Image of Aberdeenshire Image of Aberdeenshire


Famed for its rugged open farmland, mountainous regions, fishing villages, and coastal trails, Aberdeenshire is notable for its northern Scottish landscapes. Rooted in Scotland’s ancient past, the county’s historic castles are a regular sight, the old Scots dialect is commonplace, and Aberdeen has even been dubbed the ‘Granite City’ for its shimmering grey granite architecture.

Places to stay with disabled access

Photo of Inchmarlo Resort.

If planning on staying in Aberdeenshire for more than a day out, there are many accessible places to stay. Tor-na-Coille Hotel is situated in Royal Deeside, known for having one of the best salmon rivers in the world! One person said it was the most “accessible hotel I've been able to find in the Banchory area.” One of the rooms has accessible features, including “a walk-in shower with a folding seat.”

Also located in Banchory, Inchmarlo Resort & Self-Catering Accommodation includes both self-catering apartments and a large golf course. It has a level access to the tea room and restaurant, as well as level access to the golf driving range. The resort has accessible toilets, with a grab rail and raised toilet seat. Inchmarlo also has accessible parking towards the main entrance.

Situated in one of the more rural areas of Aberdeenshire, Hill of Maunderlea Luxury Lodges have accessible parking near the main door. The inside of the lodges includes a non-slip mat, as well as an accessible portable high seat toilet. There is also a shower rail, as well as two toilet rails.

If you’re more into camping, Aden Caravan and Camping is said to be one of Aberdeenshire’s most accessible. Adapted for both electric and manual wheelchair users, there is accessible parking next to the caravan. One visitor notes that “access to the caravan is via a widened ramp.” The toilet has “grab rails and a lowered sink.”

Explore Aberdeen, the Granite City!

Although not officially part of Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen is a popular Scottish city to visit. It may be grey and a little blustery, but you can warm up in one of its many lively pubs and clubs at night or bask in its great museums by day. Don’t miss the Aberdeen Maritime Museum to learn about the city’s petroleum industry and its relationship with the sea.

Historic mansions and galleries with disabled access

Photo of Duff House.

Located in north-east Scotland, the historic town of Banff is home to the famous 18th century Duff House. As part of the National Galleries of Scotland, the mansion houses some of Scotland’s prized paintings and furniture, while also boasting scenic trails. The house has a wheelchair access lift, as well as nearby accessible parking.
One visitor said the house’s entrance has a button for wheelchair users, which is “at a good height.” While praising the house’s outside access for disabled people, they also described the access to its interior as being “excellent with smooth floors throughout, perfect for wheelchair users.” Additionally, the house has an “accessible toilet and it was big and spacious.”

One of Scotland’s landmark tower houses, Crathes Castle, near Banchory, is surrounded by walled gardens, rolling hills and wildlife. It’s even rumoured to be haunted!

A visitor was impressed with the castle’s accessible parking – and said: “Looking for accessible parking bays for our WAV (wheelchair accessible vehicle) we spotted the sign for disabled parking. We drove past the castle and on around to the dedicated parking at the back of the gift shop.”

They also mentioned the helpfulness of the staff and how easy parts of the castle and gardens were to access: “the castle was accessible on the ground floor for my powerchair using friend, the cafe was accessible, as were the gardens and one of the estate walkways. We were made to feel very welcome and has a sense that access had been carefully considered here.” The castle also has a “spacious accessible toilet located in the cafe building.”

Skiing in Scotland

Photo of a snowy slope.

Glenshee Skiing Centre in Ballater is home to the largest ski resort in the UK. Located in the scenic Royal Deeside, the resort boasts 40km of pisted snow! Translated from Gaelic as ‘Glen of the Fairies,’ Glenshee is in one of Scotland’s most snowy mountainous regions. One reviewer noted the “accessible toilet within the café,” while another praised the toilets for being “functional.”

The centre also has accessible parking that’s been described as “conveniently close to the centre/ slopes - in comparison to other ski centres.” One skier told us “the Blue Badge got us nearer the main part,” And another said that Disability Snowsport UK gave them “advice about areas to ski.” If you’re new to skiing, get in touch with Disability Snowsport before you go!

Sandy beaches

Photo of a boardwalk to the beach.

Surrounded by over 14 miles of sand dunes, Balmedie Country Park is popular for its long sandy beach and barbecue fire stands. We hear it’s a “good place for a breath of fresh air and sunset.”

For wheelchair users, there is a boardwalk for assistance. There are also picnic benches near the “good sized car park,” and a nearby accessible toilet. Watch out for sand drifts on the boardwalks!

Dining in Aberdeenshire

In Aberdeen city centre, there are numerous places to eat and drink. We hear Moonfish Café is particularly good! One user loves the café for its “easily accessible” parking, with “wheelchair accessible buses” being available nearby. The entrance to the café is levelled, with no internal steps. The accessible toilet is well signposted.

Overlooking the historic Stonehaven harbour, The Ship Inn is a great little place to eat freshly-caught seafood! It has “plenty of disabled parking spaces” for those driving along the coast.

The restaurant has level access for wheelchair users, with one visitor noting the “ramp between the restaurant and bar.” The staff have been described as “very helpful and friendly,” and the toilet is a “very good size with good facilities.”

Visited for its numerous historic castles and stone circles, Inverurie is a good place to stop for a coffee or bite to eat. The Acorn Centre is a meeting place for both locals and visitors, as well as functioning as a café. One visitor praised the staff and volunteers for their assistance. The centre has accessible parking, with disabled access to the building clearly signposted.

The Fennel Restaurant in Inverurie is famed for its cocktails and modern European dishes. There is a level access to the entrance, and one user said that the “accessible loo was on the ground level so there was easy access to the toilet.”

Have you been to Aberdeenshire?

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Last Updated - June 2018