Westhill is a town in Aberdeenshire, seven miles west of Aberdeen. It was built as a "greenfield" commuter town and industrial park from 1968, and by 2016 had a population of 12,040. Its fortunes have risen and fallen with those of the Scottish oil industry. It has rebuffed attempts to incorporate it into the city of Aberdeen.
The A944 Aberdeen to Alford road passes through Westhill. The road is largely dual 2-lane carriageway into Aberdeen, with a journey time of approximately 20–30 minutes, and a decent single 2-lane carriageway west. The B9119 runs immediately south of the industrial park and provides a route to Banchory and Deeside. The B979, which skirts the west and north, runs both south to Stonehaven via Peterculter and north to the airport/Dyce via the A96.
Westhill is not served by rail services. The nearest station is Aberdeen from which both buses or taxis can be taken. Dyce station is a viable alternative to Aberdeen if coming in from the Aberdeen to Inverness line, however there are no bus services, only taxis.
Westhill is served well by buses. Stagecoach buses run the frequent X17 "express" service between Aberdeen and Westhill, which runs through the west end of Aberdeen and straight out the main road. Journey times are approximately 30 minutes with a daytime frequency of 12 minutes. Services begin at Aberdeen Bus Station from approximately 5:35AM with the last bus departing at 11:35PM. Evening and Sunday frequency is between 1 and 2 buses per hour.
Further journey options between Aberdeen and Westhill exist in the form of the 218, which runs a more circuitous route through Kingswells, Summerhill and Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, journey time approximately 60 minutes. Services on this route run to a frequency of one bus every 2½ hours. Please consult timetables if using this service to avoid a long wait. This service does not run on a Sunday.
Services are largely on modern and comfortable buses, albeit at a high price. Buses depart from Aberdeen between 5:30AM and 11:30PM on various routes. Travellers should pay attention to the service number in order to save a long journey or even missing the town completely (it can be a long walk from Elrick to the hotels in the cold!) Night Services run on Saturday and Sunday mornings between 12:20AM and 3:20AM with a higher price (£5 flat fare as of April 2012).
Westhill can also be reached by bus from Alford direction on the 218 service and from Ballater direction on the 210 service (there is also a rush hour only service to/from Banchory under the same number). Buses run infrequently on the 218 and extremely sparsely on the 210; neither service runs on Sundays. There is a rush hour-only bus service, 777 operated by Bains Coaches, between Oldmeldrum/Inverurie and the airport.
There is no real need to drive due to the small size of town, however should you choose to do so, you can enjoy roads with light traffic and free parking all over town.
Westhill is cycle friendly, all main roads have cycle lanes painted on them and an abundance of mixed cycle and footpaths provides for an excellent off-road alternative.
Locals do not appear to use the bus to travel within the town (a town service ran for a very brief period of time but was withdrawn due to lack of patronage), however the service 218 links the industrial park, hotels, pubs, shops and golf course with the residential areas. This service runs relatively infrequently (one bus per 2½ hours approximately) and may not prove a viable option. It may be more prudent to source a taxi, most premises have telephone numbers and a public pay phone for them or at times, taxis can be found parked adjacent to the veterinary surgery behind the shopping centre.
Westhill is small enough to navigate on foot for visitors. Some newer housing areas are a considerable distance away but are unlikely to be of attraction to visitors.
Being primarily a commuter town, there are no "sights" to see in Westhill as such, but there are opportunities for scenic photography.
- 1 Loch of Skene. Site of Special Scientific Interest.
For the same reasons above, there are not many activities within the town. However, the Westhill Golf Course is worth a visit and there are also tennis courts, a bowling green and a swimming pool. The layout of the town is also friendly for runners.
Nearby supermarkets include Tesco, Marks & Spencers, the Co-op and Costco.
The Farmers Market is held here first Saturday of the month 09:00-13:00 at Ashdale Hall.
- Key West, Unit 17, Westhill Shopping Centre, Old Skene Road. Cafe/bar serving typical bar fare.
- Max's, Ashdale Drive, ☏ . An excellent outlet with a full service Italian restaurant, a takeaway pizzeria and a coffee shop.
- Yan Oriental, Ashdale Drive, ☏ . A full service oriental. Considerably pricier but better quality than Jimmy Chungs.
- Szechuan Chinese Takeaway (Westhill Shopping Centre). Average quality Chinese takeaway.
- Taste of India (Westhill Shopping Centre). Good quality Indian takeaway.
- Hong Kong Express, Unit 11, Enterprise Drive, Westhill Industrial Estate. Poor quality Chinese takeaway.
Westhill has a basic night life with no clubs to speak of, however there are a number of bars each with their own character. Drinks are not cheap and expect to pay £3-4 for a pint. With the exception of The Shepherds Rest, all bars have satellite television and show a variety of sporting events.
- 1 Broadstraik Inn, ☏ . A traditional roadside inn. In addition to the restaurant the inn is split into two bar sections. The front bar is more akin to a lounge with log fires, wood tables and high backed chairs. The rear section functions as the "bar" with a pool table (the only one in Westhill), darts, jukebox and large screen television and is by far the livelier area. Sizeable beer garden and play area for children. Open Su-Th till 11PM, W Th till midnight, F till 1AM, and Sa till 12:30AM.
- 2 Shepherds Rest. Decked out as a traditional roadside inn has a relaxing atmosphere. Although it functions primarily as a restaurant, it is possible to visit purely for a drink. Previously the only premises where one could drink a variety of hand pulled cask ales, however these have since disappeared following the purchase of the premises by Belhaven Breweries which has resulted in their products dominating. A television exists at the rear of the bar and shows sports on terrestrial television. Open Su-Th till 11PM, F Sa till midnight.
- Key West, Westhill Shopping Centre. Potentially the "weekend hotspot" and popular with the locals, particularly during football events (during which they may bring the big screen into play). Has a slight sterile feel to it but is otherwise a nice place to go and has a good draft beer selection. Generally features a DJ on Friday & Saturday nights till closing time and the middle area becomes a dance floor. Located next door to Westhill's only kebab shop which stays open just past closing time. Open Su till 11:30PM, M-Th till midnight, F Sa till 1AM.
- Holiday Inn, Westhill Drive, ☏ . Features Luigi's Italian Restaurant, a full service restaurant, The Glentanar a full service lounge with bar and Scot's Bar which serves bar snacks. Features a lounge at the front which has an abundance of comfortable seating and table service. A separate bar (Scott's Bar) at the rear means that it can show two different sporting events at once which makes it popular at events such as the World Cup. Poor draft beer selection however. Open Su till 11PM, M-Th till midnight, F Sa till 1AM; lounge may shut an hour earlier than these.