Aden Country Park
Aden Country Park in Mintlaw, Aberdeenshire, is a 230 acre country park in the heart of Buchan. Aden (pronounced Aa-den), meaning bonnie burn or brae, offers a warm welcome, beautiful surroundings, and a wide range of opportunities for relaxation and recreation for individuals, families, and groups to enjoy.
Aden, often referred to as “the jewel in the Buchan crown” has been recognised as one of the country’s best green spaces with a prestigious Green Flag Award. The awards recognise and reward the best parks in the country and Aden impressed the judges with its excellent use of green space, well-maintained facilities and high standard of safety and security.
Situated in the heart of the park lies a semi-circular farmstead building built around 1800 and a coach house built in 1832. This now houses the award winning Aberdeenshire Farming Museum, containing a Recognised Collection of National Significance awarded by the Scottish Museums Council (SMC).
Other facilities on offer at the park include a café/restaurant, Aden gift shop, children’s play area, picnic and BBQ sites, walks and trials, Hareshowe Farm, North East Folklore Archive (NEFA), Arc Recording Studio, Book of Deer visitor centre, ice cream kiosk, SANDS and carers/sensory gardens, outdoor gym, dog agility and exercise area, horse arena and bridleway, car parking, toilets, and of course an enjoyable stay at the 4 Star Aden Caravan & Camping Park.
The park also regularly plays host to a variety of different equestrian events and school outings. Children’s play groups enjoy picnics and the play area facilities and there is an annual pipe band competition, vintage tractor working day, Easter egg hunt and Halloween events. Other activities include an orienteering course, feeding the ducks at the lake, and occasional vintage car and bike rallies. The Countryside Rangers Service of course has its natural history cabin and organises frequent activities such as ‘bug hunts’ and ‘fungi spotting’ where they look at the various wildlife habitats throughout the park.
Apart from all these ‘organised’ uses the park itself provides beautiful surroundings simply for enjoyable walking for local residents and visitors to the area. The ruined mansion house creates a great deal of interest as does the fascinating Victorian arboretum which is now being complemented with its 21st century equivalent.