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Itinerary for Scotland (esp. Aberdeen)

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Early next summer, we'll have five nights in Scotland; two in Edinburgh and three elsewhere. It will be DH, DD (13yo) and DS (17yo); he's the one who really wants to visit Scotland, but can't provide me with specifics on why. We like castles, more the ruinous kind, and good regional foods. And DS is vegetarian.

I have an impressive list of castles, developed mostly from info here on Fodors, with some that we've noted that we'd really like to see (Dunrotter). Most are in the Aberdeenshire area. Though some in the Stirling area too.

And son, who will be entering his senior year after our trip, would kind of like to visit the University of Aberdeen, so any info about the university or the town from a student's perspective would be great. Don't know that he'd actually take that leap, but we're willing to have him check it out.

We'll have a car. I can't decide whether it makes sense to spend 3 nights in one place, or move around from night to night (though that can be a hassle). I'm kind of thinking Banchory would be a good base, but I'm not sure. I'm looking for a pretty little town, small enough to easily get around, big enough to have a restaurant choice. Stay at a B&B or a small inn, but a medium price range (as we'll need two rooms, the price adds up fast).

Any suggestions on towns to stay in and a general route? Whether it would be better to stay in one place, or move around?

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