectacular Cairngorms National Park, which covers much of the upland areas in the west of this region. Further north, the “Malt Whisky Country” of Speyside has less impressive scenery but numerous whisky distilleries, while the coast beyond features dramatic cliffs and long beaches punctuated by picturesque fishing villages.

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Scotland features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Video: 5 reasons to road trip Scotland

Video: 5 reasons to road trip Scotland

Scotland is undeniably beautiful. From famous landscapes like Glen Coe and Loch Ness to unheard of islands scattered off the far reaches of the Highlands, there…

25 May 2018 • Rough Guides Editors videocam Video
6 of the best road trips in the UK

6 of the best road trips in the UK

There is something about a road trip that creates an endless state of heightened excitement. It comes with a heart-in-mouth, funfair-like thrill. And no matter …

21 May 2018 • Mike MacEacheran insert_drive_file Article
Video: 5 reasons you need to visit Islay

Video: 5 reasons you need to visit Islay

With its rugged, edge-of-the-world vistas, the stunning Hebridean island of Islay in Scotland's Argyll region has an aura of isolation. But as our videographer …

10 May 2018 • Rough Guides Editors
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