Europe's oil capital, Aberdeen, has seen great benefit from the black gold beneath the North Sea and, as oil becomes a more and more valuable commodity worldwide, this looks set to continue.
Known as the 'Granite City' for obvious reasons, Aberdeen grew from the combination of two smaller towns under the reign of William I in the 12th century, later Robert the Bruce would find refuge in the town in his days as an outlaw. Razed to the ground by the English King Edward III in the 14th century, the town fortified itself against armies from neighbouring landowners who continued to attack intermittently for the next three hundred years.
By the 19th century the city had become both a major trading port and a bustling shipbuilding yard, exporting much of Scotand's cloth and constructing some of the fastest ships the world had ever seen - although a major regeneration scheme nearly bankrupted Aberdeen at this time. Present-day Aberdeen is a mass of classical architecture (alongside more recent additions) from Gothic-style churches such as St Mary's Cathedral to the impressive Union Bridge which spans the river Dee in the centre of town, both constructed of the granite the city is known for.
Fans of outdoor pursuits may enjoy one of Aberdeen 's numerous public parks, but for a taste of Aberdeen's heritage from past to present you could do worse than to visit the Aberdeen Maritime Museum, which houses exhibits representing the city's sea-faring history and the oil industry that has made it great.
For those of a more sporting persuasion the city plays host to Aberdeen FC who, under the stewardship of present Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, won the European Cup Winners Cup in 1983.