View Full Version : What's life like in Aberdeen?

Paul Chocks
6th Mar 2008, 16:48
It seems there are a fair few posters here who work in Aberdeen. There has been much said about the flying aspects of the job and the operators but very little about the domestic side of life. I was hoping to tap into the wealth of knowledge and find out a little more about life up North.

Firstly, given that the big, oil support, operators tend to work patterns such as 7on/7off, is it permissable, or possible, to live away from Aberdeen and travel up purely for the working week, or is there a standby commitment which requires your prescence during down time?
Assuming commuting is possible, is there any affiiliation with airlines, to give reduced fare travel to/from Aberdeen?
Does "The Company" offer any discounted housing, or company lodging for commuters? If so, what sort of ballpark are we looking at for costs? If not, how do the commuters amongst you do it - shared flat/ caravan/ mobile home etc?

If not commuting, what is Aberdeen like (I know I should go and have a look, but presently I live a long way away!)? What are peoples opinions on schooling, both primary and secondary? What is the housing market like up there - I've looked on-line and there doesn't appear to be a whole lot for sale. If I were to buy a property, are there areas I should avoid, either because the area itself is not pleasant, or because the journey to/from work would be a nightmare?

Any other top-tips would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your time. I look forward to hearing your comments.


6th Mar 2008, 19:50
Are you getting confused with Sumburgh?:)

6th Mar 2008, 20:10
If it wasn't so bloody cold most of the year it would be thronging with tourists. Great countryside, great beaches, good fishing (salmon, sea trout) golf, if you need to annoy yourself, and above all SPACE. Much less congested than the rest of the UK, but the city still has traffic problems. The city has every amenity you could ask for further south, and your cash would, in general, buy you a better house.

We would gladly move back but we'd miss those 6 - 10*C above Aberdeen temperatures which we enjoy down here. We made very good friends. The best way to meet people is, as usual to get a dog, the four legged version. Anybody can make friends with a two legged dog. :eek:

6th Mar 2008, 20:33
Hi Paul,

Not sure where you were looking to check housing stocks/sales. Here is the best site for houses in the whole Aberdeenshire area;

As Bootneck says, it isn't that bad up here. I've been here for over twenty years now and wouldn't move south. Sure, the job can be quite mundane at times, but the salary certainly makes up for any potential boredom. Lots of things to do and see. More flights to more destinations from Aberdeen airport. All the helicopter companies here offer equal time rosters, including 7/7. I don't think any offer 'company housing' in the Aberdeen area - you would need to go to Shetland for that!!
Contrary to popular belief, the weather isn't that bad here - we have missed most of the bad weather that has affected the rest of the UK lately (no floods, not much snow, except on the hills).
Most importantly, no one is shooting at you! No hijack threats! No malaria or yellow fever!
But beware of deep fried Mars bars and Torry quines!!!:O


leading edge
6th Mar 2008, 21:10
Cold, grey, bleak, miserable place. I lived ther for 4 years, couldn't wait to leave.

BUT, that's just my opinion, others love it.

Its a good job we are all different.

Senior Pilot
6th Mar 2008, 21:40
We would gladly move back but we'd miss those 6 - 10*C above Aberdeen temperatures which we enjoy down here.

And Skinner's Betty Stogs, of course? :p

Special 25
6th Mar 2008, 21:58

If you are from the UK, you'll find Aberdeen pretty much like any city. The same stuff here as you'd get anywhere. Its a bit grey to look at but as someone said, the weather isn't actually that bad but it never gets that hot.

Schools are generally very good and the ASPC as mentioned above is the best source of info for property. Property market has remained very strong due to all the oil execs and the demand for family housing. Scotland have this 'offers over' system, so a house up for sale for Offers Over £200k may well go for £320k - You can't say, but recently houses have often been going for 50% or more over the asking price, but I dare say that'll calm down a bit during these uncertain times.

Regarding the working roster, your time off is yours. All the 3 big companies up here are a bit short (!) so ask if you would come in on your time off, but its entirely up to you - There's no 3 line whip. The 7/7 roster is the only one that really allows you to get away and live elsewhere and there are a few pilots that do that. Otherwise Bristow have a base in Scatsta (Shetland Islands) that operate a 14/14 roster which allows you to live even further afield than the UK.

If you're asking about schools, I'm guessing you're a family man, or planning to be and whilst Aberdeenshire may seem a bit remote, there aren't many better places in the UK to bring up a family.

Good luck

7th Mar 2008, 10:24
Mind if I Pm you Bootneck? I'm moving down to your neck of the woods (St.Mawgan) and would appreciate any advice?!

7th Mar 2008, 14:58
....and they have great Air Traffic Controllers too!!!!!:p

7th Mar 2008, 16:20
Latest METAR

27060G120KT 1000BR OVC001CB -10/-11 Q0899 NOSIG

7th Mar 2008, 16:48
So even more days off then :}

7th Mar 2008, 17:07
27060G120KT 1000BR OVC001CB -10/-11 Q0899 NOSIG

Isn't that the forecast for England on Sunday/Monday?

Try a real METAR for Aberdeen.

EGPD 071650Z 25014KT CAVOK 07/M01 Q0993 NOSIG

As others have said, weather can be a bit cooler than the South of England. My father, who lives near London, always comments on how warm Aberdeen can be compared to where he is. For several days in February, Aberdeen was actually warmer than the south of England, and yesterday it was PLUS 13C here.

Schooling is very good in general and travel connections are OK, although not many direct European destinations (Bergen, Stavanger, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Paris for example). Several flights a day to places like Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, Birmingham, Manchester, Southampton, Newcastle, Leeds and others.

Aberdeen can be a bit of a grey place at times and it does suffer from the Haar during the Spring, but live inland a bit and you'll miss that and enjoy nice sunny days instead. Not uncommon for places like Banchory to have their own micro-climate and be warmer than the surrounding areas, however, can have the other affect in winter!

7th Mar 2008, 17:21
My username kind of gives it away a little :) Been here quite a while but originally from NE England, as other posters have said on a good day it's fantastic, even in winter you get good days though.

I don't like the city of Aberdeen itself but I don't like any city much either. I live on the top of a hill about 20 miles from the city centre but quite a bit closer to EGPD.

From my window I can see a farmhouse about a mile away, apart from that it is open countryside.

In the summer if the Haar is on the go (which is not too much) it usually reaches me about 7 to 8 pm, usually about the time the food has finished cooking on the barbecue and the alcohol has kicked in so it doesn't matter any more :)

Within a short distance I can go hillwalking, skiing (if the snow is up to it) gliding, sailing, horse riding, visit one of many castles or distilleries or drive on relatively quiet fantastic roads free (in the main) from enforcement cameras.

Like anwhere it's what you make of it, for me it's a pretty good place!

Camp Freddie
7th Mar 2008, 17:23
I was there for a couple of years on the 332 and I couldnt wait to get away from the blasted place !

its ok if you like that sort of thing, but not for me first time I got there I drove down Anderson Drive I thought there was something wrong with my eyes the whole street was in black and white except the cars !

I did find it cold although it didnt rain as much as I thought it would



7th Mar 2008, 18:28
Aberdeen is just another city, but go 20 miles or so away you have beautiful countryside, lots of scope for various pastimes. I spent 17 years up there, but only worked out of Aberdeen for a few years. Still have a house there and plan to retire between my caravan on mainland Europe and Scotland. Most of the time it's all in the mind, it is another country and you have to adapt. Compare it to "home" all the time and you will never settle.

Richard Taylor
7th Mar 2008, 20:20
City's crap, countryside's wonderful.

There ya go! :ok:

7th Mar 2008, 20:54
Housing in Aberdeen and surrounding area's is much the same as the rest of the UK!!!!! TOO EXPENSIVE. 250K will not get you much.:eek:

7th Mar 2008, 22:31
Anybody wanting to live in Aberdeen must be off their rocker

Transport system is crap, city is crap personally If anybody would want live thier remember to book yourself a shrink!!:ugh::ugh:

Football team is nothing to go by

Worst place on earth

7th Mar 2008, 22:50
Didn't like the city myself when i was up and yes the transport system is crap..

8th Mar 2008, 11:54
Exactly. If they haven't got ten kilos of lard between their short T shirt and low cut jeans then they are not really presentable.

9th Mar 2008, 11:06
I live here now and its still a cold, grey bleak miserable place:)

9th Mar 2008, 13:55
Been here since 1989 and still here, it isn't as bad as others are saying :)

Sunny, but cold. We do get summer for a few days around July & August :hmm: Sun rooms do well here:)

Anyway, you can always fly above the clouds and it is always sunny and warm in the cockpit :ok:

9th Mar 2008, 16:44
Is there anybody working in Aberdeen and living outside UK? Or flying in from somewhere in the UK?

Brilliant Stuff
9th Mar 2008, 18:15
Well I know of one who lives in France, well last I heard 2 years ago, though he did 14/14 with the Dauphin offshore in the Forties field.

Ken Wells
9th Mar 2008, 21:40
Billy Conolly once said that ; "Aberdeen is Gallic for Hypothermia"


Richard Taylor
10th Mar 2008, 08:09
And Billy should know, he lives in Strathdon, even COLDER!!! :rolleyes:

Paul Chocks
11th Mar 2008, 14:42
Well, thanks for all the info. I had planned on trying to convince Mrs Chocks that life up in Scotland would be great, but I fear that if she sees this thread, it could be an uphill battle! Maybe I should commute.

11th Mar 2008, 15:02
As always the best is to go and see (experience) it for yourself (and your family), you might like it or not but at least it's not just based on somebody else’s opinion (horses for courses).
Also it would be a good time to go and see the prospective employers & their setup what can help you to decide who to join if you got a choice.



11th Mar 2008, 15:20
I used to work a 7/7 shift and fly from Cardiff to Glasgow, then drive up to Aberdeen. As long as I booked the flights a month before, used to cost forty quid. 15 for the car park, then the cost of fuel up to the granite city.

LB :ok:

11th Mar 2008, 23:09
Ha....I echo the above post by PKPF68-77....its such a great place to spend your days off...why live elsewhere and miss it....it is sunny more often than not....and the surrounding countryside and beach beats alot of things....I came up here 11 yrs ago and would only go back south kicking and screaming....great place to bring up kids too....how many other airfields can you work at and be able to just "pop" over the road to the beach....give it a try!!!!:ok:

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