Slains Castle, near Cruden Bay
Slains Castle is a dramatic ruin overlooking the North Sea from on top of coastal cliffs. It's situated about 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) east of Cruden Bay. It's sometimes referred to as New Slains Castle to distinguish it from the nearby site of Old Slains Castle, which was ordered to be destroyed in 1594 by King James VI. There is much history surrounding both castles, and more can be read here.
The stunning location of the castle gave it natural defences in its day - the North Sea cliffs, an abyss to the west, and the main entrance on the south side would have formed a natural rampart.
Perhaps the most interesting part of it's natural history is Bram Stoker's visit to the area in 1895. It's rumoured he was a guest at Slains, and the castle is commonly cited as an inspiration for Dracula, one of his most famous novels.
Forvie Nature Reserve, Newburgh
Forvie nature reserve and the Ythan estuary near Newburgh is an ideal place for walking, bird-spotting and sometimes you may even see seals basking on the sands. Sand dunes make up a large portion of the reserve, and their constant shifting has changed the landscape over time. Layers of history have come and gone, revealing the half buried remains of a twelfth century church. Bird life is plentiful and you can watch the summer acrobatics of diving terns or the determined stabbing of the carrot-coloured beaks of wading oyster catchers.
Lochter Activity Centre, Olmeldrum
Lochter Activity Centre really does have something for everyone. Whether it's fishing, clay pigeon shooting, riding a segway, go karting or archery, there's plenty for sports enthusiasts. There is also a lovely coffee shop and restaurant on the premises, for those looking for something more sedate but still enjoying the local surrounds.
Please visit www.lochter.co.uk for all the information about their various activities.
Peterhead Prison Museum and Tours
In 2014, a new "super-prison" was opened in Peterhead, which left the former prison to be set up as a museum. This was Scotland's first convict prison in Scotland, and was operational between August 1888 and December 2013. It was also known as Scotland's toughest prison, the media have referred to it as "Scotland's Alcatraz".
Visit www.peterheadprisonmuseum.co.uk for all the details on this attraction.
The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses, Fraserburgh
The museum is full of history, and the full size lighthouse was built through the middle of a 16th Century castle. The guided tours will let you share in the wonder of this truly unique castle, understand the lifestyle and courage of the lighthouse keepers and marvel at the sophisticated engineering that saved lives.
Find out more about this famous North East attraction here: www.lighthousemuseum.org.uk
Bennachie Centre, Inverurie
Bennachie is a prominent land mark in the local area, and can be seen from a distance on a clear day.
People have lived in a fort carved into the hill top, and in radical farming settlements on its slopes. They’ve quarried its stone to build houses, and spun yarns about devils and giants who built its tracks or threw its giant boulders in fits of anger.
Bennachie Centre is the perfect place to start exploring this much-loved hill and the forests that surround it. Trails vary from a gentle route though the woodland to demanding treks in open country, and in the visitor centre you can find out all about Bennachie’s history and wildlife.
Brewdog Craft Beer Brewery, Ellon
Brewdog started out as two men, an idea, and a dog in Fraserburgh. Now their beer is exported all over the world, along with their many bars. Their brewery headquarters are in Ellon, as well as their flag ship bar DogTap. As well as tasting options, they run tours around the brewery, which are very popular among visitors to the area.
As you can see, there are many great local attractions to the area. Local fishing is also popular, as are the beaches at Cruden Bay and Newburgh.
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