Located on the wind battered north coast of Scotland, Aberdeen is the oil capital of Europe. Scotland’s third largest city is the regional hub for Shell, Exxon, and British Petroleum, and home to one of the UK’s largest fishing ports. Known as the ‘Granite City’ for its handsome grey stone buildings, Aberdeen is a workhorse; the city boasts an unemployment rate of just two per cent (well below the national average) and oil wealth looks set to line the pockets of its citizens for another 40 or so years. In a 2012 survey, the city was, quite surprisingly, awarded the status of ‘Third Happiest City in the UK,’ shaking off its much maligned image as a cold, dour place populated with parsimonious locals who prefer deep fried Mars bars to creme brûlée.
Home to the University of Aberdeen (founded in 1495), Aberdeen is a vibrant cultural center and boasts myriad galleries, museums, parks, and historic attractions. Aberdeen’s excellent Maritime Museum elucidates the city’s relationship with black gold through engaging exhibits that feature a model oil rig. If you are visiting for a few days, it makes good political sense to get acquainted with the beloved 13th-century Scottish independence hero, William Wallace (immortalized by Mel Gibson in the movie Braveheart). A statue of Wallace fronts His Majesty’s Theater, an intimate venue showcasing acclaimed productions that tend to migrate north from London’s illustrious theater land.
For lovers of dark nectar, the Speyside region, northwest of the city, is dotted with traditional single malt distilleries that mark the jovial ‘Malt Whisky Trail.’ Venerable producers such as Glenfiddich, Strathisla, and Glen Garioch all like to spar for the coveted title of Scotland’s oldest distillery. Grampian’s evocative old castles that have graced a thousand tourist brochures are captivating. Laced with mist, the breathtaking Dunnottar Castle, perched on a cliff top fronting the wild coast of Stonehaven, is missing only fire-breathing dragons to complete its medieval vision. With a history that dates to the 9th century, the fortress has played host to both William Wallace and Mary Queen of Scots. As the story goes, a garrison of 70 men defended the castle for eight months in order to protect Scotland’s crown jewels from the plundering paws of Oliver Cromwell’s formidable army.
Airports within a 50-mile radius of Aberdeen:
- Dyce Airport (ABZ, located just 5 miles from the city)
- Kinloss Airport (FSS)
- Feam Airport (EG73)
Popular aircraft charters* in the Aberdeen area include:
- Citation Excel (super light)
- Learjet 45 XR (super light)
- Citation CJ3 (light)
- Learjet 31ER 400A (light)
- Learjet 60 XR (midsize)
- Citation III (midsize)
- Gulfstream G200 (super midsize)
- Citation Sovereign (super midsize)
*This is just a sample. Zephyr provides access to aircraft at every end of the spectrum, from luxurious VIP airliners, to ultra long range business jet, helicopters, and economical turboprops.