A Visitors Guide to North Hop Aberdeen
Friday 9th February 2018
For one last time (for the time being), North Hop is gracing the AECC in Aberdeen with amazing breweries, distillers, street food, music and market traders over the Easter weekend. Here are my (Susan - Highland Ambassador) top tips for making the most of North Hop Aberdeen The Final Fling!
GET HERE EARLY: So you can make the most of each five-hour session, and get easy access to chat to all the vendors and sample their wares. Gin, vodka and ginger liqueur samples will also be up for grabs on a first come first serve basis from the North Hop Bar!
AVOID THE QUEUES FOR THE CASH MACHINE: Bring cash with you – all bars will be operating on a cash basis (some will also accept cards) and no-one wants to waste time queuing for cash when there’s a top line-up of music, food and drink to be enjoying!
HOLD ONTO YOUR FESTIVAL GLASS: As well as being your North Hop keepsake, your festival glass should be rinsed and reused for working your way round the bars and breweries.
JOT DOWN THOSE TASTING NOTES: Use your festival programme to record your thoughts on the brews, gins and cocktails…or snap way and post to Instagram using #northhopabz – share the love and tell others what they should be trying!
ARRIVE HUNGRY: Because the foodie line-up looks the best yet! Featuring the best of Scottish street food including the bar staple scotch eggs and sausage rolls, mac n cheese fondue and toasties galore, vegan and veggie options, and sweet treats and hot drinks, there is literally something for everyone!
SUPPORT LOCAL CREATIVES: Aberdeen has some amazing makers and creators, who have come together to form a rather special #northhopabz Etsy Market Pop-Up. Find them in the Cocktail Lounger area along with Mine (jewellery pop-up shop) and Never 25 - which brings us onto…
TRY SOMETHING NEW: Never 25 is a new eau de vie spirit made in Dundee, flavoured with strawberry, apple and blueberry. It’s the first eau de vie spirit made on Scottish soil – a true North Hop exclusive! Or, if you are a gin fan, make sure you swing by the North Hop Bar to check out a currently 'top secret' but 'soon to be launched' gin from Berry Bros & Rudd paired with a delicious Lamb & Watt tonic water. And don't miss the canned whisky cocktails from Finnieston Distillery Co, even the non whisky-lovers will love these!
GET THOSE TOES TAPPING: Show appreciation for the musical line up! With a range of acoustic acts throughout, and bands to close each session, you will discover some amazing up and coming performers on the Scottish music scene.
AND FINALLY…PLAN AHEAD: There’s plenty of options available when planning your travel to the AECC, whether you are a local or travelling from further afield. It’s just a 15 minute journey from Aberdeen city centre by taxi, or revellers can use one of the many bus routes which serve the venue (First Bus services – 1 and 2, Park and Ride X40, and Stagecoach services – 62, 63, 67, 68, 250).
Visitors from all over Scotland can get to Aberdeen city centre via regular Scotrail services and national bus providers from other Scottish cities and towns. For the dedicated festival fans of the far north of Scotland, there are even flights to Aberdeen from Wick, John O’Groats, Orkney and Shetland, believe me, it's worth the journey!
Drivers can park for £5 a day using the AECC car park…but why not avoid the headache of deciding who gets the “designated driver” short straw, and opt to make the most of all Easter weekend sessions by taking advantage of special accommodation deals? North Hop have secured great value nightly rates at the neighbouring Holiday Inn (£49 per night B&B with full cooked breakfast) and Holiday Inn Express hotels (£45 per night B&B with continental breakfast). Both hotels are both a short walking distance from the AECC, and both have the added perks of free parking, and a reasonable late morning or midday check-out!