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"Welcome to Hidden Aberdeen Tours, Aberdeen's Premier Walking Tour Company" Uncovering the lost, forgotten, hidden and always bringing the past to life 

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WELCOME TO 2019's SEASON! TOUR/EVENT DETAILS APPEAR BELOW


 

MONDAY 18 MARCH 2019:
ABERDEEN'S BORDERLANDS: GALLOWGATE TOUR

Kicking off 2019's main walking tour season with our newest route from last year; the Gallowgate was the ancient road from the city's gallows, on the site since the early 1200s, replaced in 1500 by Gallows Hill, now Errol Street.  So little remains of this northern border area of Aberdeen, yet there are still stories to be told of the Quakers' burial ground, Soapy Ogston's Candle and Soap Factory, St Margaret's convent, school and church, founded by rector, John Comper, father of Ninian, the great architect, and missing sites like Mar's Castle, the Middle School and the medieval tanneries, all of which are now under modern developments, and rounding off at Marischal Square with the real reason Broadgait gets its name and how it was originally part of the Gallowgate. Full tour descriptor HERE

MEET: OUTSIDE NESCol/ ABERDEEN COLLEGE, AB25 1BN (MAP)
STARTS: 7.30pm (arrive at least 10min before)
DURATION: approx 2hrs
TICKETS: Adults £10/ Concessions £8; Click HERE to book online or book in person at the Visit Scotland hub on Shiprow


SATURDAY 23 MARCH: MINI TOURS DAY

ROSEMOUNT MINI RAMBLE - 11AM

Developed from the full length Rosemount Ramble, focusing on the hidden gem of Mackie Place, the 18th century cul-de-sac owned by hide-skinner, Robert Mackie, who commissioned the distinctive ogee-shaped "White House" and the remaining tenement of no's 4-5, and Jack's Brae. Three hundred years of history in 60min! Full tour descriptor HERE

MEET: Outside Cult of Coffee, 28 Esslemont Avenue (arrive at least 10min before, get a takeaway! MAP)
STARTS: 11am
DURATION: 1hr
TICKETS: All tickets £5; Click HERE to book online or book in person at the Visit Scotland hub on Shiprow

FITTIE: ABERDEEN'S PLANNED VILLAGE - 2PM

Beginning on Pocra Quay near the site of the original Block House, a stone fort first erected in the 15th century to protect the city from "English invaders", we follow the fall and rise of the fisher residents of the Kirktoun of Futty, who forced the council into providing them a new home when harbour development threatened to obliterate the old village of Pockraw in the late 18th century.  Full tour details HERE.

MEET: Footdee War Memorial on seafront, Pocra Quay (MAP)
STARTS: 2pm
DURATION: 1hr
TICKETS: All tickets £5; Click HERE to book online or book in person at the Visit Scotland hub on Shiprow


WEDNESDAY 27 MARCH:
OLD ABERDEEN'S ARCHITECTURAL SECRETS

An old favourite - indeed this route is 8 years old this year! Learn about the 'Aultoun' and its buildings, from the medieval Snow Kirk and Kings College to the artisan housing of the 18th and 19th century, and the hidden secrets of the university campus, including the secret Snow Kirk, the Macrobert Memorial Garden, and the delightful 18th century buildings of the Chanonry. Full details here.

MEET: Kings College Entry Path, High Street, Old Aberdeen (MAP)
STARTS: 7.30pm (arrive at least 10min before) 
DURATION: approx 2hrs 
TICKETS: Adults £10/ Concessions £8; Click HERE to book online or book in person at the Visit Scotland hub on Shiprow


SATURDAY 30 MARCH: MINI TOURS DAY

OLD TORRY - THE LOST VILLAGES - 11AM

A mini-tour set in the historic royal burgh of Torry covering almost eight centuries of history in one hour!  Starting at old St Fittick’s Kirk which was built in the 13th century, and following a direct line over the Balnagask Motte, down Baxter Street and into the site of the Victorian fisher village. Includes tales of the Davidsons, last lairds of Torry; the Dee Ferry Disaster and the medieval fisher village of Lower Torry which disappeared in 1876 due to harbour developmentsFull tour descriptor here

MEET: Old St Fittick's Kirk (ruin), St Fittick's Road, Torry AB11 8TP (MAP)
STARTS: 11am
DURATION: 1hr
TICKETS: All tickets £5; Click HERE  to book online or book in person at the Visit Scotland hub on Shiprow

DUTHIE PARK - SECRETS & STORIES - 2PM

Set in Ferryhill's pleasure park, which was given to the city by Miss Elizabeth Crombie Duthie in 1881. Duthie Park is full of artefacts, stories, and scenes. Join us for a one-hour wander around, looking at things like: "The Bridge That Flitted", "The Fountainhall Cistern", "Arthurseat", "Hygeia's Statue". Full tour details here.

MEET: Polmuir Road Gates, Duthie Park, Ferryhill AB11 7TH (MAP)
STARTS: 2pm
DURATION: 1hr
TICKETS: All tickets £5; Click HERE  to book online or book in person at the Visit Scotland hub on Shiprow


MONDAY 1 APRIL 2019:
ABERDEEN'S INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE

Beginning in Rosemount, we drop down to the lost artisan street of Hardweird at the foot of Jack's Brae where several different mill workings were based. Then, we pass the iconic art deco Rosemount Square, once the site of a jam factory which has links with a London-based football team! Down into Gilcomston, there are many sites to investigate including Broadfords and the various mills, distillery and brewery which made use of the streams which originally fed the old loch of Aberdeen.  We then focus on Hutcheon Street and the Gallowgate, which include the Combworks, the Porthill Factory, 'Soapy' Ogstons and the McKinnon Ironworks of Spring Garden. We round off with one of the most weel-kent sites, "Soapy" Ogston's or Ogston & Tennant Soap & Candle manufacturers.

A must for industrial history fans! A fairly strenuous walk, wear sensible shoes!

MEET: Outside Bon-Accord Free Church, Rosemount Viaduct (MAP)
STARTS: 7.30pm
DURATION: 2hr approx
TICKETS: Adults £10/ Concessions £8; Click HERE to book online or book in person at the Visit Scotland hub on Shiprow


WEDNESDAY 3 APRIL 2019:
ABERDEEN'S BLITZ: REMEMBERING 21 APRIL 1943

Aberdeen was nicknamed "Siren City" during WW2 after a terrible raid in the Spring of 1943 in which 130 bombs were dropped by the Luftwaffe in one hour. This tour follows the route of the bombers and looks at the devastation caused through archive photos of the sites and reminiscences of the time.  Starting outside the old Kittybrewster Railway Station - now the council depot opposite Belmont Rd - we walk a path through the residential streets of Bedford and Elmbank, by St Stephen's Church which was badly damaged, and through the centre of town taking in the industrial districts of Berryden and the Broadford Works, ending at Charlotte Street, where the only concrete air raid shelter to be hit was situated. A sometimes moving historical account of war-time Aberdeen.  

Suitable for all ages. Wear sensible footwear.  Parking - either on Leslie Terrace/ Stafford Street or in the Depot car park after hours

MEET: Kittybrewster Council Depot, 38 Powis Terrace, Aberdeen (top of the road, not the depot building) (MAP)
STARTS: 7.30pm
DURATION: approx 2.25 hrs
TICKETS: Adults £10/ Concessions £8; Click HERE to book online or book in person at the Visit Scotland hub on Shiprow


SATURDAY 6 APRIL 2019: MINI TOURS DAY
OLD ABERDEEN'S HISTORICAL SECRETS 

A zip through Old Aberdeen's history comparing the 20th century and medieval quadrangles, hearing the stories of Elphinstone Hall, New Kings and 16th century Kings College; visit the hidden remains of the 15th century Snow Kirk and the tales attached to the post-Reformation Powis estate represented today by the impressive gates which replicated the former towers in the old quad.

One of our series of mini tours suitable for all

MEET: Outside Elphinstone Hall, Kings Lawn, Old Aberdeen (MAP)
STARTS: 2pm
DURATION: Approx. 1 hour
TICKETS: All tickets £5 only; Click HERE to book online or in person at Visit Scotland, Shiprow


MONDAY 8 APRIL 2019:
LOST CINEMAS OF ABERDEEN 

Div ye mind gaun tae the picters? Paying with jam jars? Saturday morning specials? Then this tour is bound to appeal! Meeting outside the old Odeon, Justice Mill Lane, which started life as one of Aberdeen's many silver screens from the age of cinema, this tour takes you on a journey into cinematic history, recalling the early days to the high point of the 40s and 50s to the sad decline of our picture palaces to leave us with only four functioning cinemas out of a previous total of around 35. We can't promise to cover them all, but the selection on the walk represents the Union St cluster of the city's picture houses, 'flechy' or otherwise!

Cinemas include: ODEON/ REGENT, WEST END/ PLAYHOUSE, CAPITOL/ ELECTRIC, LA SCALA/ MAJESTIC, SAVOY, MUSIC HALL, PICTUREDROME/ CINEMA HOUSE, NEWS CINEMA/ CURZON/ COSMO2, GAUMONT/ PICTURE HOUSE, BELMONT/ NEW KINEMA/ COLLISEUM
Suitable for all ages

MEET: Old Odeon, Justice Mill Lane (Now Nuffield Health Club) (MAP)
STARTS: 7.30pm

END: Belmont Filmhouse, Belmont St
DURATION: 2 hrs approx
TICKETS: Adults £10/ Concessions £8; Click HERE to book online or Visit Scotland, Shiprow


THURSDAY 11 APRIL 2019:
MEDIEVAL & PREHISTORIC ORIGINS TOUR

Starting at Shiprow, once thought to be the city's oldest street when it was called "The Way of the Ash Tree" in 1212AD, learn of Provost Davidson, the only civic leader to die in battle, killed at Harlaw in 1411. From there skirt the remains of St Katherine's Hill, now the Adelphi through to the Green where the Trinitarian and Carmelite Friars had their monasteries.

Follow the Denburn to the old loch site in Woolmanhill and via Spa Street, ending at Hill Street and Gilcomston, we delve deep into the city's prehistoric past when a great loch covered most of what is George Street, and finally in Hill Street, stand where our ancestors did 10,000 years ago when a hunter gatherer community established a seasonal camp above the Gilcomston Burn and the Loch of Aberdeen.

MEET: Aberdeen Maritime Museum, Shiprow (MAP)
STARTS: 7.30pm
DURATION: 2 hrs approx
TICKETS: Adults £10/ Concessions £8; Click HERE to book online or in person at Visit Scotland, Shiprow.


SATURDAY 13 APRIL 2019: MINI TOURS DAY

FITTIE: ABERDEEN'S PLANNED FISHER VILLAGE 11AM

Beginning on Pocra Quay near the site of the original Block House, a stone fort first erected in the 15th century to protect the city from "English invaders", we follow the fall and rise of the fisher residents of the Kirktoun of Futty, who forced the council into providing them a new home when harbour development threatened to obliterate the old village of Pockraw in the late 18th century.  Full tour details HERE.

MEET: Footdee War Memorial on seafront, Pocra Quay (MAP)
STARTS: 2pm
DURATION: 1hr
TICKETS: All tickets £5; Click HERE to book online or book in person at the Visit Scotland hub on Shiprow

ROSEMOUNT MINI RAMBLE 2PM

Developed from the full length Rosemount Ramble, focusing on the hidden gem of Mackie Place, the 18th century cul-de-sac owned by hide-skinner, Robert Mackie, who commissioned the distinctive ogee-shaped "White House" and the remaining tenement of no's 4-5, and Jack's Brae. Three hundred years of history in 60min! Full tour descriptor HERE

MEET: Outside Cult of Coffee, 28 Esslemont Avenue (arrive at least 10min before, get a takeaway! (MAP)
STARTS: 11am
DURATION: 1hr
TICKETS: All tickets £5; Click HERE to book online or book in person at the Visit Scotland hub on Shiprow


MONDAY 15 APRIL 2019:
FORGOTTEN FERRYHILL - THE GEORGIAN SUBURB

Perennial favourite walk, set in Aberdeen’s first Georgian suburb of Ferryhill, so named because of the ferry between Craiglug and Wellington Road which operated before the suspension bridge was built in 1830.  Including the dodgy dealings which whisked Arthurseat estate away from its missing owner, the story behind the flamboyant Devanha House, the "lost" Dee Village, some of Ferryhill's fabulous architectural origins, and the tale of the arctic explorer who retired to South Crown Street. And, the creepy legend which concerns a mysterious hole which opened up in what was the garden of the old Cowdray Club. We round off at Hygeia’s statue, Duthie Park, the memorial for Miss Elizabeth Crombie Duthie, founder of the park.

Enjoy your supper beforehand with our friends at Inn at the Park Hotel, Polmuir Road

MEET: "Dee Village" / Old Hydro Electric Building flats - at bus stop across from New China takeaway (MAP)
STARTS: 7.30pm
END: Duthie Park
DURATION: 
2hrs approx
TICKETS: Adults £10/ Concessions £8; Click HERE to book online or in person at Visit Scotland, Shiprow.


THURSDAY 18 APRIL 2019:
ROSEMOUNT RAMBLE

Beginning at the cosy indie coffee shop, "The Cult of Coffee" on the corner of Leadside Road and Esslemont Avenue, this walk takes in a mix of old Gilcomston, ancient Denburnside, and the 19th century suburb of Rosemount which was created out of both.  Georgian mansions, Victorian innovation, schools, churches, tradespeople and that undulating landscape that we can't see for the buildings! All will be revealed in this very special ramble around Rosemount.

Not suitable for disabled or those with restricted mobility. Wear sturdy shoes. Dogs welcome if well-behaved.

MEET: Outside the Cult of Coffee, 28 Esslemont Ave (MAP)
STARTS: 7.30pm
DURATION: 2hr approx
TICKETS: Adults £10/ Concessions £8; click HERE to book online, or in person at Visit Scotland, Shiprow.

Tour ends at Rosemount House, opposite Farmers' Hall


SATURDAY 20 APRIL 2019: MINI TOURS DAY 

OLD ABERDEEN'S HISTORICAL SECRETS 11AM

A zip through Old Aberdeen's history comparing the 20th century and medieval quadrangles, hearing the stories of Elphinstone Hall, New Kings and 16th century Kings College; visit the hidden remains of the 15th century Snow Kirk and the tales attached to the post-Reformation Powis estate represented today by the impressive gates which replicated the former towers in the old quad.

One of our series of mini tours suitable for all

MEET: Outside Elphinstone Hall, Kings Lawn, Old Aberdeen (MAP)
DURATION: Approx. 1 hour
TICKETS: All tickets £5 only; Click HERE to book online or in person at Visit Scotland, Shiprow

OLD TORRY - THE LOST VILLAGES - 2PM

A mini-tour set in the historic royal burgh of Torry covering almost eight centuries of history in one hour!  Starting at old St Fittick’s Kirk which was built in the 13th century, and following a direct line over the Balnagask Motte, down Baxter Street and into the site of the Victorian fisher village. Includes tales of the Davidsons, last lairds of Torry; the Dee Ferry Disaster and the medieval fisher village of Lower Torry which disappeared in 1876 due to harbour developmentsFull tour descriptor here

MEET: Old St Fittick's Kirk (ruin), St Fittick's Road, Torry AB11 8TP (MAP)
DURATION: 1hr
TICKETS: All tickets £5; Click HERE  to book online or book in person at the Visit Scotland hub on Shiprow


MONDAY 22 APRIL 2019:
BLOOD & GRANITE: THE MURDER HISTORY TOUR

The original Murder History Tour! Including the tale of Johnny Milne, Aberdeen's Worst Hangman and of poisonous landlady, Catherine Humphrey who did away with her gypit husband James, back in 1830 when Wales Street was the city's slaughterhouse district. Join us for the old favourites - Bullets in the Cemetery; Harry Burnett's tragic love triangle in Jackson Terrace; the sad fate of Captain Beaton, Gordon Highlander officer in 1915; and Urquhart Road's disturbing Sack Murder case. Just the stories, no interruptions!

Not suitable for under 12s; terrain not suitable for those with mobility problems;

MEET: Park Road entrance of Trinity Cemetery - just up from Pittodrie's South Stand entry; (MAP)
PLEASE arrive at least 10min before the start time so we can leave promptly!
STARTS: 7.30pm
DURATION: 2hr approx (distance 2.3miles)
TICKETS: Adults £10/ Concessions £8; click HERE to book online or in person at Visit Scotland, Shiprow


WEDNESDAY 24 APRIL 2019:
SUFFRAGETTES & OTHER LOCAL QUINES

Beginning, ironically at the statue of a man who cheated on and mentally abused his wife, Jean Maxwell, aka Lady Gordon. She was made of sterner stuff and saw to her own pleasure and orchestrated profitable marriages for all her children, we continue with the stories of how Aberdeen’s suffragettes tried to disrupt Home Secretary Lloyd George at the Music Hall; the origins of opera diva, Mary Garden; how English artist, Joan Eardley adopted a cottage in Catterline as her home; how an English lady called Mary Webb wrote the iconic local song “The Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen” for a home-sick Aberdonian quine. These and many more!

We include the mosaics of ceramic artist, Carrie Reichardt, who was one of the visitors for Nuart 2018, creating works on the theme of "Suffragette Spirit". They have included many more Aberdeen unsung heroines than were mentioned on last year's tour, so we've taken the opportunity to re-route and revise the tour to showcase them.

MEET: Duke of Gordon's Statue, Golden Square AB10 1RD (MAP)
STARTS: 7.30pm
DURATION: 2hr approx
ENDS: Outside Fierce Bar, Exchequer Row (MAP)
TICKETS: Adults £10/ Concessions £8; click HERE to book online or in person at Visit Scotland, Shiprow.

Suitable content for all ages; Not wheelchair accessible or for those with mobility issues


 

 

New dates will be added very soon!

Please note, if dates are not shown it means there are no tours planned yet for those dates or they are free for private bookings.  

News

Reminiscence Talks - Aberdeen Lang Syne at Mark Bush CourtMark Bush Court, Sheltered Housing, Kincorth

We are going to be delivering the full series of our reminscence talks starting in November at local council sheltered housing complex, Mark Bush Court in Kincorth.  The residents have a very busy social calendar and are always on the look out for interesting visitors.  Dr Fiona-Jane Brown, our director will be presenting the talks including "Lost Shops", "Lost Cinemas", "The Blitz", "A Virtual Pub Crawl of Aberdeen", "Dancehalls and Ballrooms", "Trams, Buses and Trains", and "Sneezes, Wheezes and Diseases", the potted history of our local medical services.  

Residents pay a small fee to cover their entertainments, but anyone willing to sponsor these sessions to allow them to build up their event kitty would be most welcome! 

VisitAberdeenshire Logo 4 2

Our newly updated listing with VISIT ABERDEENSHIRE is now live.  Our friends at this local tourism promotion agency have been snowed under with updates to their business pages, so if you've recently visited it and found obsolete information, it's now been fixed! Click HERE to view and let us know if you spot any errors in future! 

 

Current Projects

As well as tours and storytelling sessions, Hidden Aberdeen is also works with various local businesses, charities and third sector organisations:

 

Our Publications

Dr Fiona-Jane Brown, director of Hidden Aberdeen Tours has published three books on local history in the city and shire.  

Original Hidden Abdn Cover

 

BACK IN PRINT AFTER AN 18 MONTH ABSENCE!! 

Publishers, Black & White of Edinburgh have finally been able to bring back this very popular original local history book which was inspired by the walking tours and Dr Fiona-Jane Brown's blog which was hosted by STV Aberdeen way back in 2012! Due back in bookshops by mid-June 2017!

Aberdeen is rich in history, much of it hidden. Now, in Hidden Aberdeen, Dr Fiona-Jane Brown explores the city through new eyes, revealing new stories from the past and bringing the modern city to life. There's the last resting place of Robert Hitchens, who was at the wheel of the Titanic when it struck an iceberg; Royal connections including the Old Pretender, James Francis Edward Stuart's visit to local ship owner, Skipper Scott, when he discovered from his commander, the Earl of Mar, that all was not well with the Jacobite Army; the brutal murder of a monk by so-called reformers and the strange nineteenth-century animal cruelty case against the city's Jewish community. There's also the city's intriguing connection with Millwall FC and the place where medieval criminals were hanged. This fascinating book will open your eyes to the hidden, the forgotten and the abandoned which lie under your feet as you walk round the city today.

Hidden Aberdeen: History on your Doorstep and Under Your Feet is the first local history publication from Dr Fiona-Jane Brown, founder of Hidden Aberdeen Tours.

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Hidden Aberdeenshire the Coast

Following on from the bestselling Hidden Aberdeen, Fiona-Jane Brown now presents a brand new volume, Hidden Aberdeenshire: The Coast, exploring the rich history and the most fascinating, quirky stories from the windswept lands beside the North Sea.

There's the story of James Keith, brother of the 10th Earl or Marischal, whose statue stands in Peterhead - but few know why; Captain Gray's House, where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle took up a post as ship's surgeon on a whaler owned by one of the most successful whaling captains of the nineteenth century; the tale of the Frasers, the family who lost their castle and generations later reclaimed it; the mystery of the university that never was; plus many more.

Hidden Aberdeenshire: The Coast is a fascinating and entertaining collection of forgotten history and anecdotes from Scotland's North-East, pieced together by historian Dr Fiona-Jane Brown.

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Hidden Aberdeenshire the Land

Following on from Hidden Aberdeenshire: The Coast, this new volume moves inland to tell the stories of the countryside, from the fertile farmland of Buchan to the high peaks of the Cairngorm Mountains.

Visit Macbeth's reputed grave at Lumphanan, where he was supposedly buried by his supporters after being killed by Malcolm Canmore, later Malcolm III of Scotland; meet the Maiden Stone's forgotten companion, the larger-than-life Persephone sculpture, near the foot of Bennachie and learn the significance of the Kintore Arms Public House to a terrible murder back in 1863.

Come and visit the two most fascinating burials in Braemar cemetery, of poor crofter, Peter Grant who fought at Culloden and outlived Bonnie Prince Charlie, and the Black Colonel, John Farquharson of lnverey, who made his "bed" in the rocks above his castle, but did not lie peaceful in his grave after death.

Learn about Trooper Smart of Kintore who died in South Africa as a result of a lion attack; the hidden stone circle discovered in Methlick Wood by a local dowser and Wormy Hillock, an early site of Pagan worship near Rhynie.

Join historian and guide Dr Fiona-Jane Brown for these and many more quirky, forgotten and hidden tales, this time from Aberdeenshire's landward districts.

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Impressum

Hidden Aberdeen Tours (founded 2011) is wholly owned by Dr Fiona-Jane Brown as a sole-trading operation which occasionally works with contractors.


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Contact details

Phone: 07572 582198
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