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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 

Next Tours

Next Tours

 

ABERDEEN'S BLITZ: REMEMBERING 21 APRIL 1943
WEDNESDAY 23 MAY 2018

As a follow-up to our indoor talk, those who are feeling fit can join us to visit the actual sites of the bombings from the fateful night of 21st April 1943.  At nearly 3miles this is a strenuous walk, so wear appropriate shoes/boots! Beginning at the site of Kittybrewster Railway Station, we follow the route of the enemy bombers down into the centre of town, finishing on John Street. More details here.

MEET: Kittybrewster Council Depot, 38 Powis Terrace (MAP) about 15min before start point
STARTS: 7.30pm
DURATION approx 2.25hrs
TICKETS: Click HERE to book or, in person at Visit Scotland's iCentre, Shiprow


HIDDEN ABERDON: TALES OF THE RIVER
FRIDAY 25 MAY 2018

This tour is part wildlife-walk and part history of a long-lost part of Old Aberdeen. Beginning at the university library and ending at the medieval Brig o Balgownie, we pass through the Chanonry, historic former precinct of the Bishop of Aberdon to Seaton Park, once the estate of the Gordons and then Hays of Seaton. Plenty to see, and there's always the chance some of Seaton Park's wild creatures will put in an appearance, including squirrels, seals, otters, herons, ducks (of all varieties) and even bats! More here.

MEET: Sir Duncan Rice Library, Meston Walk, Old Aberdeen (MAP) about 15min before start point
STARTS: 7.30pm
DURATION: approx 2hrs
TICKETS: Click HERE to book or, in person at Visit Scotland's iCentre, Shiprow


LOST CINEMAS OF ABERDEEN
MONDAY 28 MAY 2018

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.  Following on from the indoor talk, 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, Shiprow


TALES OF OLD TORRY
THURSDAY 31 MAY 2018

We begin at the foot of Sinclair Road, near the heart of the old fisher village, once an independent royal burgh, now a forgotten suburb, come and learn the stories and history of the former Kincardineshire settlement, which finally became part of Aberdeen City in 1891.  Also making a pilgrimage to the now closed Aitken's Bakery on Menzies Road, the reputed home of the rowie!  More details here.

MEET: Junction of Sinclair Road & Baxter Street (site of Torry Bar), about 15 min before start (MAP)
STARTS: 7.30pm
DURATION: Approx 2.25hrs
TICKETS: Click HERE to book or, in person at Visit Scotland's iCentre, Shiprow


FITTIE: ABERDEEN'S PLANNED FISHER VILLAGE (MINI TOUR)
FRIDAY 1 JUNE 2018

A brand-new addition to our mini-tours series; 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.  More details here

MEET: Footdee Dock Workers' Memorial, Pocra Quay, Opposite Memorial Cross (MAP) about 15min before start
STARTS: 7.30pm
DURATION: Approx 1hr
TICKETS: Click HERE to book or, in person at Visit Scotland's iCentre, Shiprow


ABERDEEN'S INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE
TUESDAY 5 JUNE 2018

Celebrating Aberdeen's largely forgotten industrial heritage, including textiles, milling, granite, combworks and candles! A lengthy wander beginning in Rosemount and finishing in front of the weel-kent soap and candle manufactory Ogston & Tennant, representing four generations of the Ogston family, including Police Surgeon, Francis Ogston, and his son, Dr Alexander Ogston, who first introduced antiseptic surgical techniques in the city.  More details here.

Meet: In front of Bon Accord Free Church, Rosemount Viaduct (MAP)
Starts: 7.30pm
Duration: Approx 2hrs
Tickets: Click HERE to book or in person at Visit Scotland's iCentre, Shiprow


OLD TORRY: THE LOST VILLAGES (MINI TOUR)
THURSDAY 7 JUNE 2018

Another of our short-and-sweet mini tours for those who just want a taster of our walks.  However, this is a bit of a hike! We start at the ruins of Torry's medieval kirk, Old St Fitticks, and walk UP (and we do mean up, we're literally climbing Torry hill!) to the Balnagask Motte, home of early medieval chief, Cormac of Nigg, then cross Victoria Road and down into the old fisher village, of which very little remains.  8 centuries of history in one hour! Think you know Torry? Think again! Details here.

Meet: St Fittick's Kirk, St Fittick's Road, Torry (MAP)
Starts: 7.30pm
Duration: approx 1 hr
Tickets: Click HERE to book or in person at Visit Scotland's iCentre, Shiprow


BURKERS & BODYSNATCHERS: MURKY MEDICAL MISDOINGS IN ABERDEEN
WEDNESDAY 13 JUNE 2018
(for one night only!!!)

One of our special street theatre "ghost tours" returns for one date, taking you back to the days of Burke & Hare et al!

Learn of the murky medical doings of the surgeons, students and professional resurrectionists in the city from the 1800s to the passing of the Anatomy Act in 1832 which put an end to the theft of bodies from cemeteries and legalised the supply of corpses to medical research.  Featuring two "ghosties" of the past, the night-watchman turned grave-robber, James "Satan" Sangster, and the poor unfortunate who was cut open on the anatomy table after students mistook his drunken state for actually being dead!! (NOT SUITABLE FOR UNDER 10s)

MEET: Outside Greyfriars' Church, Queen Street (MAP)
STARTS: 7.30pm
DURATION: Approx 2hrs
TICKETS: Click HERE to book or, in person at Visit Scotland's iCentre, Shiprow 


CASTLEGATE: THE BLACK KALENDAR
MONDAY 18 JUNE 2018

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 25% off your food order! (Applies to ticketholders ONLY, must be mentioned while ordering)

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 


OLD ABERDEEN HISTORICAL SECRETS: MINI TOUR
TUESDAY 26 JUNE 2018

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 


THE WAY OF THE ASH TREE - ABERDEEN'S OLDEST STREET
WEDNESDAY 20 JUNE 2018

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


CASTLEGATE'S HISTORIC PAST: MINI TOUR
TUESDAY 26 JUNE

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


SUFFRAGETTES & OTHER LOCAL QUINES
WEDNESDAY 27 JUNE 2018

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


LOST LOCHLANDS: HISTORIC GEORGE STREET AND ITS ENVIRONS
THURSDAY 28 JUNE 2018

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

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.  

News

Aberdeen Inspired Nights LogoFriday 18 May - Sunday 27 May is "Aberdeen Inspired Nights" - a new initiative by Aberdeen Inspired to encourage folk to enjoy different events and experiences in the city at night.  We are participating by offering wristband holders a discount on tickets for the four events we have running that week, which includes one of our indoor talks, "Siren City" which commemorates 75 years since Aberdeen's worst air raid of WW2.  Adults only pay £8 and concessions £6.50, but unfortunately we cannot take pre-bookings for this offer.  You can "reserve" a place and pay your discount by contacting us in advance. 

 

Heart shaped memorial stone

Our director, Dr Fiona-Jane Brown, is involved in a new community project "Guardians of Aberdeen Graveyards", working with like-minded history buffs to ensure that our historic cemeteries have someone keeping an eye on them and aiding the excellent work of the council gardeners who have 19 burial grounds to look after.  If you are interested in being a "guardian" or just want to get advice and share stories about family history (as graveyards are an important element in genealogical research), then join the main Facebook groups for both the city (Aberdeen Cemeteries) and shire (North East of Scotland Cemeteries), as well as liking the page for the Guardians

All enquiries info@hiddenaberdeentours.co.uk

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.

iatp advert1

 

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.


Contact Hidden Aberdeen

Business Postbox

21 York Place

Footdee
Aberdeen 
AB11 5DH 

Phone: 07572 582198
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