Aberdeen, Scotland Hotels, Resort Accommodations

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The third-largest city in Scotland, ABERDEEN , commonly known as the Granite City, lies 120 miles northeast of Edinburgh, on the banks of the rivers Dee and Don smack in the middle of the northeast coast. Based around a working harbour, it's a place that people either love or hate. Certainly, while some extol the many tones and colours of Aberdeen's granite buildings, others see only uniform grey and find the city grim, cold and unwelcoming. The weather doesn't help: Aberdeen lies on a latitude north of Moscow and the cutting wind and driving rain (even if it does transform the buildings into sparkling silver) can be tiresome.

Since the 1970s, oil has made Aberdeen a hugely wealthy and self-confident place: only four percent of Scotland's population live in the city, yet it has eight percent of the country's spending power. Despite (or perhaps because of) this, it can seem a soulless city; there's a feeling of corporate sterility and sometimes, despite its long history, Aberdeen seems to exist only as a departure point and service station for the transient population of some ten to fifteen thousand who live on the 130 oil platforms out to sea.

Staying in such a prosperous place has its advantages. There are plenty of good restaurants and hotels, local transport is efficient and certain sights, including Aberdeen's splendid Art Gallery and the excellent Maritime Museum , are free. Furthermore, the fact that the city is the bright light in a wide hinterland helps it to sustain a lively nightlife with some decent pubs and a colourful arts and cultural scene.

Aberdeen divides neatly into five main areas. The city centre , roughly bounded by Broad Street, Union Street, Schoolhill and Union Terrace, features the opulent Marischal College , the colonnaded Art Gallery with its fine collection, and homes that predate Aberdeen's nineteenth-century town planning and have been preserved as museums . Union Street continues west to the comparatively cosmopolitan West End, where much of the city's decent nightlife can be found amid the tall grey town houses. To the south, the harbour still heaves with boats serving the fishing and oil industries, while north of the centre lies attractive Old Aberdeen , a village neighbourhood presided over by King's College and St Machar's Cathedral and influenced by the large student population. The long sandy beach with its esplanade development, only a mile or so from the heart of the city, marks Aberdeen's eastern border.



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