Routes Europe 2015

The route development forum for Europe

Aberdeen, Scotland
12 – 14 April 2015

Tour Information

The Aberdeen Hosts are delighted to offer a range of full day or half day local tours, taking place on Saturday the 11th April to give Routes Europe delegates the opportunity to explore the local area and beyond. We hope there is an option here for everyone, whatever your interests may be. Thanks to the help of our kind sponsors we are able to offer these tours at a complimentary or heavily discounted rate. All tours will be hosted by a local Scottish Blue Badge Tour Guide with excellent knowledge of our beautiful region. 

Details of the tours available can be found below including timings and costs. To book your place please use our tour booking system. Booking for the Aberdeen City Showcase will close on the 12th of March, and for all other tours, booking will close on the 26th of March 2015. Please note tour capacity is limited and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Aberdeen City Showcase – Oil Capital of Europe 


Time: 14:30 - 17:00

Tour fee: Complimentary

Capacity: Max 64 delegates, places allocated on a first come, first served basis.           

Pick-up/Drop-off Points: Aberdeen Town House, Union Street, Aberdeen

Travelling in a comfortable coach and starting from the bustling city centre with its many elegant granite buildings, your tour heads for Old Aberdeen - home to the 15th Century University of Aberdeen where the Chair of Medicine is the oldest in the English-speaking world. As well as King’s College, your route takes you through the commercial heart of the old city and on to the Chanonry with its stately homes and gardens, leading to St. Machar Cathedral, one of the finest examples of a fortified church surviving in Western Europe.

 From the old city you now head for Aberdeen Beach with panoramic views of the North Sea and miles of sandy beach with the chance to visit the fascinating village of Footdee, home to many families with maritime connections. One of the busiest modern ports in Europe lies alongside Footdee and your coach will take you round the various basins to give an idea of its multiple uses.

 Join us for an insight into this vibrant, cosmopolitan city which is a founder member of the World Energy Cities Partnership – an international group comprising Houston, Stavanger, Baku, Villahermosa, Perth WA, Calgary and Vung Tau Vietnam.

Aberdeenshire Tour - Balmoral Castle and Royal Lochnagar Distillery

Time: 09:30 to 17:30

Tour fee: £25 + VAT per person

Capacity: Max 32 delegates, places allocated on a first come, first served basis.           

Pick-up/Drop-off Points: Aberdeen Town House, Union Street, Aberdeen

Balmoral Castle:  Travelling due west of Aberdeen, your route will follow the winding path of the sparkling River Dee as you drive through superb wooded countryside enjoying the delightful towns of Royal Deeside – Banchory, Aboyne and Ballater – heading for the Royal Family’s home deep in the Scottish Highlands.

Purchased by Prince Albert in 1852 and subsequently adapted for his ever-growing family, Balmoral Castle looks out over a scenic landscape of outstanding beauty. Situated in a national park, there’s much to discover in this magical setting – the ballroom with its paintings, artefacts and examples of the Royal Tartan, the Carriage Hall exhibitions and a wonderful variety of walks, gardens and trails many offering superb views of the surrounding countryside. After revelling in the peace and tranquillity of this magnificent estate, enjoy a relaxing lunch and perhaps some shopping in the restaurant and gift shop.                               

Royal Lochnagar Distillery: After lunch at Balmoral you’ll make the short trip to a close neighbour - Royal Lochnagar Distillery, Deeside’s only distillery. Here you can watch distillers tending the traditional mashtuns and gleaming copper stills and producing one of Scotland’s most exclusive whiskies following age-old traditions and craftsmanship. Before leaving, sample a dram and discover why this is a whisky deserving of a ‘Royal’ prefix. There will also be time to browse in the distillery shop for those all-important souvenirs.

Kindly sponsored by WDP (World Duty Free) 

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Aberdeenshire Evening Event - Glen Garioch ‘Wee Tasting Tour’ and Dinner at Meldrum House Hotel

Time: 18:00 - 23:00

Tour fee: £35 + VAT per person including dinner

Capacity: Max 25 delegates, places allocated on a first come, first served basis.           

Pick-up/Drop-off Points: Aberdeen Town House, Union Street, Aberdeen

Travelling west of Aberdeen – little more than 15 miles – travel to the historic town of Oldmeldrum and Glen Garioch (pronounced “Geerie”) Distillery, a small granite distillery named after the Valley of the Garioch traditionally one of the best barley growing areas in Scotland. For more than 20 years Glen Garioch Distillery has been producing a range of beautiful single malt Scotch whiskies acclaimed worldwide.

Here, after an opportunity to view a film on the distillery, enjoy your personal tour starting in the original cooperage where casks were once built and then on through the various buildings to discover first-hand the traditional art of distilling. After sampling two of Glen Garioch’s finest whiskies, take some time to browse in the distillery shop for souvenirs of this memorable visit before you leave.

Then after enjoying some of the finest whiskies at Glen Garioch and only a short drive away join us at the 4 Gold Star Meldrum House Country Hotel and Golf Course set in the midst of superb countryside – one of the finest luxury hotels in Scotland. Well-known here in the north east for its excellent hospitality, this traditional hotel is your location for a truly Scottish dinner showcasing outstanding local products to round off the perfect evening. This will be a memorable evening’s visit.

Kindly sponsored by ComCabs

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Scotland Tour – Inverness and Loch Ness

Time: 09:00 -19:00

Tour fee: £65 + VAT per person

Capacity: Max 32 delegates, places allocated on a first come, first served basis.            

Pick-up/Drop-off Points: Aberdeen Town House, Union Street, Aberdeen

Driving north from Aberdeen through Grampian – the name given to Scotland’s North East – you will pass a gentle landscape of rounded hills, woodland and agricultural land first to Huntly, the home of Dean’s famous shortbread biscuits and on to breath-taking views across the Moray firth as you pass through ‘whisky country’ by Elgin, Forres, Nairn and finally to the Highland Capital of Inverness. This picturesque city packs a real punch and is best explored on foot – a peaceful walk alongside the River Ness, discovery of the castle set high above the busy streets, or shopping in the Victorian arcade.

After some time exploring and enjoying lunch, your party will set off for the short drive down the west side of Loch Ness to Urquhart Castle one of Scotland’s mightiest strongholds with a long and colourful history. Here battles were fought by medieval armies, lavish royal banquets were held and over the years, its location inspired generations of poets and artists. You’ll be thrilled by this great fortress with its magnificent outlook over Loch Ness and panoramas of the Great Glen and who knows it may be your turn to see ‘Nessie’!

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