Adventures around Aberdeenwith PlusBus
With a two mile stretch of sandy beach, two big rivers, a picturesque old town, a beautiful university and world-class churches and museums, Aberdeen is a great place to explore by bus. The buildings are made of grey granite with flecks of mica that glint on a sunny day so this is a city that sparkles. With a PlusBus ticket, you can ride to nature reserves, villages, gardens and galleries.
1. Footdee fishing village
The seafront settlement of Footdee (pronounced “fittie”) is an old fishing village, just a short ride on the bus from Aberdeen’s railway station. Its narrow lanes are still lined with nineteenth century cottages. There are whitewashed walls and tubs of geraniums, weatherboarded huts and little alleyways. The cottages face each other around courtyards, turning their backs on the sea to help protect them from storm damage.
- Ask for a PlusBus ticket when you buy your train ticket and you can ride the buses all day all over Aberdeen. Bus 13 leaves regularly from Stop M on Guild Street near the railway station. Occasional buses go right to the village itself. Otherwise, you can get off at Queen’s Links and stroll along the beach.
- The village itself was designed by John Smith, the architect who gave Balmoral Castle the appearance it has today. Footdee is right on the sandy beach so it is a good place for a dip in the sea. Thanks to Visit Scotland and Kenny Lam for the photo.
- And you could check out the Silver Darling restaurant to eat Stonehaven langoustines, oysters, mussels, or local salmon – as homemade citrus gravadlax or hot smoked – all with a sea view. Or try a vegan version of fish and chips from the plant-based Roots food van a few steps along the seafront.
2. Donmouth Nature Reserve
Watch out for seals basking on the sandy promontory at the river mouth as you stroll through a wildlife refuge on the edge of the city. Where the wide River Don meets the endless sea, this estuary beach is a great place to spot waders, terns and other seabirds.
- Several buses pass nearby. Bus 1B runs frequently (regularly on Sundays) from stop J4 on Aberdeen’s Castle Street. Hop off at the Seaton Beach Esplanade bus stop and walk towards the sea.
- Look out on the coast nearby for a big rocky sculpture called Windows to the Sea. Aberdeen’s Old Town is a short, beautiful walk from here along the River Don, past the medieval Brig o’ Balgownie.
- If you cross the brig, turn left along the short, wooded path and road beyond, and then fork right into Scotsdown road, you will find great coffee and ice cream at the Crema café Bridge of Don. Bus 1 runs regularly back from here into the centre of the city.