If you are having difficulty reading the Weekend Programme, it's attached here as a Word document:
Trip 1 - Castleton Fruit Farm & East Coast Viners
Castleton Fruit Farm – Castleton Farm is a family run business owned by the Mitchells. Located in the Howe of the Mearns in South Aberdeenshire, the Mitchell’s have been growing fruit for over 20 years and are now one of Scotland’s biggest commercial growers. Having moved to Castleton in 1992, buying it from within the Mitchell family who have farmed there since 1900, Murray Mitchell brought their dairy herd to the farm and continued to grow the existing strawberry crop that was already established. In 1999 the decision was made to stop dairying and to expand the 15 acres of strawberries into a commercial scale. The first poly tunnels were erected in 2000, eliminating many of the weather related risks involved with growing strawberries outdoors in Scotland. Since then they have introduced raspberries, blueberries and cherries. They supply many of the large retailers, with the majority of their fruit going to Marks and Spencer and Tesco. They employ over 600 seasonal workers each year, with 450 living and working on the farm at the peak of the season. Website - www.castletonfruit.co.uk
East Coast Viners – East Coast Viners Grain (ECVG) was founded in 1977 by the Forbes Family with a grain drier, dressing plant and 24,000 tonnes of flat storage space. The business has grown over the years to the point where it is now one of the key players in the Scottish animal feed industry. In 1992, the decision was taken to invest in feed compounding to extend the range of services offered to farmers. At the outset, they built a plant large enough to handle a substantial commercial tonnage to make use of locally-grown cereals. Further investment in 1995 increased the capacity of the plant from 25,000 tonnes to 50,000 tonnes. The latest investment has been in a fats coating and a double pelleting system which provides a higher quality product ensuring greater durability. In 2001, ECVG were awarded full accreditation of the all-important UKASTA Feed Assurance Scheme (UFAS).
Website – www.ecvanimalnutrition.co.uk
Trip 2 - Peterhead Prison & Peterhead
Peterhead Prison – Step back in time when you visit the former "H.M. Convict Prison, Peterhead" which officially opened in 1888 and now forms part of the Admiralty Gateway. For the "inside story" of those brave personnel that staffed the first convict prison in Scotland from August 1888 to December 2013, what better way to learn than to visit and interact with guides in period costumes and see the cells and other key components of this complex that is known worldwide? This complex will both enthral and teach you what life was really like behind bars, which includes: the former woodwork area, life in the tailor's workshop and life in the prison quarters as well as "Gentle" Johnny Ramensky’s cell and the punishment block. The visitor centre has an array of prison memorabilia and historical photos, traditional and interactive displays.
Visitors are advised to wear sensible footwear as the museum is within a 6-acre site with a range of steps and uneven surfaces. Please note that there is no electric wheel chair access.
Website – www.peterheadprisonmuseum.com
Peterhead – Peterhead is the biggest settlement in Aberdeenshire (the city of Aberdeen itself not being a part of the district), sitting at the easternmost point in mainland Scotland. Peterhead is one of the busiest fishing ports in Europe with over 400 boats and a bustling daily fish market, plus a 100-berth leisure marina. You can explore the town and harbour on your own or you can do the self-guided short tour around Peterhead with story boards telling tales from the past (2km long). From the haunting tale of Auld Harry in the harbour, to Witch trials, and the dubious business activities of Bailie Alexander Elles - explore the town, and over 500 years of scurrilous gossip. Trail maps will be provided for the self-guided tour.
Trip 3a - Marshall Trailers & Winter Gardens at Duthie Park
Marshall Trailers – Charles J Marshall (Aberdeen) Ltd celebrated its Diamond Anniversary in 2012. In 1952, the introduction of the new technically advanced tractor was just in its infancy and a young apprentice joiner decided this was his time to capitalize on an opportunity to establish his own business producing something that he could sell en masse. Today the company is still owned and operated by the same family who are proud to be manufacturing trailers and other farm machinery. The Company continue to invest and annually spend six figure sums to ensure they stay ahead of their competitors. They produce on average 46 units per week that are sold throughout the world and can now proudly boast that they are the UK’s oldest and largest trailer manufacturer.
Website - www.marshall-trailers.co.uk
Winter Gardens at Duthie Park – For a leisurely afternoon, Duthie Park is a fabulous 44-acre site which was donated to the city by Miss Elizabeth Duthie in 1880 and opened as a park in 1883. It is recognised as one of the best purposely designed parks in Scotland. The park has a wonderfully spacious feel and includes open green spaces, mature deciduous and evergreen trees, superb flower beds and a cascading ornamental pond system with wetland area. There are a number of statues and commemorations dotted around the park which provide local historical interest. The David Welch Winter Gardens is a fantastic glass house complex that provides a year-round indoor garden experience. It is a great place to wander and is home to many exotic plants including one of the largest collections of cacti in Britain.
Trip 3b - Marshall Trailers & Walking Tour of Old Aberdeen
Marshall Trailers – as trip 3a
Walking Tour of Old Aberdeen – whether you call the Granite City, the Grey City, the Silver City with the Golden Sands or the off-shore oil capital of Europe, comfy shoes are best for this trip as local tour guide, David, takes you on a tour of some of the old city and gives you some insight into the architecture, culture and history of Scotland's third most populous city. Aberdeenshire is famous for its granite - a silvery-grey rock that is packed with tiny sparkling crystals. In the city you'll see lots of stunning buildings made of this sparkling stone - just one of the qualities that makes Aberdeen unique. Its sandy beach, just a short walk from the city centre, is another.
Trip 4a - Gordon Highlanders Museum & Maritime Museum / free time in City
Gordon Highlanders – The museum is situated in the fashionable west end of Aberdeen, in the former home of leading Scottish Artist, Sir George Reid. The Gordon Highlanders was a line infantry regiment of the British Army that existed for 113 years, from 1881 until 1994, when it was amalgamated with the Queen's Own Highlanders (Seaforth and Camerons) to form the Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons and Camerons). Explore the dramatic 200-year history of the Regiment from the Napoleonic Wars, India, Afghanistan and South Africa, through to both World Wars and the Cold War. Interactive maps, original film footage, scale reproductions, life-size models, touch screens, regimental colours, uniforms, medals and weapons are all featured to bring the unique history of The Gordon Highlanders to life. The museum has disabled access, free car parking and nearby coach parking, gardens and a gift shop.
Website - www.gordonhighlanders.com
Maritime Museum & Free time in the City – Aberdeen Maritime Museum tells the story of the city's long relationship with the Sea. Located on the historic Shiprow and incorporating Provost Ross' House, which was built in 1593, the Museum houses a unique collection covering shipbuilding, fast sailing ships, fishing and port history. It is also the only place in the UK where you can see displays on the North Sea oil and gas industry. The city’s excellent collections of maritime paintings and objects are utilised to the full in the museum, with touch screen consoles, computer visual databases, an education room and hands-on exhibits, all adding a new dimension for visitors and bringing the drama of the North Sea industries such as offshore oil, fishing and shipping, to life.
From here you can explore a bit of the Granite City by taking a walk up Union Street, do some shopping, admire the architecture and the amazing street art or just have a coffee and people watch. The bus will collect you at a pre-arranged meeting point / time to bring you back to the hotel.
Trip 4b - Gordon Highlanders Museum & back to hotel
Gordon Highlanders – as trip 4a
Back to the Hotel – after lunch, the bus will drop you back at the Aberdeen Altens Hotel where you can enjoy the fully equipped gym, swimming pool, sauna, steam room and jacuzzi or just relax and do your own thing.
Trip 1 – Curling
If you’re in the Granite City, you may want to try your hand at sliding a polished granite stone across ice!
Curl Aberdeen is the only dedicated curling facility in the North East of Scotland and they will provide a taster session for our group, supplying coaches and the appropriate shoes. The ice rink manager is Tom Brewster who has represented his country at various competitions and was part of the team winning a silver medal at the Olympics in 2014.
Website – www.curl-aberdeen.co.uk
Trip 2 – Jump In Trampoline
Ever noticed how people are happier when they’re jumping up and down? Whether it’s toddlers jumping in puddles, kids pillow-fighting, teens pogoing at a rock concert or adults celebrating that moment of success. We’ve got 2 hours of fun booked at Jump In – dodgeball, battle beam, basketball, tumble track, interconnected trampolines - this is ideal for all ages and abilities and the socks are included!
Website – www.gojumpin.com/locations/aberdeen
Note - If you are only booked for Fri to Sun, and wish to go to the Curling or Jump in Trampolines on the Sunday afternoon, there will be a surcharge. Please contact the Secretary if you wish to book either of these activities and are not staying on until the Monday.
If you’d rather do your own thing:
Dunnottar Castle – This dramatic and evocative ruined cliff top fortress was the home of the Earls Marischal, once one of the most powerful families in Scotland. Steeped in history, this romantic and haunting ruin is a photographer’s paradise, a history lover’s dream and an iconic tourist destination for visitors the world over. Visitors with mobility issues should be aware that there are a large number of stairs leading down and up into the Castle which may prove challenging. Unfortunately, the strong defensive positioning of the Castle also means that wheelchair access is not possible. Entrance fees apply.
Cove Bay Walk – get some fresh air with a local coastal walk. Starting at the harbour, you will enjoy some gorgeous sea views and possibly some dolphins, heading towards the historic fishing village of Cove Bay. On the route, you will pass Doonies Rare Breeds Farm and make your way back to the Hotel. A route map will be provided.