Unitary authority in northeast Scotland, created in 1996 from three districts within the former Grampian region; its administrative headquarters, Aberdeen, lies outside the authority.
Area 6,308 sq km/2,436 sq mi
Towns Banff, Fraserburgh, Huntly, Peterhead, Stonehaven, Inverurie
Physical area of contrast with mountainous western interior, intensively farmed core, and coastal plain; Cairngorm Mountains; rivers Deveron, Ythan, Don, and Dee
Features Balmoral Castle; Braemar Games
Industries oil and gas, papermaking, whisky distilling, seafood, tourism
Agriculture fishing, beef cattle, cereal crops
Population (2001) 226,900
Economy This prosperous part of Scotland has both traditional and modern economic enterprise. Agriculturally rich, the area is well known for cereal production, livestock, such as pedigree Angus and Beef Shorthorn cattle; there are many agricultural shows in the area. Aberdeenshire is Scotland's foremost fishing area, which is important at Peterhead, Fraserburgh, and MacDuff, in particular. As well as this, half of Scotland's malt whisky distilleries are found in the Glens of Moray in Aberdeenshire.
The eastern seaboard also serves the oil and gas industry of the North Sea and the western area has an important tourist industry because of its association with royalty and its mountain environment.
Environment There are 80 Sites of Special Scientific Interest, eight National Nature Reserves, three Ramsars (wetland sites), five Special Protection Areas, two Biogenetic Reserves, two National Scenic Areas, and four country parks.
Architecture The area has many examples of historic buildings and is particularly rich in castles, including that at Huntly (16th century); in the Dee valley, Crathes (16th century), Drum, Aboyne, and Braemar (all 17th century), and Dunnottar Castle (about 1392). Balmoral Castle, the Queen's Highland residence, is situated 15 km/9 mi west of Ballater in the Dee valley. The area has Scotland's only castle trail, as well as many stone circles.
Administrative history Aberdeenshire is the only Scottish unitary authority with its administrative headquarters outside its administrative area. It was created in 1996 from the districts of Banff and Buchan, Gordon, and Kincardine and Deeside. Aberdeenshire includes the pre-1974 county of the same name, Kincardinshire, and parts of Banffshire.
From ABERDEEN + SHIRE . A former county and current unitary authority of northeast Scotland. The old county was bounded on the north and...
A council area of NE Scotland, bordering on the North Sea. Under local government reorganization in 1975 the historic county of Aberdeenshire...