Things to do in Aberdeen
Dust off your chef’s whites at a cookery school
Scottish food has been enjoying a renaissance recently and TV chef Nick Nairn can teach you how to whip up the best of it at his Cook School (+44 1877 389 900, www.nicknairncookschool.com). Offering a number of themed classes, chefs-in-waiting can choose courses that cover everything from beef wellingtons to full introductions to Scottish cookery.
Learn to surf along the Balmedie beaches
Scotland might not have Maui's reputation for huge tubes, but just seven miles from Aberdeen are the sandy beaches of Balmedie, which boast good surfing - remember to bring a wetsuit. Aberdeen Beach has plenty of decent wave areas. If you're just starting out, former Scottish ladies surf champion Dee can get you standing on your own two feet at Suds Surf School (+44 7793 063849, www.surfschoolscotland.co.uk).
Ski until your legs burn at Aberdeen Snowsports Centre
One of the best ski and snowboard facilities in the country, Aberdeen Snowsports Centre (+44 122 481 0215, www.aberdeensnowsports.com) is where city slickers turn into downhill skiers. There are three main dry ski slopes to choose from as well as a nursery slope for beginners. If you don't rate your skills, you can grab a rubber ring and tube down instead.
Tackle one of Scotland’s best golf courses
Carnoustie (+44 1241 802 270, www.carnoustiegolflinks.co.uk) may be known for Jean Van Der Velde's infamous 18th hole collapse at The Open Championship in 1999, but not all rounds at this classy course end in the water. But if it's still too daunting, Hazelhead Golf Club (+44 1224 310711, www.hazelheadgolfclub.co.uk) has three courses to pick from, including nine holes for the enthusiastic beginner.
Take the plunge with a day of coasteering
You won't want to do it during the wintery months, but coasteering in the warmer seasons is a first-degree blast. Adventure First (+44 1224 938 583, www.adventurefirst.co.uk) can run you through this high-octane sport, which involves scaling the coastlines, scrambling over rocks, and plunging into the North Sea.