Published: 21.11.2023

Cottage Holidays Guide to Donside in Scotland

There are many reasons to visit Donside in Scotland.  We hope you find our guide to things to do and places to go on a country cottage holiday in Donshire helpful.

Aberdeen is bounded by the River Don  to the north and the River Dee to the south. Following the two rivers westwards take visitors to the areas known respectively as Donside and Deeside, both are lovely areas for a relaxing self-catering break with days out walking, fishing or visiting the tourist attractions in this part of north east Scotland.

Fishing on the banks of the River Don in Donside AberdeenshireOn the left, the banks of the River Don, a popular spot for fishermen and dog walkers at Dyce, Aberdeen. 


Leaving Aberdeen and travelling west on the A944 towards Alford and into Donside, you soon find yourself in very pretty countryside with wooded areas full of delicate birch trees. At Tillyfourie, the road to the right will take you to the Whitehill ancient stone circle and forest walks, and further on, to Bennachie; a much beloved haunt of hill-walkers.

Alford, 26 miles west of Aberdeen, on the A944, has long been a favourite place for family days out. Haughton Country Park in Alford welcomes both caravanners and day visitors. It's a pleasant place for a picnic, with childrens' play areas, environmental displays and short walks. A short trip on the Alford Valley Railway allows you to see more of the countryside at a gentle relaxing pace. Another good place to visit is the Grampian Transport Museum which takes you back in time with a variety of different forms of transport on display. And, if you're into local history and farming, you can view the development of agricultural equipment from years gone by to recent times at the Heritage Centre. One favourite stop of ours used to be the local bakery which sold wonderful fresh currant loaves and cakes of exceptional quality.

Further down the road, following the River Don, Mossat is a good place to stop for a short break.


  antiques on holiday in Mossat, ScotlandThe Water Garden Centre opens its doors to visitors as a two star Scottish Tourist attraction with its nicely laid out water gardens and everything for anyone planning a water feature. Entry is free. Next door is a tea shop which sells meals as well as enticing home bakes and ice creams. Two doors to the left, an antique shop appears to be a popular place to rummage for a bargain or forgotten treasure.

Turning left at the junction with the A97, Kildrummy Gardens and 13th Century Kildrummy Castle, (35 miles west of Aberdeen) are two more distinctly separate (but next door to each other) visitor attractions worth a look. The castle is in ruins, but is an important historical monument which attracts a fair number of visitors.

Both Kildrummy Castle and Kildrummy gardens have a small entrance fee attached. Both have their own separate car parks and ticket offices. Kildrummy Gardens are open daily from April until October, 10a.m. - 5p.m. Tel: 01975 571 203 for details.    


Take a look at the self catering cottages in north east Scotland to find a comfortable and attractive place to stay and explore this beautiful and fascinating part of Scotland.

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