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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.

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Featured Hotels


Park Inn by Radisson

This reliable Radisson hotel in the city centre uses modern architecture to blend in wonderfully with the Granite City surroundings. With 185 rooms to choose from, plus all mod cons and that Radisson stamp of quality, the Park Inn is the best mid-range chain option in Aberdeen.

Mercure Aberdeen Ardoe House Hotel

Ardoe House is a luxurious modern hotel housed in an impressive 19th-century mansion house overlooking Royal Deeside and located just 5km (3 miles) from the city centre. It has 109 individually designed bedrooms with great views of the surrounding estate, a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, steam room, tennis courts, gym, beauty salons and two restaurants and two bars.

Marcliffe Hotel and Spa

This celebrated 5-star hotel sits in verdant grounds. Its beautifully appointed rooms have paintings, antique furniture, and TV. The Conservatory chefs specialise in Grampian produce - Aberdeen Angus beef and game with fish and shellfish from local rivers and ports. The wine cellar has over 400 wines, and the Drawing Room bar has more than 100 malt whiskies.

Roselea Hotel

The Roselea is housed in a listed Aberdonian granite house built in the mid 19th century. This is a friendly, family-run guesthouse situated close to bus and rail links and the ferry terminal for Orkney and Shetland Islands ferries. Every bedroom has a TV and tea/coffee-making facilities.

Craighaar Hotel

An award-winning hotel located just off the A96 provides easy links to the City centre and Aberdeen Airport. Enjoy a luxurious experience at an affordable price.

Skene House Suites

Skene House Suites are serviced apartments that offer an affordable alternative, particularly for groups. Prices are per suite, per night, so the larger suites become great value for money if shared by a few people. The suites are all located in the centre of Aberdeen and are all well appointed and individually designed.