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

 

WEDNESDAY 28 AUGUST 2019: 
OLD ABERDEEN'S ARCHITECTURAL SECRETS

Learn about the 'Aultoun' and its buildings, from the medieval Snow Kirk and Kings College to the artisan housing of the 18th and 19th century, and the hidden secrets of the university campus, including the secret Snow Kirk, the Macrobert Memorial Garden, and the delightful 18th century buildings of the Chanonry. Bishop Elphinstone was the founder of Kings College, little did he know at the end of the 15th century that many centuries of building of both sacred and secular kinds would rise up around his new university, and that the Protestant troops of General Monck would destroy St Machar Cathedral with their scavenging for stones to build up their hastily-planned fort on Castlehill in the New Town. For anyone who ever wondered 'if walls could talk...'!

Meet: Kings College Entry Path, High Street, Old Aberdeen, AB24 3UG (Map)
Event Start: 7.30pm
Duration: approx 2hr
Tickets: £10/8, click HERE to book online or book in person at the Visit Scotland hub on Shiprow
 


FRIDAY 30 AUGUST 2019:
THE BLACK KALENDAR - DARK & DEADLY DEEDS!

A rebooted chronicle of horrors!! The Black Kalendar was the city's list of court proceedings over several centuries in which were told some of the city's most gory murders and dastardly deeds. In this revived tour, find out...

  • the true story of whose arm was spiked on the Justice Port for 11 years from 1650 (definitely not William Wallace's)
  • the revenge murder of "The Black Drummer", John Sampson outside a local brothel in 1807
  • the story behind Andrew Hosack, accused of a double-murder 13 years before he was hanged for theft in 1810
  • Johnny Milne, Aberdeen's last hangman gives his side of the Hosack execution riot!
  • the "burning times" when Aberdeen executed 27 women for witchcraft in the winter of 1596/97
  • the brutal killing of Alexander Seaton by John, Master of Forbes in front of Pitfodels Lodging in 1526

and a few more tales of minor crooks who were severely punished for the least thing!

Meet: Mercat Cross, Castlegate, AB24 5HP (MAP)
Event Start: 8pm
Duration: approx 2hr
Tickets: £15/12, click HERE to book online or book in person at the Visit Scotland hub on Shiprow


SATURDAY 31 AUGUST 2019:
HIDDEN ABERDON - THE RIVER TOUR (AFTERNOON)

Launched in 2013 as part of the "Surfing the Don" art exhibition, now part of our regular schedule.  Beginning outside the University Library, what was the heart of the Powis estate, we follow the watercourses of the medieval landscape through the Chanonry, into Seaton Park and walk along the River Don, uncovering lost and forgotten stories of the Auld Toun's main water source. Ending at Brig o' Balgownie where there is always wildlife to see by the bridge, we conclude this nature and history walk through one of our truly hidden spaces. 

Meet: Outside University Library, Meston Walk, Old Aberdeen AB24 3AA (Map)
Event Start: 2pm (N.B. AFTERNOON TOUR)
Duration: approx 2hr
Tickets: £10/8, click HERE to book online or book in person at the Visit Scotland hub on Shiprow

Not suitable for those with restricted mobility - wear sturdy shoes incase of wet weather as the paths near the river can be slippery.


MONDAY 2 SEPTEMBER 2019:
TALES OF OLD TORRY

Support Torry! Often the "poor cousin" to Fittie which survived the coming of the oil industry through heritage status, fisher Torry was destroyed, but not its spirit! Learn about this truly forgotten and often maligned historical area.  If you've done the Fittie tour, this is the perfect companion!

We begin at the foot of Sinclair Road, near the heart of the old fisher village, once an independent royal burgh, now a forgotten suburb, come and learn the stories and history of the former Kincardineshire settlement, which finally became part of Aberdeen City in 1891.

Including, Torry's early times as property of the Abbot of Arbroath, the lost fisher village, which suffered demolition twice, once in the 1870s as a result of the Dee's reroute, and once in 1975, when the oil industry swept all before it. There's the sad story of the sinking of the Oscar, the superstitions of the fisherfolk who defied the kirk to carry out old rituals, and the development of Victoria Road following the herring boom. 

MEET: Outside the old Torry Bar, Sinclair Road, Torry AB11 9PR (Map)
STARTS: 7.30pm
DURATION: Approx 2.25hrs
Tickets: £10/8, click HERE to book online or book in person at the Visit Scotland hub on Shiprow


SATURDAY 12 OCTOBER 2019:
SPOOKTACULAR STORIES FOR SPOOKY KIDS

Meet Winnie the Witch for an afternoon of spooky wee stories suitable for youngsters, and a chance to make a ghostly mobile!  This free event is being hosted by the Cult of Coffee for Hidden Aberdeen Tours.  Feel free to drop in with your youngsters while you sample some of the cafe's fine pieces!  Suitable for ages 5 and up.  Come in costume!  Dunbar the Rabbit will be on hand to help Winnie tell her tales. 

Venue: The Cult of Coffee, 28 Esslemont Avenue, Aberdeen, AB25 1SN (MAP)
Stories from 2pm till 5pm
FREE EVENT - no need to book, just drop in!


MONDAY 14 OCTOBER 2019:
GHOSTS OF GILCOMSTON - CREEPY CHRONICLES FOR HALLOWEEN

Join Hidden Aberdeen's director, Dr Fiona-Jane Brown for an evening of seasonal spooky stories! With ghost stories from city and shire including the Wizard Laird of Skene, Robbie Haa, Margaret Hamilton's Deal with the Devil and the Green Lady of Fyvie, you are sure to shiver with excitement! Set in our favourite cafe, The Cult of Coffee, run by local couple Paul and Louise Robertson, the event will be in two sections with a short interval. The cafe provides a large variety of coffee roasts, teas and cakes, including vegan-friendly indulgences.

No dogs (even though the cafe is dog-friendly, we can't admit them for this event).

Venue: The Cult of Coffee, 28 Esslemont Avenue, Aberdeen, AB25 1SN (MAP)
Doors open: 6.45pm

Event start: 7pm
Duration: approx 2hrs
All Tickets £10 - click HERE to book online or purchase in person at Visit Scotland's information hub in Shiprow/Union St.


FRIDAY 1 & SATURDAY 2 NOVEMBER 2019:
TERROR TALES OF TORRY - HALLOWEEN SPECIAL 

As yet, all we can reveal about our Halloween special are the dates! There will be TWO TOURS each night (total of 4) with limited numbers, so ensure you are ready when the tickets go on sale in October!  Save the dates! Torry's about to get extra-terrifying! 


 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

Research Projects

IMG chpudzRecently, our director, Dr Fiona-Jane Brown had been commissioned to research Rubislaw Den House for its owners, Opitimus Ltd.

This lead to many fascinating discoveries including that the original Georgian mansion was most likely built by William Dauney, master mason, and maternal uncle of Aberdeen's most famous architect, Archibald Simpson.  William built it for his own brother, Alexander, who was Under-Sheriff of Abereenshire and a local advocate. 

The current house, designed for granite merchant, William Keith, was home to Alexander Anderson, Provost of Aberdeen, but best known for being the founder of CALA (City of Aberdeen Land Association) now CALA Homes.  Anderson shaped most of Victorian Rubislaw and Torry due to his shrewd development of those areas.   Rubislaw Den House was also the last residence of Lady AberLady Aberdeen and familydeen before her death.  She spent her last years writing her memoirs; renaming the property Gordon House, which it remained thereafter as a university hostel, then returned to its original name when it was converted to a nursing home.

Dr Brown hopes that other organisations in significant listed buildings will come forward and invest in similiar research.  Any such enquiries should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

 

Bacha Logo Facebook AvatarHidden Aberdeen's sister organisation, BACHA (Bon Accord Civic Heritage Association) was recently awarded funding for historical drama workshops in Torry's two primary schools and Lochside Academy. 

Dr Brown, who is also the founder of BACHA, will be leading these workshops with our own acting team, the Taezali Players.  Children will see the following stories performed - "The Wallace Relic" (a tale based on the legend that William Wallace's arm was buried in St Fittick's), "The Ritual of Unspoken Water" (also based on a story in T. W. Oglivie's Book of St Fittick concerning the Corbie Well which once stood at the foot of Mansfield Road) and "The Wreck of the Oscar".  Small groups will then work with the actors to create their own responses to the stories in drama / spoken word which will be filmed once complete.  Dr Brown is delighted to finally take local stories to schools after many years of planning.

VisitAberdeenshire Logo 4 2

Our 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.


Contact Hidden Aberdeen

Contact details

Phone: 07572 582198
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.