At the easternmost tip of mainland Scotland lies Peterhead – Aberdeenshire’s most populous town and one with a past that is inextricably linked to the waters that it overlooks.

But just a few miles inland, the towns and villages of Central Buchan owe their beginnings not to the water, but to the land.

With the village of Mintlaw at its core, this region was initially referred to as the Barony of Aden in writings dating back to the 12th century. For hundreds of years, a handful of wealthy lairds maintained their claim on Aden, leading opulent lifestyles with the help of teams of workers who were brought in to farm their lands and generally look after their every whim. It was a life of privilege, but one that was eventually relegated to the history books when the farming industry became overwhelmed by increasing financial difficulties.

Fortunately, in the mid-1970s the Council stepped in to preserve a bit of that history in the form of Aden Country Park, a 230-acre country estate just west of Mintlaw. Home to the Russell clan for almost 200 years, Aden Country Park provides a glimpse into the lives of these once powerful landowners while concurrently offering a great day out for the whole family. The park centres on the striking curved home farm building, which houses the award-winning Aberdeenshire Farming Museum. Here, you will be invited back in time to explore the evolution of farming in the North-east and to ‘meet’ the staff that made the estate what it was for so many years.

Further into the estate you will discover walking and cycling trails, a Victorian arboretum, secret gardens, play and picnic areas, a dog agility course, gift shop, restaurant, a lake and even a bridleway for horses.

With everything that is on offer, you may be best to book in to the Aden campsite and give this charming country park the time it deserves.


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