International Tourist Guide Day: Aberdeen’s Secret Revealed

As part of celebrations that take part around the world to celebrate Tourist Guiding as a profession, students from North East Scotland College Travel & Tourism courses enjoyed a city tour of Aberdeen for International Tourist Guide Day. The tour gave students a firsthand visitor experience, being guided around a few of the city’s highlights. Members of the local branch of the Scottish Tourist Guide Association volunteered to be involved in the day.

In 2012, Lonely Planet voted Aberdeen one of the top 10 unsung destinations of the world, explaining ‘The granite town of Aberdeen is home to a stately university centred on the 15th-century King’s Chapel, is fronted by a long sandy beach, and contains the time-capsule, Hobbit-quaint fishing village of Footdee.

College students were able to see up close for themselves a few of the city’s special places, which resulted in Lonely Planet singing its praises. A walk through Fittie and Old Aberdeen and a visit inside Kings College provided new appreciation of what a great place Aberdeen is.

Built in granite, Aberdeen has a unique feel which makes it special in Scotland with accomplished architecture old and new. The urban centre has all you would want of a city with a breadth of music and cultural venues, a surprising civic art collection and several well appointed museums.

Over the last 100 years or so, the city has proudly marked out its parks and green spaces and more formal garden areas and has been multiple winner of the City category of Britain in Bloom. This commitment to manage the green stuff has led to the city’s best kept secret. It’s wildlife.

Aberdeen City Council care for the wilder spaces in the form of Ian Talboys, Countryside Officer. Meeting the students at Torry Battery overlooking the harbour mouth, Ian was able to tell the students about great opportunities to see Scotland’s iconic species in the city or in the surrounding Aberdeenshire. Red squirrels, badgers, red kites, peregrine falcons, harbour and common seals, in addition to many different bird species, can all be seen in or close to the city.

an proudly claims Aberdeen to be the best place in Europe to see bottlenose dolphins and the group were not disappointed. Dolphins appeared in the space between the harbour entrance breakwaters as he spoke. Just another reason that Aberdeen City and Shire is a great place to live and work or study!

This event was a joint venture with North East Scotland College, Aberdeen, Dundee & St Andrews Branch of the STGA, Aberdeen City Council and Whytes Coaches.

International Tourist Guide Day is an initiative of the World Federation of Tourist Guides Associations, and is held annually on 21 February.