Showcasing the Aberdeenshire Countryside
Departing by Coach
Duration 4 Days
Available September 2020

Not for nothing have we called this Scotland’s Larder, as Aberdeenshire, with its rich red soil and abundant farms, its skilled bakers, passionate distillers and brave fishermen, is indeed the origin of much of the best food and drink to come out of Scotland.

Put the diet on hold and join us on a four-day tour featuring top-quality producers, from a prize-winning herd of Highland cattle to melt in the mouth shortbread, smooth malt whisky and a household name in the world of preserves and soups.

Based at Ardoe House Hotel & Spa in Aberdeen, we travel the length and breadth of the county, and into neighbouring Moray, sampling, tasting and learning all about the food and drink produced here.

Tour Highlights:

  • Welcomed by bagpipes and a herd of prize-winning Highland cattle
  • Watch how shortbread and whisky are produced
  • Tour Aberdeenshire’s coast before tucking into some Cullen Skink
  • Discover the real-life stories behind farming and fishing
  • Stocking up with goodies on the way home

Price Includes

  • Return coach travel from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dunfermline, Kinross, Perth or Dundee
  • 3 nights’ hotel accommodation with dinner, bed and breakfast – staying at the Ardoe House Hotel & Spa, Aberdeen
  • Taste prime Aberdeenshire Highland Beef in Banchory
  • Visit Baxter’s Highland Village at Fochabers and Dean’s Shortbread Bakery in Huntly
  • Experience the Aberdeenshire Farming Museum in Mintlaw and taste Cullen Skink at the Cullen Bay Hotel
  • Tour the Glen Garioch Distillery and enjoy a dram of award-winning Highland Single Malt Whisky
  • A journey to Aberdeen’s Maritime Museum

Single supplements apply – £120. Offer is subject to availability.


Day 1

We depart by coach from our pick-up points and head for Aberdeenshire and our first visit, Aberdeenshire Highland Beef in Banchory. Welcomed in style by a piper, we will meet Grace the Farmer and her prize-winning herd of pedigree Highland Cattle. We will be able to get up close and photograph them and learn about the history of the breed and how they are farmed today. This is followed by a tasting of the finished product – prime quality beef – along with tea or coffee and homemade Scottish shortbread.

We then continue to our hotel in Aberdeen with dinner served in the evening.

Meals include: Dinner

Hotel: Ardoe House Hotel and Spa

Day 2

After breakfast we travel through rural Aberdeenshire and into neighbouring Moray for our visit to Baxter’s Highland Village at Fochabers, overlooking some of the finest salmon waters on earth. Baxters began in 1868 when George Baxter open a small grocery shop where his wife began making jam and jellies “through the back”. Over time Baxters became one of the great commercial successes of North East Scotland. Today we can still visit the 19th Century grocery store, complete with leather-bound ledgers and quill pens, a long mahogany counter, glass jars and bottles and all the other shopkeeper’s accoutrements of a bygone age. Refreshments are available here (not included).

On our way back we will call in at Dean’s Shortbread Bakery. It was here in 1975 that Helen Dean first created her delicious traditional shortbread, and her friends and family loved the ‘melt in the mouth’ sensation. Her husband Bill, a Drum Major, thought it was so delicious he decided to use Helen’s baking to help raise funds for the local Huntly pipe band. Their touring helped spread her shortbread’s fame far and wide, and soon, the aroma of home baking would fill the town as Helen established her own small bakery to meet demand. Expansion soon followed and today you can observe the purpose-built bakery in action from the viewing gallery while enjoying a cup of tea and some shortbread. We will also have time to browse the gift shop with its extensive selection of jewellery, handbags and premium food and drink products.

We return to our hotel where dinner is served in the evening.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Ardoe House Hotel and Spa

Day 3

We head north through lush and fertile farmland to Mintlaw, home to the Aberdeenshire Farming Museum. Here we will learn about the hard work, and the even harder work of the pre-mechanised era, that goes into farming, with a specially made film and a host of interesting historical objects.

We continue north to the coast and travel to Pennan, which, with its iconic (and listed-building status) red telephone kiosk, will be familiar as the location of the 1983 film Local Hero. We continue via Macduff, Banff and Portsoy to Cullen, home to the rich and creamy fish soup Cullen Skink which we will enjoy for lunch at the Cullen Bay Hotel (alternative dishes available if required but we do recommend you try it!).

On the way back to the hotel we call at Glen Garioch Distillery, one of the oldest in Scotland. Here we will join the Founders Tour, which celebrates the Manson brothers who first established the distillery and the 220 years of craftsmanship that goes into every bottle that bears the Manson name. Our tour includes a dram of award-winning Highland Single Malt Whisky.

We return to our hotel where dinner is served in the evening.

All meals included

Hotel: Ardoe House Hotel and Spa

Day 4

After a final hearty breakfast we check out of the hotel and travel into the centre of Aberdeen for a visit to the Maritime Museum, which tells the story of the city’s long relationship with the sea and houses a unique collection covering shipbuilding, fast sailing ships and of course the vital fishing industry. It is also offers a spectacular viewpoint over the busy harbour.

We then begin our homeward journey, which we will break with a visit to the Castleton Farm Shop at Loudon for refreshments (not included) and a last chance to stock up on more delicious produce from Scotland’s Larder.

Meals include: Breakfast

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