North East Scotland
North East Scotland' is in Scotland, in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This is the part of Scotland to the north of the Central Belt and east of the Highlands which has long been known as good farming and fishing territory, but has of late come into considerable wealth because of its location as a base for the North Sea offshore oil industry.
The north east of Scotland is easily accessible from the central belt cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.
The Forth Road Bridge connects Edinburgh to North East Scotland by the M90 which runs until Perth (where it meets the A9 heading to Inverness and the Highlands)and becomes the A90 heading to Aberdeen. The trip over the Forth Road Bridge provides excellent views of Scotland's famous Forth Bridge.
The A9 connects Glasgow to North East Scotland and runs right to Inverness in the Highlands and Islands via Perth.
The road condition on the main roads throughout North East Scotland is excellent although travelling along small country roads, especially in the mountainous areas can be tricky owing to the their twisting, narrow nature and poor road quality.
Taking the train north can be an amazing experience as they allow you to sit back and take in the views.
Trains to the north from Edinburgh and Glasgow are regular, with both Edinburgh and Glasgow being directly connected by rail to Aberdeen, via Dundee. There are also trains between Aberdeen and Inverness through the county of Moray, these are also fairly regular.
Trains from Edinburgh to Aberdeen travel across the Forth bridge and head up the coast providing excellent views of the small fishing communities of North East Scotland.
Trains also run occasionally direct from London to the the North East.
North East Scotland has two airports offering commercial flights, Aberdeen and Dundee. All the flights to/from Dundee are domestic to other locations in the UK. International flights do travel to Aberdeen along with frequent domestic flights although many of these flights are from holiday destinations in the Mediterranean.
Although trains are fairly frequent throughout the region and are a good way to enter the North East they restrict travel to the coast and some stations between Perth and Inverness.
To really explore the North East fully, like with the highlands taking a car is a good option. However for those not confident with driving on twisting narrow roads or for those not confident with driving on the left hand side of the road, buses cover almost the whole region. If you do travel by bus expect them to be slow and very infrequent, more so in the more remote areas, it is a good idea to add extra travel time into your itinerary if travelling by bus. (Buses using the main roads between, Aberdeen and Dundee, or Dundee and Perth are relatively regular and much faster.)
Glamis Castle (Pronounced Glamz) is situated beside the village of Glamis in Angus. It is the home of the Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne, and is open to the public. Glamis Castle has been the home of the Lyon family since the 14th century, though the present building dates largely from the 17th century. Glamis was the childhood home of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, who married King George VI, and was later known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. Her second daughter, Princess Margaret, was born there. The castle is protected as a category A listed building, and the grounds are included on the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland, the national listing of significant gardens
Over the years numerous traditional Scottish dishes have been created in North East Scotland, and no trip to the region would be complete without trying the local cuisine.
The Forfar Bridie
Originating from the county town of Angus, Forfar. Bridies are said "to have been 'invented' by a local baker in the 1850s." The name may refer to the pie's frequent presence on wedding menus, or to Margaret Bridie of Glamis, "who sold them at the Buttermarket in Forfar." They are made from pastry filled with mince (with or without onion), steak or even chicken, with butter and beef suet, salt and pepper. Similar to pasties, but because they are made without potatoes, they are much lighter in texture. Bakers in Forfar traditionally use shortcrust pastry for their bridies, but in the rest of Scotland, flaky pastry is preferred (It is possible in butchers or even fishmongers in Forfar to find flaky pastry bridies). Before being baked, the bridie's filling is placed on pastry dough, which is then folded into a semi-circular or triangular shape; finally, the edges are crimped. If the baker pokes one hole in the top of a bridie, it is understood to be plain, or without onions. Those that do include onions have two holes. the bridie continues to be a popular snack in Forfar with many locals eating them for lunch at the weekend.
The Arbroath Smokie
Arbroath smokies are a type of smoked haddock – a speciality of the town of Arbroath in Angus. The Arbroath Smokie originated in the small fishing village of Auchmithie, three miles northeast of Arbroath. Local legend has it a store caught fire one night, destroying barrels of haddock preserved in salt. The following morning, the people found some of the barrels had caught fire, cooking the haddock inside. Inspection revealed the haddock to be quite tasty. Towards the end of the 19th century, as Arbroath's fishing industry died, the Town Council offered the fisherfolk from Auchmithie land in an area of the town known as the fit o' the toon. It also offered them use of the modern harbour. Much of the Auchmithie population then relocated, bringing the Arbroath Smokie recipe with them. Today, some 15 local businesses produce Arbroath smokies, selling them in major supermarkets in the UK and online. In 2004, the European Commission registered the designation "Arbroath smokies" as a Protected Geographical Indication under the EU's Protected Food Name Scheme, acknowledging its unique status.
Cullen skink is a thick Scottish soup made of smoked haddock, potatoes and onions. This soup is a local specialty, from the town of Cullen in Moray, on the north-east coast of Scotland. The soup is often served as a starter at formal Scottish dinners. Cullen skink is widely served as an everyday dish across the North East of Scotland. It has been described as "smokier and more assertive than American chowder, heartier than classical French bisque". The name skink is a Scots word for a shin, knuckle or hough of beef which has developed the secondary meaning of a soup, especially one made from these.