info@hiddenaberdeentours.co.uk
07572 582198
"Welcome to Hidden Aberdeen Tours, Aberdeen's Premier Walking Tour Company" Uncovering the lost, forgotten, hidden and always bringing the past to life 

Next Tours

Next Tours


NO TOURS THIS WEEK


MONDAY 17 JUNE: 
MEDIEVAL & PREHISTORIC ORIGINS TOUR

Starting at Shiprow, once thought to be the city's oldest street when it was called "The Way of the Ash Tree" in 1212AD, learn of Provost Davidson, the only civic leader to die in battle, killed at Harlaw in 1411. From there skirt the remains of St Katherine's Hill, now the Adelphi through to the Green where the Trinitarian and Carmelite Friars had their monasteries.  See where the Bow Brig was situated, the earliest crossing of the Denburn now hidden under Denburn Road, and head for Windmill Brae, once the very border of the city, as was Union Terrace Gardens where we learn of the Denburn Valley and its origins.  Ending at Hill Street and Gilcomston, we delve deep into the city's prehistoric past when a great loch covered most of what is George Street, and finally in Hill Street, stand where our ancestors did 10,000 years ago when a hunter gatherer community established a seasonal camp above the Gilcomston Burn and the Loch of Aberdeen.

MEET: Aberdeen Maritime Museum, Shiprow, AB11 5BY (MAP)
STARTS: 7.30pm
DURATION: 2hrs approx
END: TBC

TICKETS: £10/8. Click HERE to book online or book in person at the Visit Scotland hub on Shiprow 


FRIDAY 21 JUNE:BURKERS & BODYSNATCHERS
MURKY MEDICAL MISDOINGS IN ABERDEEN 

Back again for a second run! Learn of the murky medical doings of the surgeons, students and professional resurrectionists in the city from the 1800s to the passing of the Anatomy Act in 1832 which put an end to the theft of bodies from cemeteries and legalised the supply of corpses to medical research.

Featuring: the great riot of Hospital Row, when Dr Andrew Moir’s anatomy theatre was torn to the ground by angry citizens; the tale of the half-anatomised man who didn’t quite live to tell his side of the story; the tale of Twice-Buried Mary, the bride who wasn’t quite the corpse! Meet Satan Sangster, the graverobber of Spital Kirkyard who doubled as a nightwatchman at the Gallowgate Port - find out why he had such a nasty nickname! This and other gruesome goings-on inspired by the deeds of the “burkers” of Aberdeen are shared on this city-centre "ghost tour" special.

MEET: Robert the Bruce's Statue, Marischal College, Broad St (MAP)
ENDS: Littlejohn Street, near Six Degrees North (craft beer pub)
STARTS: 7.30pm (be there at least 10min before start)
DURATION: Approx 2hr
TICKETS: £12/10. Click HERE to book online or book in person at the Visit Scotland hub on Shiprow 


TUESDAY 25 JUNE: LOST CINEMAS OF ABERDEEN

Div ye mind gaun tae the picters? Paying with jam jars? Saturday morning specials? Then this tour is bound to appeal! Meeting outside the old Odeon, Justice Mill Lane, which started life as one of Aberdeen's many silver screens from the age of cinema, this tour takes you on a journey into cinematic history, recalling the early days to the high point of the 40s and 50s to the sad decline of our picture palaces to leave us with only four functioning cinemas out of a previous total of around 35. We can't promise to cover them all, but the selection on the walk represents the Union St cluster of the city's picture houses, 'flechy' or otherwise!

Cinemas include: ODEON/ REGENT, WEST END/ PLAYHOUSE, CAPITOL/ ELECTRIC, LA SCALA/ MAJESTIC, SAVOY, MUSIC HALL, PICTUREDROME/ CINEMA HOUSE, NEWS CINEMA/ CURZON/ COSMO2, GAUMONT/ PICTURE HOUSE, BELMONT/ NEW KINEMA/ COLLISEUM

MEET: Outside Nuffield Health Club (Old Odeon Cinema), Justice Mill Lane,  (MAP)
ENDS: Belmont Filmhouse, Belmont St.
STARTS: 7.30pm (be there at least 10min before start)
DURATION: Approx 2hr
TICKETS: £10/8. Click HERE to book online or book in person at the Visit Scotland hub on Shiprow


NO TOURS 26 JUNE - 9 JULY: STAFF HOLIDAYS - MORE TOURS TO BE ADDED AFTER THIS DATE


SATURDAY 20 JULY 2019: MINI TOURS DAY 

OLD ABERDEEN'S HISTORICAL SECRETS 11AM

A zip through Old Aberdeen's history comparing the 20th century and medieval quadrangles, hearing the stories of Elphinstone Hall, New Kings and Kings College; visit the hidden remains of the Snow Kirk and the tales attached to the Powis estate represented today by the impressive gates which replicated the former towers in the old quad.

MEET: Outside Elphinstone Hall, Kings Lawn, Old Aberdeen, AB24 3SW (MAP)
ENDS: Kings Quad
Starts: 11am
Duration: Approx. 1 hour
TICKETS: £5 all tickets; Click HERE to book online or in person at Visit Scotland, Shiprow

FITTIE: ABERDEEN'S PLANNED FISHER VILLAGE 2PM

Beginning on Pocra Quay near the site of the original Block House, a stone fort first erected in the 15th century to protect the city from "English invaders", we follow the fall and rise of the fisher residents of the Kirktoun of Futty, who forced the council into providing them a new home when harbour development threatened to obliterate the old village of Pockraw in the late 18th century. Featuring the picturesque Fisher Squares, designed by city architect, John Smith aka "Tudor Johnny", who also designed the new St Clements' Kirk in 1828. 

MEET: Footdee War Memorial, Pocra Quay, AB11 5DQ (MAP)
STARTS: 2pm 
ENDS: Roundhouse, Pocra Quay
DURATION: 1hr approx
TICKETS: £5 all tickets; Click HERE to book online or in person at Visit Scotland, Shiprow


WEDNESDAY 24 JULY 2019
LOST LOCHLANDS - GEORGE STREET & ENVIRONS

Beginning from the site of the old Loch of Aberdeen, we take a trip back in time to recall the shops, churches, schools, cinemas and public baths which were situated in this area.  Many folk will remember ‘The Rubber Shop’, Isaac Benzies, Maxwells, the City Cinema, Gallowgate Middle School with its ‘Pond’ – we hope to recreate those memories and reveal more about medieval George St and the Lochlands when the loch was still the main source of water for the city.  A circular walk beginning and ending at John Lewis', George Street. Suitable for wheelchair users. Total length 1.48 miles

MEET: John Lewis Store, George Street, AB25 1BW (MAP)
STARTS: 7.30pm 
DURATION: 2hrs approx
TICKETS: £10/8; Click HERE to book online or in person at Visit Scotland, Shiprow 


MONDAY 29 JULY 2019 
BLOOD & GRANITE: THE MURDER HISTORY TOUR

Join us for Hidden Aberdeen's UNIQUE street theatre experience!!!

See the sites and hear the stories from our city's dark and criminal past. War and bloodshed, murder and mayhem, it's all under your feet!! Taking you back in time to some of the city's most notorious slayings, the Murder History Tour brings out the horrors behind the doors of some of our most innocuous tenements and monuments.  Meet our last hangman, Johnny Milne, whose first execution was almost his last! And witness a deadly darkly comic spat between Wales St landlady, Catherine Humphrey and her drunken husband James, whom she poisoned to death in 1830.

Suitable for over 12s, not accessible for disabled

MEET: Park Road Gate, Trinity Cemetery, Aberdeen AB24 5PA (MAP)
STARTS: 8pm (NOTE DIFFERENT TIME)  
DURATION: 2hrs approx
TICKETS: £10/8; Click HERE to book online or in person at Visit Scotland, Shiprow


WEDNESDAY 31 AUGUST: ST MARGARET'S GALA WEEK TOUR
GALLOWGATE: ABERDEEN'S BORDERLANDS - THE NORTH

A Special Run of this tour in conjunction with St Margaret of Scotland Episcopal Church, Gallowgate as part of their Gala Week.

Continuing from its launch in 2018, first in a series of four, covering "Aberdeen's Borderlands". The Gallowgate represented the way to the city's Northern border, Mounthooly, as Aberdon was a separate burgh until 1891.

From its earliest origins as the first site of civic executions to the home of the city's earliest thread mill, Porthill, the Gallowgate has changed rapidly through time. An industrial area from earliest medieval times with the home of the Tannery near Broadgate, and later Soapy Ogston's; site of the Quakers' burying ground, often dug up by an less than supportive council; the home of "Mar's Castle", a curious building latterly used for the medical students to hold their earliest meetings of the Medico-Chirurgical Society; and the site of the famous Middle School, the first to have a swimming pool in the city. Gallowgate hides many secrets, we will attempt to reveal some on this tour.

MEET: Outside Marischal College, Main Entrance, Broad Street, AB10 1YS (MAP)
ENDS: Mounthooly Roundabout

STARTS:7.30pm
DURATION: 2hrs approx
TICKETS: £10/8; Click HERE to book online or in person at Visit Scotland, Shiprow


SATURDAY 3 AUGUST: MINI TOURS DAY

OLD TORRY - THE LOST VILLAGES 12 noon

A mini-tour set in the historic royal burgh of Torry covering almost eight centuries of history in one hour!  starting at old St Fittic.k’s Kirk which was built in the 13th century, and following a direct line over the Balnagask Motte, down Baxter Street and into the site of the Victorian fisher village. Includes tales of the Davidsons, last lairds of Torry; the Dee Ferry Disaster and the medieval fisher villag

of Torry which disappeared in 1876 due to harbour.

Meet: Old St Fittick's Kirk, Greyhope Road/ St Fittick's Park, Torry AB11 8TP (MAP)
Ends: Sinclair Road, Torry
Duration: approx 60min
Tickets: £5 all tickets, click HERE to book online or book in person at the Visit Scotland hub on Shiprow 

ROSEMOUNT MINI RAMBLE 3PM

Developed from the full length Rosemount Ramble, focusing on the hidden gem of Mackie Place, the 18th century cul-de-sac owned by hide-skinner, Robert Mackie, who commissioned the distinctive ogee-shaped "White House" and the remaining tenement of no's 4-5, and Jack's Brae, where there were industries galore, including Strachan's Mill, Paterson's Tannery and later the North of Scotland Bedding Company. There's the story of St John's Well, the main fresh water source for the inhabitants of Jack's Brae and Hardweird; George Dickie, the owner of Cherryvale, a long-lost mansion, who tried to block the owners of the White House/Galleries from overlooking his garden. Three hundred years of history in 60min!

Meet: The Cult of Coffee, 28 Esslemont Avenue, Rosemount, AB25 1SN (MAP)
Ends: Grammar School Gates
Duration: approx 60min
Tickets: £5 all tickets, click HERE to book online or book in person at the Visit Scotland hub on Shiprow


MONDAY 5 AUGUST:
GALLUS QUINES - ABERDEEN'S PIONEERING WOMEN

A brand new indoor history talk featuring some of the city's sometimes forgotten pioneer women, like Hilda Wernham, co-founder of Aberdeen Cyrenians; Louisa Lumsden, champion for women's higher education; Rachel, Lady MacRobert, founder of the MacRobert Trust, following the death of all three sons in the RAF, Annie Pearson, Lady Cowdray, the patroness of the RCN and many more.

Join us in the cosy surroundings of the Cult of Coffee where you can buy coffee/tea/cakes to suit yourself. They have a great vegan selection too.  The evening is broken up into two sections, with a 20min interval. Suitable for young people of age 8 and above; venue is disability accessible.  Parking available in Leadside Road for free after 6pm or Grammar School car park.

Venue: The Cult of Coffee, 28 Esslemont Avenue, Rosemount, AB25 1SN (MAP)
Doors Open: 7pm

Event Start: 7.30pm
Duration: approx hr
Tickets: £10/8, click HERE to book online or book in person at the Visit Scotland hub on Shiprow



New dates will be added very soon!

Please note, if dates are not shown it means there are no tours planned yet for those dates or they are free for private bookings.  

News

Reminiscence Talks - Aberdeen Lang Syne at Mark Bush CourtMark Bush Court, Sheltered Housing, Kincorth

We are going to be delivering the full series of our reminscence talks starting in November at local council sheltered housing complex, Mark Bush Court in Kincorth.  The residents have a very busy social calendar and are always on the look out for interesting visitors.  Dr Fiona-Jane Brown, our director will be presenting the talks including "Lost Shops", "Lost Cinemas", "The Blitz", "A Virtual Pub Crawl of Aberdeen", "Dancehalls and Ballrooms", "Trams, Buses and Trains", and "Sneezes, Wheezes and Diseases", the potted history of our local medical services.  

Residents pay a small fee to cover their entertainments, but anyone willing to sponsor these sessions to allow them to build up their event kitty would be most welcome! 

VisitAberdeenshire Logo 4 2

Our newly updated listing with VISIT ABERDEENSHIRE is now live.  Our friends at this local tourism promotion agency have been snowed under with updates to their business pages, so if you've recently visited it and found obsolete information, it's now been fixed! Click HERE to view and let us know if you spot any errors in future! 

 

Current Projects

As well as tours and storytelling sessions, Hidden Aberdeen is also works with various local businesses, charities and third sector organisations:

 

Our Publications

Dr Fiona-Jane Brown, director of Hidden Aberdeen Tours has published three books on local history in the city and shire.  

Original Hidden Abdn Cover

 

BACK IN PRINT AFTER AN 18 MONTH ABSENCE!! 

Publishers, Black & White of Edinburgh have finally been able to bring back this very popular original local history book which was inspired by the walking tours and Dr Fiona-Jane Brown's blog which was hosted by STV Aberdeen way back in 2012! Due back in bookshops by mid-June 2017!

Aberdeen is rich in history, much of it hidden. Now, in Hidden Aberdeen, Dr Fiona-Jane Brown explores the city through new eyes, revealing new stories from the past and bringing the modern city to life. There's the last resting place of Robert Hitchens, who was at the wheel of the Titanic when it struck an iceberg; Royal connections including the Old Pretender, James Francis Edward Stuart's visit to local ship owner, Skipper Scott, when he discovered from his commander, the Earl of Mar, that all was not well with the Jacobite Army; the brutal murder of a monk by so-called reformers and the strange nineteenth-century animal cruelty case against the city's Jewish community. There's also the city's intriguing connection with Millwall FC and the place where medieval criminals were hanged. This fascinating book will open your eyes to the hidden, the forgotten and the abandoned which lie under your feet as you walk round the city today.

Hidden Aberdeen: History on your Doorstep and Under Your Feet is the first local history publication from Dr Fiona-Jane Brown, founder of Hidden Aberdeen Tours.

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Hidden Aberdeenshire the Coast

Following on from the bestselling Hidden Aberdeen, Fiona-Jane Brown now presents a brand new volume, Hidden Aberdeenshire: The Coast, exploring the rich history and the most fascinating, quirky stories from the windswept lands beside the North Sea.

There's the story of James Keith, brother of the 10th Earl or Marischal, whose statue stands in Peterhead - but few know why; Captain Gray's House, where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle took up a post as ship's surgeon on a whaler owned by one of the most successful whaling captains of the nineteenth century; the tale of the Frasers, the family who lost their castle and generations later reclaimed it; the mystery of the university that never was; plus many more.

Hidden Aberdeenshire: The Coast is a fascinating and entertaining collection of forgotten history and anecdotes from Scotland's North-East, pieced together by historian Dr Fiona-Jane Brown.

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Hidden Aberdeenshire the Land

Following on from Hidden Aberdeenshire: The Coast, this new volume moves inland to tell the stories of the countryside, from the fertile farmland of Buchan to the high peaks of the Cairngorm Mountains.

Visit Macbeth's reputed grave at Lumphanan, where he was supposedly buried by his supporters after being killed by Malcolm Canmore, later Malcolm III of Scotland; meet the Maiden Stone's forgotten companion, the larger-than-life Persephone sculpture, near the foot of Bennachie and learn the significance of the Kintore Arms Public House to a terrible murder back in 1863.

Come and visit the two most fascinating burials in Braemar cemetery, of poor crofter, Peter Grant who fought at Culloden and outlived Bonnie Prince Charlie, and the Black Colonel, John Farquharson of lnverey, who made his "bed" in the rocks above his castle, but did not lie peaceful in his grave after death.

Learn about Trooper Smart of Kintore who died in South Africa as a result of a lion attack; the hidden stone circle discovered in Methlick Wood by a local dowser and Wormy Hillock, an early site of Pagan worship near Rhynie.

Join historian and guide Dr Fiona-Jane Brown for these and many more quirky, forgotten and hidden tales, this time from Aberdeenshire's landward districts.

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Hidden Aberdeen Tours (founded 2011) is wholly owned by Dr Fiona-Jane Brown as a sole-trading operation which occasionally works with contractors.


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Phone: 07572 582198
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