If you are visiting Scotland, a trip to Aberdeen should not be overlooked. While most people consider it a dull city because of its grey colour due to its granite structures, Aberdeen is, in actual fact, packed full of fascinating things to see. And one of the many things to do in Aberdeen includes going to Peterhead Prison Museum.
It might not be the number one item on your itinerary, but seeing an old prison can bring your tour to a whole new exciting level.
Dark Tourism in Scotland
Dark tourism is a concept that has a negative connotation around it sometimes. People don’t want to go to places that make them uncomfortable or remind them of all the horrible events that have taken place throughout history. Many don’t want to be reminded of their own mortality, especially when they’re on vacation.
But it’s much bigger than that, it’s the difference between being a tourist and turning into a conscious traveller, it’s the point where you realise travel isn’t always about too much partying, everyday indulgences, and relaxation.
Travelling is a way to understand a culture and welcome it, or at least observe it with open-minded curiosity. It’s a way to learn about the past and try not to make it our future. Travel is multi-dynamic and something that is meant to make you feel, make you think and make you present.
One of the most touching places to see in Aberdeenshire is the Peterhead Prison Museum. This is a place the average person can’t even begin to imagine. It can be a difficult history to wrap your head around but learning the horrors of this place will bring some great lessons to carry in life.
About Peterhead Prison Museum
HMP Peterhead in the town of Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, Scotland started operation in 1888 and closed down in 2013 to transfer inmates to a new ground. In June 2016, the prison turned into Peterhead Prison Museum.
Originally, it specialised in sex offenders and was designed to hold 208 prisoners and to be Scotland’s only convict prison. But surprisingly, it had to open doors to 350 offenders, peaking at 455 in 1911. The prison was replaced by the new HMP Grampian which is meant to house youths, men, and women.
Peterhead Prison Museum – The Experience
A day out at an old prison is something that you don’t normally consider when going on a tour.Most visitors to Scotland would probably embark on a Whisky, Castle or Scenic tour.
Seeing the Peterhead Prison Museum will be a trip out of the ordinary that will leave you with a satisfied feeling that you have had a very interesting day out.
When you go to the museum, you will be welcomed by local staff in their stark black and white uniforms. You will receive headphones to guide you around so you won’t have to miss out on any commentary especially when you come in big groups.
There is so much left to see from very recent times and there is also information available about its Victorian beginnings and where the men were put to work for its original purpose. You can walk around in the enclosed exercise yards and see where prisoners were held in solitary confinement.
There are dummies placed in some places to make the tour more insightful.But the most vivid part could be the actual recording of a Prison Officer’s voice as he detailed his traumatic ordeal when he was held hostage during the riots of the 1980s.
Some sights are very stressing, though, so it might not be a pleasant tour to take children.
The museum also started holding concerts. Just last month, Peterhead Prison Museum hosted a special concert featuring its most famous former inmate, now an international singing sensation. It was titled “Murder Mystery Night: Peterhead Prison Blues.”
It might only take you an hour or 2 to finish this tour so you can opt to add it to other Aberdeen day tour itineraries like City tour or Castle tour.
At Aberdeen Taxis, we can provide you with the best touring experience as we operate with expert, local driver/guides. Wherever you want to go to in and around Aberdeen, we can surely take you there without hassles or delays. We’ll make the tour interesting, comfortable, and we’ll make sure you enjoy Aberdeen in the best way. So don’t forget to check our Peterhead Prison Museum package.