07572 582198
"Welcome to Hidden Aberdeen Tours, Aberdeen's Premier Walking Tour Company" Uncovering the lost, forgotten, hidden and always bringing the past to life 

Next Tours

Next Tours


Returning for its second run, a disturbing insight into the horrors of the Castlegate in the 18th and 19th centuries via tales of Aberdeen's court record, aka "The Black Kalendar"; including the bloody execution of John Gordon, middle son of the Duke of Huntly, the bizarre Frankenstein-style experiment carried out on the body of killer, George Thom, and the brutal slaying of Alexander Seaton outside Pitfodels Lodging, now the court annexe! Further details here.  Not suitable for under 10s.  

Come early for your supper to our start point, Old Blackfriars and present your ticket to get £5 off your food order! (Applies to ticketholders ONLY, must be mentioned while ordering).  Or, for £4.50 you can get the NE delicacy of a Deep Fried Marsbar and a pint for £4.50!

MEET: Downstairs bar, Old Blackfriars, Castlegate (from 15min before start) (MAP)
STARTS: 7.30pm

DURATION: Approx 2hrs
TICKETS: Click HEREto book or, in person at Visit Scotland's iCentre, Shiprow  


First chance in June to enjoy our whistle-stop tour of Old Aberdeen's Kings College Campus and some of its hidden gems including the Snow Kirk and the colourful coats of arms displayed on the exterior of Kings' Chapel.  A suitable introduction to the university's history for prospective students, so do try it out! All mini tours are at the special price of £5 each. Tour description HERE.

MEET: Outside Elphinstone Hall, Regent Walk/ Kings Lawn (MAP)
STARTS: 7.30pm
DURATION: Approx 1hr
TICKETS: Click HERE to book or, in person at Visit Scotland's iCentre, Shiprow 


Revamped for 2018 and now including Marischal Square's dubious modern development! Netherkirkgate is Aberdeen's earliest recorded street, mentioned in a land grant of 1212AD, as "Vicus Franxini" - Ash Tree Way.  We begin near the site of St Thomas's almshouse and make our way along what is left of this ancient route, including St Nicholas Kirk, the site of the Wallace Tower, and the reviving of the Guestrow, which is all but gone, apart from Provost Skene's House, one of only two medieval buildings left in the city.  Full details can be found here.

MEET: Outside Prince of Wales pub, St Nicholas Lane (MAP)
STARTS: 7.30pm
DURATION: Approx 2hrs
TICKETS: Click HERE to book or, in person at Visit Scotland's iCentre, Shiprow


A revamped version of our women's history walk which now features the "Suffragette Spirit" mosaics of Nuart 2018 artist, Carrie Reichardt.  Celebrating the women who made a difference to Aberdeen, including Caroline Phillips, journalist and secretary of the local Women's Social & Political Union; Dr Mary Esslemont, GP and pioneer in the British medical profession; Rachel Annand Taylor, poet and teacher who struggled with a mentally-ill husband; and Mary Webb, the little known pianist from Leamington Spa who wrote what became Aberdeen's most famous football anthem - the Northern Lights of Aberdeen.  Many, many more will also get a shout-out in this roll-call of fantastic local (and not so local) quines.

MEET: Outside Fierce Bar, Exchange Street (across from Grosvenor Casino) (MAP)
STARTS: 7.30pm
DURATION: approx 2hrs 
ENDS: Golden Square
TICKETS: Click HERE  to book or, in person at Visit Scotland's iCentre, Shiprow


Aberdeen's once popular shopping street sat atop the medieval Loch of Aberdeen, thus there is much history to be revealed in this small area including the old Soup Kitchen, St Paul's Episcopal Kirk, the NORCO headquarters, "Soapy" Ogston's Candle & Soap Factory; George Street's three lost cinemas, the Grandie, the Central and the Kings, all demolished, and of course, those shops we love and miss so much, like the Rubber Shop and Maxwell's.  A nostalgic wander through the Lochlands, transformed by development, but never to be entirely forgotten.

MEET: Outside John Lewis, George Street (MAP)
STARTS: 7.30pm
DURATION: approx 2hrs 
ENDS: Loch St nr Balaclava Bar
TICKETS: Click HERE to book or, in person at Visit Scotland's iCentre, Shiprow


Aberdeen truly could describe itself as Cinema City in the early 20th century - with a total of 42 cinemas, and 30 operating at any one time, we had the most picter hooses in Scotland.  This is your chance to see the sites of these once glorious cinemas in situ.  Only the Belmont Filmhouse remains in its original position with its original exterior, but sadly nothing remains of so many others which were architecturally stunning in their own right. With the background stories to each cinema on the route, we attempt to cover the ones from the city centre only.  More details here.

MEET: Nuffield Health Club, Justice Mill Lane, Aberdeen (Former Odeon Cinema), (MAP) around 15min before the start.
STARTS: 7.30pm
DURATION: approx 2hrs
TICKETS: Click HERE to book or, in person at Visit Scotland's iCentre


A whirlwind tour of Castlegate's Georgian, Victorian and medieval past including the Mercat Cross, Peacock's Court, the Salvation Army Citadel and the tale of Aberdeen's vanished castle.  Ends near Old Blackfriars pub where you can get 25% off your food order by presenting your ticket.  Pop in for either a late or early supper! More details here

MEET: Mercat Cross, Castlegate (MAP)
STARTS: 7.30pm
DURATION: Approx 1hr
TICKETS: Click HERE to book or, in person at Visit Scotland's iCentre, Shiprow


The original chronicle of crime history in Aberdeen's Murder Central - the area between Trinity Cemetery, King Street and Park Street was the site of many a horrible killing, and this tour covers most of them, their carrying out, their detection and, in most cases, punishment. We also share the background to Aberdeen's executioners, and their methods of dispatch, including the darkly comic story of the city's worst executioner, Johnny Milne.  More details here.

MEET: Park Road Gate, Trinity Cemetery (Pittodrie side) (MAP)
STARTS: 7.30pm
DURATION: Approx 2hrs
TICKETS: Click HERE to book, or, in person at Visit Scotland's iCentre, Shiprow.

more 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.  


NESS logo

Company  Director, Dr Fiona-Jane Brown will be working with North East Sensory Services, an Aberdeen charity providing support for both deaf and blind people in Grampian.  She is recording her local history books for NESS' audio library; the latter has a large collection of audio books including fiction and non-fiction, but they were a bit short on local authors.  Following fellow Aberdeen author, Duncan Harley's recording from his bookThe A-Z of Curious Aberdeenshire, Dr Brown offered to contribute Hidden Aberdeen: History on Your Doorstep and Under Your Feet, and the two Hidden Aberdeenshire volumes.  She hopes to record some folk tales and Doric pieces for use on NESS' monthly audio newsletter Bon-a-talk.  Membership of the library involves an annual fee, but borrowing is free.  Contact NESS for further details of their services.

AS imageAnnouncing two further reminiscence sessions at Alzheimer Scotland's Aberdeen resource centre in July and August.  Last year, Dr Fiona-Jane Brown, company director was involved with this excellent charity delivering talks on local history and kicking off memories with the visitors to the King St resource centre, with topics including The Blitz, Lost Cinemas, Lost Shops, Transport and Hospitals.  The funding kindly donated by CALA Homes, one of AS's local supporters, ensures that the last two scheduled sessions will be delivered this summer.  Anyone is welcome to the free sessions on 25 July and 22 August starting at 2pm.  After the talk and chat there's time for tea and more chat.  The topics this time are sure to be popular "Dancehalls & Ballrooms" and "A Virtual Pub Crawl of Aberdeen".  These will be released as a joint public talk later in the year. For directions to AS's Dementia Resource Centre, please check out their web site here.

Current Projects

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

Partner Discounts!

Our lovely friends at Inn at the Park would like to offer Hidden Aberdeen customers a special 25% discount off all food orders when they present their tour tickets - that's your printed ticket, or online version (phone, tablet etc).  In return, you can get a special code to use online to get 10% discount on further ticket bookings (only works online though, not with in-person purchases.

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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



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

Contact Hidden Aberdeen

Business Postbox

21 York Place

AB11 5DH 

Phone: 07572 582198
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