“The Cairngorms National Park covers an area of 1,748 sq miles in the council areas of Aberdeenshire, Moray, Highland, Angus and Perth and Kinross. The mountain range of the Cairngorms lies at the heart of the national park, but forms only one part of it, alongside other hill ranges such as the Angus Glens and the Monadhliath, and lower areas like Strathspey and upper Deeside. Three major rivers rise in the park: the Spey the Dee and the Don. The Spey, which is the second longest river in Scotland, rises in the Monadhliath, whilst the Dee and the Don both rise in the Cairngorms themselves.
The Cairngorms themselves are a spectacular landscape, similar in appearance to the Hardangervidda National Park of Norway in having a large area of upland plateau. The range consists of three main plateaux at about 1000–1200 m above sea level, above which domed summits (the eroded stumps of once much higher mountains) rise to around 1300 m. Many of the summits have tors, free-standing rock outcrops that stand on top of the boulder-strewn landscape. The edges of the plateaux are in places steep cliffs of granite and they are excellent for skiing, rock climbing and ice climbing. The Cairngorms form an arctic-alpine mountain environment, with tundra-like characteristics and long-lasting snow patches.
The Monadhliath Mountains lie to the north of Strathspey, and comprise a bleak, wide plateau rising to between 700 and 950 m.
Two major transport routes run through the park, with both the A9 road and the Highland Main Line crossing over the Pass of Drumochter and running along Strathspey, providing links between the western and northern parts of the park and the cities of Perth and Inverness. The Highland Main Line is the only mainline rail route through the park, however there are several other major roads, including the A86, which links Strathspey to Fort William, and the A93, which links the Deeside area of the park to both Perth and Aberdeen.”Wikipedia Page
If you are going to be here on the Saturday or Sunday prior to the conference (and are not involved in a Working Group or the Doctoral Consortium), you may want to wander around the City for an hour or two. Here are three different walks which take you around different parts of Aberdeen.
“Seaton Park lies to the north of the city and beside the park’s south gates stand the fortified towers of St Machar’s Cathedral.VisitAberdeenshire
There are many fine areas in the park from the flowerbeds, to rose beds and up to the walled garden beside the old stables. The Cathedral Walk is always a resplendent sight in midsummer and one of the most popular with visitors to the city.
There is also a popular children’s play area and large grassy areas popular with sporting groups.
Seaton Park is also an access point for the River Don and a walk has been established from the park to the city boundary.
Kayaking is also held on the river next to Seaton Park during the summer months (approximately April to September). The Aberdeen Kayak Club has an equipment store at the park, they hire out equipment and offer taster sessions for those who have not used a kayak before.”
Seaton Park is a public park in the Old Aberdeen area of Aberdeen, Scotland. One of the city’s biggest parks, it was bought by the city for use as a public park in 1947.Wikipedia Page
The River Don passes along the edge of the park. There is a beautiful flower bed area that is maintained to a high standard with new flowers planted every year, and also a secluded set of walled gardens next to a small (private) housing mews called Seaton Stables.
Donmouth Local Nature Reserve is a beach site in the historic Old Aberdeen part of the City, where the River Don meets the sea.VistAberdeenshire
A great place to see seals and a range of interesting birds. The beach area has changed over time as the river has changed its course. There are lots of interesting plants in the dunes and beach area. The Bird hide is an excellent shelter from which to watch the wildlife.
The paths run across King Street to the Brig o’ Balgownie, the original bridge in to the City from the North, then down the other side of the river to the sea.
The site was designated a Local Nature Reserve in 1992.
Paths are good, although wheelchair access to the beach would be difficult as the boardwalk can get covered with sand.
“A city garden with streams, waterfalls, ponds, rockeries and rustic bridge that help to make this one of the most charming areas in the city.VisitAberdeenshire
The garden is planted with rhododendrons, spring bulbs, heathers and alpines; the ponds are full of irises, aylesbury, mallard and muscovy ducks.
This garden is well loved by bridal couples for photographs of their day.
Facilities include children’s play area and toilets.”
“The David Welch Winter Gardens at Duthie Park are one of Europe’s largest indoor gardens and Scotland’s third most visited gardens.VisitAberdeenshire
It boasts a beautiful floral paradise all year round, with many rare and exotic plants on show from all around the world.
Come and visit the Temperate House, Corridor of Perfumes, Fern House, Victorian Corridor, Japanese Garden, Tropical House and Arid House, which has one of the largest collections of Cacti and Succulents in Britain and the world’s only talking cactus!”
Pitmedden Gardens is a National Trust Garden 14 miles north of Aberdeen.
“Pitmedden is a 17th-century walled garden on two levels. Original garden pavilions with ogival roofs look down on an elaborate spectacle of four rectangular boxwood parterres flanked by fine herbaceous borders and espalier-trained apple trees on south and west-facing granite walls. An avenue of yew obelisks runs from east to west and up to 30,000 bedding plants add to the wow factor of this immaculately kept formal garden.”Scotland’s Gardens
“Cared for by the National Trust for Scotland. Brilliant 17th-century design and meticulous maintenance give Pitmedden Garden its unique charm. With almost 6 miles of clipped box hedging, colourful parterres, over 200 fruit trees, and the sweet scents of honeysuckle and jasmine, Pitmedden really is a delight for the senses.VisitScotland
It’s hard to imagine a garden today being planted on such an extravagant scale. The heart of the property is the formal walled parterre garden. There are also extensive herbaceous borders with an abundance of colour and scent. Fountains, topiary, sundials and a fascinating herb garden add to the sense of discovery. The surrounding woods are a haven for birds and other wildlife.
Be amazed at over 30,000 annual bedding plants that make up the colourful designs, and explore the woodlands around the garden on the waymarked trail. The picnic area is an ideal spot to stop for lunch, and you can even enjoy a game of boules on our pétanque piste. The adjacent Museum of Farming Life boasts an extensive collection of domestic and agricultural artefacts.”