Some visitor attractions are season and closed during the winter months (often the end of October to March). Also remember that daylight is limited during mid-winter (it gets dark around by 4pm in December). But, the bonus is long summer evenings (with daylight until as late as 11pm during June/July). Also note that in Scotland smoking is prohibited in all enclosed public spaces.
Three museums, a narrow gauge railway, a huge country park area (the river and the railway run through it: there’s a fantastic caravan and camping site and holiday apartments to rent in the big house there, walks galore, a historic battlefield, a golf course with the clubhouse right in the village and lots of coffee houses and restaurants.
An ideal place for a day’s outing or a good base for exploring “Royal” Donside where the scenery is magnificent, the castles are medieval and the Royal connection is with Robert the Bruce.
Here are some brief descriptions of the main attractions:
Alford Heritage Centre
An extraordinary, emotive and slightly eccentric collection of objects, images and books housed in the old auction mart – itself of great interest since it is the only one left standing : and it’s big – the tractors take less than 10% of the space, which just about leaves room for the thousands of other exhibits : “a’thing fae claes washers tae neep hashers” It’s definitely the place to remember in Alford.
Come along to see The Story of the Aberdeen Angus Breed, The story of the Tilley company in irons, lamps and heaters. Also the newly vamped ‘Back Shed’ display of Stationary engines, agricultural vehicles and artefacts.
The museum, at Mart Road in Alford, is open to the public from 10.00 until 16.00 Monday to Saturday, though closed in Winter months.
Click to view Alford Heritage Centre web site
Grampian Transport Museum
A treasure house of transport history. Displays, working exhibits and DVD presentations illustrate the history of travel and transport in North East Scotland. The museum also houses the Tourist Information Centre
Click to view Grampian Transport Museum web site
Alford Valley Railway
Scotland’s first 2ft narrow gauge railway running a half hourly service from Alford to Haughton Country Park – a seasonal service from Easter to September with “Santa Specials” in December. It also houses a small museum.
Click to view Alford Valley Railway website
The picture is of Haughton House in Haughton Park. This big “hoose” has had various interesting “changes of use” since its role as ancestral seat ended and is now converted to Holiday apartments. Next door is the Murray Park (gifted by Charles Murray).. 60 acres, lots of walks and a historic battlefield of the Battle of Alford, fought in 1645.
A parkland course surrounded by the Donside hills with Bennachie dominating. A challenge to golfers of all ages and ability without being physically demanding – and the clubhouse is right in the village as well. Length – 5483 Yards. Par – 69.
Alford is on the Castle Trail in north east Scotland. Some of the castles in the area include Craigievar castle, Frazer castle, Drum castle and Crathes castle – and we are only 30 minutes from Balmoral castle, the Queen’s summer home in Scotland.
We are also only 30 minutes from the world famous malt whisky trail in neighbouring Speyside where you can visit the distilleries and see the whisky being manufactured – you will also have the chance to sample a dram or two!
Click to view: Whisky Trail website
The annual Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is held in May centred in Dufftown when there is a week of whisky, food and music to be had for all.
Click to view: Whisky Festival website
Slàinte mhath (good health)
The dry ski slope, the skate park, the swimming pool, the hotels, coffee houses and restaurants…we could go on and on!