Aberdeen, otherwise known as “The Granite City” may not scream out to those looking to experience the very best of Scotland, especially to those with health & fitness on their minds, but think again.
Officially voted the happiest place in Scotland this small city by the sea will charm you like no other once you delve beneath its grey exterior.
13-15 Thistle Street, Aberdeen
“There are no strangers here, only friends we are yet to meet” This gives a taste of the atmosphere you will find yourself in once you walk through the beautiful blue doors of Foodstory.
Hidden away one street behind bustling Union Street you will find the cafe that everyone, health conscious or not, wants to go to. A cosy, trendy and welcoming café where you will often find students working away while enjoying breakfast or lunch. The menu is a vegan’s idea of heaven and it also caters for all dietary needs such as vegetarian and gluten free. Eat in or take out, food story’s dishes cooked with the freshest ingredients by the lovely staff will not disappoint.
2 Guild St, Aberdeen AB11 5RG
Maybe not the most Aberdeen specific place to eat out but let’s be serious – You will not find a better gluten free pizza base if you tried. The chain restaurant based upstairs in Union square shopping centre allows you to surprisingly easily escape the hectic atmosphere surrounding the crowds of Aberdonian shoppers. Prices are very reasonable and health foodies will be in love with the menu options – Vegetarian, Vegan, Non- Gluten, Non- dairy & 600 calories or less.
73-75 Skene Street, Aberdeen AB10 1QD
Bonobo cafe is the first 100% vegan, worker’s cooperative cafe in Aberdeen, something that is well over due! Every day they serve breakfast and lunch options and have raw and gluten free alternatives available. Personally, I would say go for the cakes but other examples on the menu are Winter Nut Roast, Classic Vegan sandwiches, avocado on toast and lots and lots of porridge options to wake you up in the morning!
The Deeside Way
As a cyclist myself I couldn’t not promote Aberdeen’s cycling scene. Although maybe not as equipped for bikes as cities such as Edinburgh due to the lack of cycle lanes, there are plenty of ways to escape the city for the day and be transported to the quiet country lanes of Aberdeenshire.
The Deeside way is a path that runs from central Aberdeen (Right next to Duthie park) all the way to Ballater, in the Cairngorms national park! This path can be done on either two feet, two wheels or even on horseback in some areas. The route follows the line of the Old Royal Deeside Railway and will take you past the city, mountains, sea and hills.
Transition Extreme Sports Ltd. Links Road, Aberdeen, AB24 5NN
For those who like a rush of adrenaline in their day, transition extreme is the place for you. You will find this centre right down by the seafront so be prepared for the sea spray on your walk there if the wind is from the North! With a skate park, rope course and climbing walls there is options for everyone.
I cannot speak highly enough of the climbing facilities, at the end of last year I had never climbed, now thanks to the help of the staff I am a confident climber and can even tackle some of the most challenging climbs in the centre! You also have access to a calisthenics gym which is great fun and lets you get in that vital pull up practise!
Being an island girl means this may just take prize position as my favourite part of Aberdeen – The beach. Only a short walk from the centre this beach is a peaceful retreat from the bustling city.
Choose to walk along the top road while admiring the bright lights of the beach side ferris wheel, stroll along the quiet esplanade or do it the proper way by feeling the sea and sand between your toes. You might even get a front row seat to watch the surfers that brave the icy water if you time things right. The beach stretches all the way from the harbour to the estuary and is also the location for one of the two park runs held every Saturday in Aberdeen!
Duthie Park is the largest park you will find within the centre and is recognised as one of the best purposely designed parks in Scotland. You will stumble across all sorts of attractions including ponds, open greens, cricket greens and views of the river and beautiful views of Aberdeen’s River Dee that flows alongside the park. A popular attraction within the grounds is The David Welch Winter Gardens which is similar to Edinburgh’s Botanic gardens and hosts an impressive indoor garden experience.