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Old Aberdeen. 'Fittie' and the Beach

Old Aberdeen. 'Fittie' and the Beach


Postby GariochTom » Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:37 pm

Route description: Old Aberdeen and beach circuit

Date walked: 10/12/2011

Time taken: 3.5 hours

Distance: 13 km

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We started the walk from Aberdeen Railway Station and headed towards Castlegate, which is dominated by the imposing Salvation Army Citadel, which was modelled on Balmoral Castle by architect James Souttar and built in 1896.
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Citadel

Following Beach Boulevard, we soon reached the beach. The sky was blue and there was only a gentle breeze, and pebbles and the waves had combined to made attractive patterns in the sand. There were several brave souls, canoeing and surfing on the surprisingly large waves.
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Pebbles

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The beach

Footdee (pronounced 'Fittie') is an old fishing village and each of the terraced houses seems to have its own postage-stamp sized area of garden within the square, each with individual outbuildings, sheds and huts, personalised by the residents.
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Footdee

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Footdee

Leaving Footdee, we passed by the 'Roundhouse' (the old Navigation Control Centre for the harbour) which may have been built in the late 1700s, and the old Customs House, before retracing our steps up the beach towards the mouth of the River Don.
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Roundhouse

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Customs House

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Aberdeen Beach

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Birds on groyne

Heading inland past the Donmouth Nature Reserve, the view was now dominated by the lofty and imposing skyscrapers in Seaton - such a contrast with unassuming, compact Fittie.
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Seaton

We crossed the Bridge of Don then immediately turned off down a path alongside the river, then through Seaton Park, eventually arriving at St Machar's Cathedral. The recent gales had clearly taken their toll on several trees within the kirkyard.
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St Machar's Cathedral

From there, we walked down the Chanonry, which was once home to the canons of the cathedral, perhaps since before 1240, and then down the historic, cobbled High Street which is terminated at its northern end by the Townhouse.
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The Townhouse

This Georgian building was designed in 1788 and has had many different uses - two schools; a hall for different societies and the Incorporated Trades of Old Aberdeen; a Masonic hall; a council meeting place; and as police cells.
Many of the historic buildings along the High Street are now part of the University of Aberdeen, and King's College is perhaps the most impressive.
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High Street

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Entrance to King's College

When founded, King's College was Scotland's third University.
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King's College from Cloisters

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King's College

Further down the High Street there are some impressive gates - the Powis Gates - topped off by Turkish style minarets and erected in the 1800s.
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Powis Gates

A walk of great interest and diversity - who says Aberdeen is just 'the Grey City'?

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GariochTom
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Re: Old Aberdeen. 'Fittie' and the Beach

Postby Graeme D » Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:25 pm

Cheers. Some good memories of my 12 months living in the Granite City! :)
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Re: Old Aberdeen. 'Fittie' and the Beach

Postby Tomsie » Sun Dec 11, 2011 1:11 am

Nice report.

I'm not 100% but think its John Smith father of William smith that designed the citadel out at balmoral instead of James Souttar
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Re: Old Aberdeen. 'Fittie' and the Beach

Postby morag1 » Sun Dec 11, 2011 8:29 am

Really like this report, I've spent many happy days on Aberdeen Beach which I think must be one of the most beautiful beaches in Scotland. Unfortunately also the coldest :(

Great to see Fittie, your pictures really give a feel for the place, well done :D
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Re: Old Aberdeen. 'Fittie' and the Beach

Postby Caberfeidh » Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:13 am

Excellent report and pics - I used to live in Aberdeen; I've often wandered along that very route. If you can dawdle by the pier, there are often dolphins to be seen, sometimes right inside the harbour. And you forgot to mention the St Machar bar in Old Aberdeen ~ Purveyors of Light Refreshments to the Gentry !
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Re: Old Aberdeen. 'Fittie' and the Beach

Postby jstalker66621 » Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:26 am

One of my favourite walking routes around Aberdeen...you must have gotten lucky at the Citadel as there are usually groups of 'jakies' congregating there annoying everyone as they wait for their turn in court across the way...I spent many a happy childhood moment in Seaton park...possibly even more beautiful now than it ever has been and giving the Duthie park a run for its money regards floral displays.
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Re: Old Aberdeen. 'Fittie' and the Beach

Postby morag1 » Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:40 am

Caberfeidh wrote:the St Machar bar in Old Aberdeen ~ Purveyors of Light Refreshments to the Gentry !

I have heard of this bar but dont think i've ever been there. My husband and his mates all used to drink in the Prince of Wales, thats when they were poor university students, they certainly weren't the gentry!! Nowadays I dont go out that much in the city but I do like the Lemon Tree, also the Boat Inn but thats way out in Aboyne.


jstalker66621 wrote:the Duthie park

Ah, the Duthie, my favourite place in the whole north east :D
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Re: Old Aberdeen. 'Fittie' and the Beach

Postby kevsbald » Sun Dec 11, 2011 12:55 pm

Memories....fan I was a loon in Aiberdeenshire, I never fully appreciated my upbringing. The Northern Lights..... :)
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Re: Old Aberdeen. 'Fittie' and the Beach

Postby foggieclimber » Sun Dec 11, 2011 2:55 pm

Fantastic memories right enough.
Looks a really good walk.
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Re: Old Aberdeen. 'Fittie' and the Beach

Postby JohnJoe » Sun Dec 11, 2011 5:04 pm

Caberfeidh wrote: And you forgot to mention the St Machar bar in Old Aberdeen ~ Purveyors of Light Refreshments to the Gentry !


Although it is a bit like having a pint in a corridor.

I do love Old Aberdeen though.
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Re: Old Aberdeen. 'Fittie' and the Beach

Postby mrssanta » Sun Dec 11, 2011 6:12 pm

morag1 wrote:Really like this report, I've spent many happy days on Aberdeen Beach which I think must be one of the most beautiful beaches in Scotland. Unfortunately also the coldest :(


when I was working at Foresterhill in my first job I looked after a man who swam in the sea off Aberdeen Beach every day - he was desperate to get out as he hadn't missed a day in 50 years. Mad.
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Re: Old Aberdeen. 'Fittie' and the Beach

Postby morag1 » Sun Dec 11, 2011 7:26 pm

mrssanta wrote:a man who swam in the sea off Aberdeen Beach every day

Sounds like my father in law, although he was never in Foresterhill

We have all heard stories of the Glasgow Hard Man, but make no mistake, Scotland's real hard men come from the North East, it's all those years of battling the elements and the North Sea.

mrssanta wrote:when I was working at Foresterhill

Are you a nurse then?
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Re: Old Aberdeen. 'Fittie' and the Beach

Postby mrssanta » Sun Dec 11, 2011 8:03 pm

morag1 wrote: Are you a nurse then?


'fraid not, worse than that, I'm a medic
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Re: Old Aberdeen. 'Fittie' and the Beach

Postby GariochTom » Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:12 pm

Tomsie wrote: I'm not 100% but think its John Smith father of William smith that designed the citadel out at balmoral instead of James Souttar


Hi Tomsie, I'm no good at names but I just had a quick look at the Historic Scotland and it seems that James Souttar did design the citadel in Aberdeen. But John Smith was indeed the architect of Balmoral Castle :)
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Re: Old Aberdeen. 'Fittie' and the Beach

Postby GariochTom » Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:17 pm

Thanks for all of your comments :D

and Caberfeidh - I'll have to go to the pier and watch out for dolphins, and go to the St Machar Bar afterwards - not before, otherwise I'd have no chance of spotting the dolphins :D
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