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





Beginning in Aberdeen’s Victorian Trinity Cemetery, this tour follows a route including the city’s earliest site of execution and the sites of some horrific murders; stripped back to its original stories-only format, customers are encouraged to listen to these terrifying true tales and imagine for themselves what it was like!  Includes the tale of Aberdeen’s last hangman, Johnny Milne, a darkly comic personage who almost resigned at his first hanging; the tragic fate of Captain Beaton of the Gordon Highlanders; the 60s love-triangle which ended in the death of all parties, and the last ever hanging in Scotland; the tragic murder of 8-year-old Helen Priestly, killed by her jealous grown-up neighbour, Jeannie Donald; the poisonous marriage of Catherine Humphrey and the gory tale of James Harrow, the Butcher of the Saltoun Arms, who, due to his unstable mental health, believed his workmates at the Wales Street abattoir were plotting to kill him, instead he stabbed two of them to death in the pub in 1901.

MEET: Outside Trinity Cemetery, Park Road Gate, up from Pittodrie South Stand (AFC)
DURATION: approx 2hr
LENGTH: 2.3ml
TERRAIN: Mostly pavements, grassy areas
TICKETS: Adults £15/ Concessions £10 - Click HERE to book

Covid Instructions: Please maintain 1m+ between you and your fellow customers; mask-wearing optional, if you feel safer doing so; no children allowed at present. 


Covering almost eight centuries of history in one hour!  Short section from the full-length Torry tour, 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 developments, and then the same happened in 1971 when the oil industry obliterated "Old Torry" for a second time.

Special x2 runs of this tour to promote Greyhope Bay Dolphin project - after your tour, walk up to Torry Battery and grab a snack at the food truck, see Craig Barrowman's "Junk Jewellery" workshop and maybe spot some of our local bottlenose dolphins capering at the Dee Estuary.  Beach clean event also happening - see https://www.greyhopebay.com/

MEET: St Fittick's Old Kirk, St Fittick's Road (AB11 8TP)
START TIME:  10.30am & 12noon
DURATION: approx 60min
TERRAIN: Mostly pavements, grassy areas
TICKETS: All Tickets £5 - Click HERE to book for any of the times available

Covid Instructions: Please maintain 1m+ between you and your fellow customers; mask-wearing optional, if you feel safer doing so; no children allowed at present. 


Catch our new podcast running on Anchor.fm; Click HERE to access the episodes so far. 

Any queries - email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


December 2020

Hidden Aberdeen Tours is going to remain an online business for the foreseeable future - the current situation means we cannot run physical tours or do any outdoor theatre - this is particularly depressing since we've produced some fantastic shows over our eight-year history.  BUT! We will not be going anywhere.  The online events we've run via Zoom have proved of interest to customers, and been a wonderful opportunity for friends from all over the world to join us. This is a good thing, and we're going to keep that up.  More podcasts will be recorded in the holidays and ready for you in January, and the news on the next book is exciting, so we'll tell you all about it in 2021.

All online events are on Zoom, so to get the best out of it, you should install the program on your computer, but you don't have to.  Once you buy a ticket, you will be send joining details for each event.  Talks / Virtual Tours are recorded so you don't need to miss out, you can just pay and get the download later if you're not free at the time. Keep an eye on our events page AND on Facebook if you are on there - our Facebook page is www.facebook.com/HiddenAbdnTours.  

New Podcast!

The coronavAnchor FM Logoirus pandemic has shocked everybody, not least of all us! Unable to tour for the foreseeable future, we decided to get local history out to you via a different medium, AUDIO! Our director, Dr Fiona-Jane Brown has started a podcast on Anchor.fm which can also be accessed on Spotify, iTunes, GooglePodcasts, RealRadio and a number of other platforms.  The episodes are usually posted at the weekend, The first series of 10 is available.  The History Quine covers some of the material from Dr Brown's former column in the Evening Express and her books, so expect to range about Aberdeenshire as well as hear about stories from the city.  You can listen to them directly from Anchor.fm or use any of the platforms to store them.  

If you have any suggestions for topics, or want to share your stories of city and shire, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as we can record interviews via Zoom or Skype.  The link for The History Quine is HERE.

Research Projects

IMG chpudzRecently, our director, Dr Fiona-Jane Brown had been commissioned to research Rubislaw Den House for its owners, Opitimus Ltd.

This lead to many fascinating discoveries including that the original Georgian mansion was most likely built by William Dauney, master mason, and maternal uncle of Aberdeen's most famous architect, Archibald Simpson.  William built it for his own brother, Alexander, who was Under-Sheriff of Abereenshire and a local advocate. 

The current house, designed for granite merchant, William Keith, was home to Alexander Anderson, Provost of Aberdeen, but best known for being the founder of CALA (City of Aberdeen Land Association) now CALA Homes.  Anderson shaped most of Victorian Rubislaw and Torry due to his shrewd development of those areas.   Rubislaw Den House was also the last residence of Lady AberLady Aberdeen and familydeen before her death.  She spent her last years writing her memoirs; renaming the property Gordon House, which it remained thereafter as a university hostel, then returned to its original name when it was converted to a nursing home.

Dr Brown hopes that other organisations in significant listed buildings will come forward and invest in similiar research.  Any such enquiries should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  


Bacha Logo Facebook AvatarHidden Aberdeen's sister organisation, BACHA (Bon Accord Civic Heritage Association) was recently awarded funding for historical drama workshops in Torry's two primary schools and Lochside Academy. 

Dr Brown, who is also the founder of BACHA, will be leading these workshops with our own acting team, the Taezali Players.  Children will see the following stories performed - "The Wallace Relic" (a tale based on the legend that William Wallace's arm was buried in St Fittick's), "The Ritual of Unspoken Water" (also based on a story in T. W. Oglivie's Book of St Fittick concerning the Corbie Well which once stood at the foot of Mansfield Road) and "The Wreck of the Oscar".  Small groups will then work with the actors to create their own responses to the stories in drama / spoken word which will be filmed once complete.  Dr Brown is delighted to finally take local stories to schools after many years of planning.

VisitAberdeenshire Logo 4 2

Our 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



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

Contact details

Phone: 07572 582198
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.