A historic city on Scotland's north-east coast, Aberdeen came into international prominence in the 1970s as the hub of the UK's North Sea oil industry. There are daily direct trains to Aberdeen making the seven hour trip from London, as well as an overnight sleeper service and regular indirect trains requiring a change at Edinburgh. As the main city of the north-east, Aberdeen also enjoys direct rail connections with most of Scotland's major towns, making it an easy destination to reach by rail.
Aberdeen Station is situated in the centre of the city, near Union Square. City buses stop nearby on the square and on College Street. The ferry terminal is about five minutes walk east of the station. The station has a pub, cafe, luggage storage facilities, newsagent, bicycle rental office and a first class lounge with showers and free WiFi.
Direct trains to Aberdeen from London King's Cross are operated by London North Eastern Railway (LNER), taking around seven hours. The Caledonian Sleeper overnight service operates six nights a week, taking just under 11 hours to reach Aberdeen. Scotland's national rail operator Scotrail provides all the other direct train services to Aberdeen, with daily connections from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth, Dundee and Inverness. With many visitors to Aberdeen arriving at the city's airport, Scotrail also operates a handy rail service from Dyce, the closest station to the airport.
The relaxed overnight sleeper service from London to Aberdeen is a comfortable alternative to a flight, arriving in Aberdeen in time for a morning business meeting or a full day's sightseeing. Daytime connections provide a scenic journey on the East Coast Main Line. Travellers within Scotland can take advantage of fast and direct connections from most major towns and cities.
Central Aberdeen can be best negotiated on foot, but regional buses allow visitors to explore nearby coastal towns and beaches. Ellon is an interesting excursion, as the small town hosts an eco-brewery, the original base of craft beer pioneers Brew Dog. The north-east beaches can be spectacular, with highlights including Balmedie, with its golden dunes, and Newburgh with a thriving seal colony.