A walk around Aberdeen harbour to Torry battery

We dragged the children out of the house against their will and walked to Torry Battery today, an artillery battery that was used as a defensible barracks for Aberdeen from 1860. It is now a ruin but a nice place to spot birds and dolphins in Aberdeen harbour. I think the kids are enjoying quarantine a bit too much so it was time to make them suffer a bit. The walk there and back was just under 8km.

Starting from Duthie Park, the first part of the walk goes over the very wonderful Wellington Suspension Bridge that spans the River Dee, built for £10,000 in 1830. It was closed to motor vehicles in 1984 and is now open to pedestrians and cyclists only. I think this is partly why it’s so nice.


The next part of the walk goes through a very industrial part next to Aberdeen Harbour that is used by the oil industry. It is truly an eye-sore. It amazes me that the oil industry was allowed to create such a blight on the city. There used to be an 18th-century fishing village here which was tragically demolished in the 1970s for use by the oil industry.


Here’s how it looks now.


I wonder what these red containers are in this next photo?


Once we passed this industrial bit it started to get nice. That’s Footdee, an historic fishing village which managed to survive, on the other side of the harbour in this next photo.


It’s hard to see in this next photo but there are oil tankers and wind turbines on the horizon. The future and the past side by side.


There’s a little sandy beach with rocks, shells, and lots of seaweed to entertain young children along with some bracing, fresh air for invigorating the lungs. They haven’t closed the beaches in Aberdeen unlike in other parts of the world, probably because the water is cold and unlikely to attract hoards of people. Indeed we saw very few people while we were there. But we did see dolphins leaping in the air just past the end of the pier near Footdee. I didn’t get a photo so you’ll just have to take my word for it but Aberdeen harbour is a feeding ground for a pod of bottlenose dolphins.


Here is the entrance to the battery.


On the homeward journey, we decided to walk along Victoria Road to avoid the industrial harbour bit. It was much nicer with some lovely granite terraced homes. We also walked past Victoria Road school, an old Victorian building that closed in 2008. I believe there are plans to develop it into residential housing. I do like these old granite school buildings. It’s a shame it’s no longer a school but I’m pleased they’re not going to tear it down.


We also saw some seagulls mating on the roof of a house. Four seagulls in fact. It was a seagull orgy and lifted Daniel’s spirits just enough to silence the neverending, “How much longer till we get home?” questions.

10 thoughts on “A walk around Aberdeen harbour to Torry battery”

  1. Shame about the oil industry putting its eyesores everywhere. Hopefully, in the not too distant future (but doubtful that it will be in my lifetime), the eyesores will be a part of history to be marvelled and wondered at with the same horror that we do for other monstrous parts of history. Actually, I guess we do already, but sadly the monstrosities are not part of history yet.

    1. I hope in the not-too-distant they rip out all the ugly stuff and make it a park. It probably won’t happen in my lifetime but I can hope.

  2. We dragged the children out of the house against their will and walked to Torry Battery today

    😀 I fear that many parents are reporting the same thing, that their kids have become so enamored of their screens, they don’t want to go outdoors. My daughter had to jump in and shut off the TV, then drag/chase my grandson out to the garden today, even though the weather is sunny and pleasant. She allowed him to FaceTime with me, though it was a very scowly face I saw on the phone. “I was trying to pay off my loan on Animal Crossing!” he moaned. “I’m almost finished!” [Insert bemused expression on Grandma’s face.] I told him his muscles and bones would turn to mush if he didn’t get some exercise and suggested he get his frustration out by pounding on the ground with a shovel. Ten minutes later, my daughter said, “What did you tell him? He’s smashing an anthill with my spade!”

    Anyway, I’m glad you and your children got some fresh sea air. And I’m very glad Aberdeen hasn’t closed its beaches, however chilly they are.

    1. My kids haven’t played Animal Crossing but I’ve heard about it. Someone at my work is a big fan so I think it must also have a big kid following. My kids play Roblox mostly and sometimes Minecraft. That’s so funny about the anthill! He obviously listens to his grandma 🙂

  3. Aww I did my 15 year old school work experience at Victoria Road School, nothing to do with my future career – they just had no idea where to put me!

  4. It’s really rubbish for kids when people say “you’re so lucky etc etc” but they really are lucky living where you live, such a variety of things to see that are easy to get to. I would love the romance of living in an old granite building like that, although on second thoughts, above a shop where I am is perfect because I don’t have to worry about making noise, or having noisy neighbours.

    1. Yes, they are lucky. I’m not sure that they realise just how lucky they are. It’s nice to go and explore some places close to home again. I hope you’re finding places to explore when you get out for exercise. How are your kids managing? It must be hard for older kids who are used to being independent and socialising with friends.

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