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The local area guide to living in Aboyne

Aboyne is a Scottish village on the edge of the Highlands, in Aberdeenshire. Located in the middle of Royal Deeside, it is 30 miles west of Aberdeen and is a huge tourist attraction, thanks to its beautiful scenery, proximity to Balmoral Castle and a plethora of outdoor activities available. It also hosts an annual Highland Games on the village green, of which the Queen Mother was once a patron. Aboyne is famous for its breathtaking, unspoiled surroundings and is only a short drive away from Cairngorms National Park.

Aboyne has been long inhabited, but formally came into being as Charlestone of Aboyne in the 1670s. Before then it was known as Bunty, and was the site of a castle which was handed over to Kind Edward in 1291 and garrisoned by English troops. In 1715, it was the site of a hunt organized by John Erskine, sixth Earl of Mar, as a pretense for a gathering of Jacobite nobles where they would discuss their planned uprising. The uprising began three days later.

These days, flocks of tourists come to Aboyne every year, peaking during the Highland Games in August. It is one of the most beautiful spots in Scotland and offers a lot to prospective visitors.

Information about the local residents

About 2,600 people live in Aboyne all year round, although the population doubles with the influx of tourists in the late summer and autumn. A higher than average proportion of residents are over 45, and many are retired. Most people in Aboyne own their own home and education levels are fairly high.

The village green is the site of several events and activities for the locals, including the annual Highland Games. The green was commissioned by some of the early inhabitants of Aboyne Castle, the Marquesses of Huntly, and is based on a traditional English village green. The local rugby team also plays on the green.

The village also has a swimming pool, an eighteen hole golf course, tennis courts, and a bowling green. Beyond the bounds of the village, there are many outdoor pursuits available to residents and visitors. Walking, cycling, fishing and even gliding are all extremely popular. Nearby, the pass of Ballater is a well-known spot for rock climbing and just down the road is Dinnet, a village inside the Cairngorms National Park.

During July, the theatre and Community Centre are used for the Aboyne and Deeside Festival - a festival of the arts that has been visited by high profile critics and other well-to-dos.

Nearby schools

There are two schools in Aboyne, an academy and a primary school. 650 pupils are enrolled at the academy, of which a third come from Aboyne itself. The remaining half come from nearby villages. The academy's facilities include a full size swimming pool and a fitness centre. Aboyne Primary School, near the academy, is popular and has an excellent reputation.

Nearby Banchory has a few more schools, and for parents looking further afield Aberdeen has some top-quality institutions.

Getting around

Aboyne used to have its own railway station on the Aberdeen to Ballater line, but it was closed in the 1960s during the Beeching Cuts. Now, it is served by regular buses, but the best way to get around is by car.

Aboyne is fairly remote, and it takes 45 minutes to drive to Aberdeen. However, it is just a 20 minute drive to Banchory. The Cairngorms National Park is only a few miles away and is well worth exploring by car on a long drive.

Local shops

Aboyne has plenty of conveniences, including a supermarket, two banks, a hairdressers, a butcher, a newsagent, an Indian restaurant and a post office. The old railway station contains a few shops, and there are plenty of pubs and places to eat.

A bigger range of shops can be found in Banchory, which has a fantastic high street full of big brands and independent outlets. A little further afield, Aberdeen has a huge range of options for serious shoppers.


Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.