Please see individual tours for start and finish venues.
Please note the following:
Aberdeen City provides some wonderful self-guided walking tours of the city, by area and by theme. If you are unable to join us one of the guided tours, or you have some extra time in the city, then visit the Aberdeen City Council website
Depart: 09:00 from Union Terrace - (Hotel)
Return: 17:30 to Union Terrace- (Hotel)
The civil parish of Birse, in mid Deeside, in home to some remarkable rural industrial heritage, which is inexorably linked to the landscape and ancient pinewoods of the Forest of Birse.
This full day tour will focus on the remarkable water powered mill sites in the Forest of Birse, which include the operational sawmill, turning mill and bucket mill. Over lunch at the picturesque Forest of Birse Kirk we will hear about Birse Community Trust’s role in managing the community’s ancient shared rights on the Forest of Birse Commonty and of the historic links between the forest, the mills and the community.
In Ballogie we will visit the Soutar’s Shop (a shoemaker’s workshop and shop) and see first-hand the work of the local estate in retro-fitting traditional buildings for improved energy performance, using traditional skills and breathable materials. The tour will end at the stunning Thomas Telford bridge at Potarch (1811-13), where (subject to weather and river levels) we will enjoy a late afternoon tea by the Dee.
Sian Loftus is an independent heritage consultant and part-time Project Officer with the Union Street CARS in Aberdeen. Before becoming an independent consultant she worked with the National Trust for Scotland, managing their in-house building preservation trust. She is a resident of Birse and a Trustee of Birse Community Trust.
This tour includes uneven terrain and rough ground. The Sawmill and Bucket Mill offer level access to some areas but include areas that involve steps. The Souter’s Shop has a short flight of steps.
Please note that due to parking restrictions at some sites this tour will be limited to a minibus.
Depart: 09:00 from Union Terrace - (Hotel)
Return: 1830 to Union Terrace - (Hotel)
The decline of the trading ports has had a direct effect on the towns and villages situated on the coast of the north-east of Scotland. Through social and economic assistance, the regenerations of these towns are underway to ensure their local traditions, histories and industries continue to survive. This tour of the north coast will visit three towns, Macduff, Banff and Portsoy showcasing individual projects which are at different stages of their regeneration story.
The tour will show you a broad spectrum of ‘heritage on the edge’ and the challenges these bring, from the abandoned outdoor art deco Tarlair swimming pool, in one of the most dramatic locations in Aberdeenshire, to the Vinery in Banff and the restoration of buildings on the quaint harbour front at Portsoy. For those with an interest in maritime heritage, our tour coincides with the annual Scottish Traditional Boat Festival in Portsoy.
What would a trip to Aberdeenshire be without a visit to a fairy-tale pink castle? Although not on the edge, Fyvie Castle has its own conservation challenges, which we will learn more about from the National Trust for Scotland’s surveyor.
Image © Aberdeens City Heritage Trust
Shaun Norman and Yvonne Tough are both Environment Planners (Built Heritage) with Aberdeenshire Council, each with a number of years of experience working in the development and implementation of heritage led regeneration projects and schemes in the coastal towns of Aberdeenshire.
Fyvie Castle – The castle tour involves a lot of stairs but it is partially accessible for wheelchair users (lift access to some rooms) and people with limited mobility (lifts and stairs).
The Vinery and Tarlair are wheelchair accessible
Portsoy – walking tour, stair access only to the Granary.
Depart: 09:00 from Union Terrace - (Hotel)
Return: 17:30 to Union Terrace - (Hotel)
This day tour to mid-Deeside will look at significant intervention of historic properties at the edge of viability.
Travelling into Royal Deeside we begin at the planned town of Ballater in the heart of the Cairngorm National Park. Our first stop will be to the Ballater Royal Station which suffered a devastating fire in 2015 and underwent an almost ‘complete’ restoration, completed 2018. There will also be the opportunity to visit the 19th century Ballater School which sat vacant for years until a contentious housing scheme came forward.
At Tullich we will see the 2019 conservation and repairs to the ruins of St Nathalan’s Kirk, a 15th century kirk that was on the brink of collapse, and LDN Architect’s glass and cast concrete ‘display case’ that houses a collection of Pictish carved stones found in and around the site.
The day will conclude with a tour of the picturesque 16th century Craigievar where, guided by the National Trust for Scotland surveyor, we will look at ongoing issues with the striking harled finish.
Ballater Station is fully accessible. The Ballater Old School site is mainly accessible although this will require a short walk from Ballater Station, and this will require utilising pavements within the settlement where there can be issues with on pavement parking. Tullich Church has a wide flat path network around the site. Craigievar is a 16th century tower house and although there is clear surfacing around the exterior of the property, the staircase is stone, uneven and spiral from second storey upwards.
There are toilets available at Ballater Station, public toilets in Ballater and a single toilet at Craigievar.
Depart: 09:00 Aberdeen Train Station
Return: 12:30 tour ends in Stonehaven (or 15:00 for extended tour with sandwich lunch and afternoon visits)
This half day tour of Stonehaven is focussed around the picturesque historic town harbour, where we will visit the Tolbooth Museum and Clock Tower. On route to the harbour we will have the opportunity to see the flooding scheme being implemented by Aberdeenshire Council, in response to the impact of climate change and the increased flood risk the town faces.
From the harbour we will continue on to the Carron to Mumbai Restaurant (formerly the Carron Tea Rooms), a unique Art Deco building that has undergone extensive and careful renovation.
For those able to stay on for the afternoon visits we will have a picnic lunch (weather permitting) on the beach front. Staying on the Art Deco theme, after lunch we will walk to the north end of the town to visit the Stonehaven Open Air Swimming Pool. The pool is the UKs last surviving Art Deco 50m saltwater open air pool and is a popular summer destination for locals and visitors.
The tour will conclude at the pool, allowing delegates to either walk back to the station or to stay on and enjoy a swim and/or ice-cream at the popular Aunty Betty’s by the beach or the historic Giulianotti’s sweet and ice-cream shop (est. 1899) off the Market Square.
Depart: 10:00 East end of Rubislaw Terrace
Return: 12:00 East end of Rubislaw Terrace
Discover Aberdeen’s ‘Edinburgh Connection’ and enjoy a guided walking tour with Aberdeen City Heritage Trust taking in its ‘cottage’ housing, planned terraces and fine churches.
Tour lead: Douglas Campbell manages Aberdeen City Heritage Trust, a limited company and charity.
This will involve mainly walking along pavements and crossing public roads for two miles. There may be some uneven surfacing.
Depart: 10:00 city centre
Return: 12:00 city centre
This half day tour will visit two renewable projects, starting on the north side of the city at the Donside Hydro scheme. Boasting the UK’s widest Archimedean screw turbine, the scheme is the first urban community hydro project. On the tour we will also see how the income generated by the project is channelled into initiatives in the local riverside.
Our second visit takes us to the south of the city, to the Aberdeen Hydrogen Cover refuelling station. After a short presentation on arrival, project staff will guide us around the £2.6million station. Aberdeen has a vision to be a world leading hydrogen city and to develop Scotland’s first commercially scalable, investable, hydrogen production and distribution facility. By kick starting the growth of the hydrogen sector initially for transport, the Hub would scale over time to provide hydrogen for heat, industry and export.
Sepideh Hajisoltani has a multidisciplinary background in architecture, town planning and conservation. She is currently working on the completion of her PhD research project on the Future of UK City Centres. She is a Chartered Member of Royal Town Planning Institute and a full member of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation.
Some equipment we will view of this tour is stored within containers that are not wheelchair accessible. The tour includes walking of some uneven surfaces.
IHBC Enterprises Ltd supports the work of The Institute of Historic Building Conservation
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