Aberdeen Granite Trail – The Granite City Walking Guide – Our son embarked on a school project on granite so we cycled an easy loop, taking in some of Aberdeen’s finest granite buildings. This trail takes about an hour tops, but you will experience beauty along the way. [Also a very easy weekend walk.] *Contains affiliate links
Rosemount Viaduct – Aberdeen Granite Trail
Start at the top end of Rosemount Viaduct (close to Leadside Road) to spot some of the most decorative public housing in Scotland. Discover bas-reliefs of Spirit of the Rains and Spirit of the Winds by Thomas Bayliss Huxley-Jones. It’s an excellent example of councils creating beautiful buildings. Further along the same street look out for a former church, converted into apartments by Skene House Apartments.
The Library, Church and Theatre – Education, Salvation and Damnation
Continue down Rosemount Viaduct to discover a whole stretch of stunning buildings that provide the backbone or literature, culture and religion in the city – the library, church and His Majesty’s Theatre. As a local, my family have spent hours in the library with the children, and I started visiting HMT as a child myself. Beautiful structures that are still used and celebrated by people today.
Memorial Lion and Aberdeen Art Gallery – Aberdeen Granite Trail
Continue down Rosemount Viaduct and cross the road to Schoolhill to discover the city’s grand war memorial with its regal lion. The memorial was designed by William McMillan and made by James Philip and George Cooper. The memorial is stunning inside, and easily accessible via the refurbished art gallery, which boasts a pink-hued granite frontage and a striking combination of 28 granite pillars in the entrance hall, highlighting the different types of granite the city has to offer.
Marischal College – Aberdeen Granite Trail
Continue down Schoolhill passing the Bon Accord Shopping Centre on your left. At the end of the road turn right onto Broad Street, and Marischal College will be right in front of you.
This is Aberdeen’s grandest granite building, the second largest granite building in the world. Stand back to admire the intricacy of the work, and spot Robert the Bruce’s statue in the foreground.
Discover more secrets of Aberdeen here…
The Townhouse and Salvation Army Citadel Building
Continue down Broad Street and turn left onto Union Street. Walk to the very end of Union Street and cross over to the Castlegate. From here you can take in the Town House (made from Kemnay granite), the Citadel (said to be modelled on Balmoral Castle) and a stunning granite building now home to an Archibald Simpson pub. From here you also have sweeping views up the length of granite filled Union Street.
Granite Screen at St Nicholas Kirk
Go back the way you came onto Union Street and remain walking up this street for some time until you reach the granite screen welcoming people to St Nicholas Kirk and Kirkyard. This impressive structure features twelve columns and was designed by John Smith in 1829.
Continue sauntering up Union Street, keeping an eye out for Crown Street on your left. Peak down this street to see a former uber-grand Post Office building, which has been converted into modern flats.
Walk a little further up Union Street to spot the recently refurbished Music Hall with six handsome granite pillars gracing the exterior.
To be fair, everywhere you look you in Aberdeen, you can see granite so you could simply follow your nose and find some stunning buildings. As a reward for our granite-seeking efforts we carried a little further up Union Street, turning right up Chapel Street then left onto Thistle Street to buy ourselves an ice cream from Baskin Robbins – we’d SO earned it.
One of my favourite residential granite streets in Aberdeen is Hamilton Place. The curved bow windows are so elegant, I wish I could see it in the days of horse and carts, crinolines and petticoats. So beautiful.