Scotland’s third city has a story bound up with the sea since its earliest days as a trading town, then a fishing port. The grey and silver of the granite, quarried locally and used to build much of ‘downtown’ Aberdeen, especially around the main thoroughfare of Union Street, give the streets a unique ambience amongst Scotland’s cities.
Aberdeen has also been described – at least in the past - as Scotland’s largest seaside resort. Its promenade, with its leisure facilities including traditional cafes, cinemas, a permanent fun fair and a sports centre, has provided entertainment to generations of holidaymakers. However, Aberdeen is best known for its key role in the extraction of oil and gas from the North Sea (and beyond).From the 1970s onwards this changed the nature of the city from a ‘market town’ and commercial centre for the mostly agricultural ‘shire’ to a major administrative and service centre for this international industry.
The story of Aberdeen is told in its Maritime Museum, while Aberdeen Art Gallery holds a impressive civic collection (with outstanding watercolours in particular). The Gordon Highlanders Museum is also a much loved local institution.
Finally, the wealth created by its involvement in the oil industry sustains a very good range of modern shopping malls.