Having arrived in Aberdeen and adjusting to life in the Silver City might take some time. Aberdeen in general has a large international community as there are many international oil companies with offices in the city. In comparison with some other Shell locations there is not a strong sense of an expatriate community in Aberdeen, mainly because people tend to live spread out across the city and in the villages around the city. It can take some time build new networks but the large international community in Aberdeen gives you the opportunity to meet people from both inside and outside the company.
Our Inside Guide contains information that will help you with settling in to Aberdeen. We have listed a few topics below that might be of your interest both prior to your arrival as well as right after your arrival. If you would like to learn more or would like to request our Inside Guide please contact Outpost Aberdeen.
Residents living with you in the U.K. are eligible to receive medical treatment under the National Health Service (NHS). You need to register with a NHS General Practitioner (GP or doctor) to be able to be entitled to further treatment under the NHS. Treatment under the NHS or by a GP is normally free.
The first step is registering and arranging to see a doctor, often called general practitioner (GP). It is strongly advised that you register with a GP immediately upon arrival and not wait until you have a health concern, as appointments are unlikely to be available on that day or even the next day unless it is a medical emergency.
You usually cannot go directly to a specialist without a reference from your GP. It is not normal practice for a GP to have emergency room facilities. In cases of emergency you are expected to go to hospital. Check the location of your nearest hospital with a casualty department. Bear in mind that most private hospitals do not have accident and emergency departments.
Find your local services nearest to you doctor, pharmacy etc.
You will need to bring the passport of each family member in order to complete an NHS form at the GP surgery. As well as a passport some practices may request relevant visas and/or some form of utility bill for proof of address. Please also note that you may need your children’s immunization records in order to complete their registration.
The Aberdeen Royal Infirmary provides (ARI) a complete range of medical and research facilities under the NHS, which includes the Aberdeen Maternity hospital. Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital (RACH), provides acute and community child health services. There is also a very good private hospital available in Aberdeen, the Albyn Hospital.
Dental care can either be delivered by a private practitioner, an independent dentist with a NHS Dental service or by a public dental service providing NHS dental care.
NHS patients pay 80% of the treatment costs with a limited contribution to a certain amount. Please be awrae private dental care provided by independent dental practices may not be covered by your medical insurance. Independent dentists who are given a license to provide NHS Dental Services can take patients under the NHS dental service as well as private patients. However the majority of the general public can receive all routine NHS services from independent dentists. The Public Dental Service only provides NHS Dental services and is directly managed by the local health care system.
If you would like more information on dental care, are looking for a dentist go to the NHS Grampian - Dental services for more information.
If in doubt which services are available and or which NHS service to use, use NHS Scotland Know Who To Turn To.
Looking to carpool to and from work. On the Shell web there is a UK liftshare-page that could help with connecting you to a carpool scheme.
Public transport is good and reliable in Aberdeen, especially if you stay around the central area of the city there should be a bus stop nearby. There is no shuttle bus service to the Shell office anymore, but public transport runs regularly up to Altens where the Shell office is located. More information on bus services is available through bus providers Firstgroup and or Stagecoach.
Train services run from Aberdeen north to Inverness and south to Montrose, Dundee, Glasgow, Edinburgh and beyond. Several railway companies operate in Scotland. You can book your tickets at the Railway station in Guild Street, Aberdeen, AB11 6GR or online at several websites, for example: Eastcoast or Scotrail, Raileasy and TheTrainLine. Train fares can differ a lot, depending on the availability and the time left before travel. Advanced online booking will be the cheapest but you have to travel on time booked.
For those keen to cycle to the city and or to work can make use of the Aberdeen Cycle Map provided by the Cycle Forum. Cycle Forum a voluntary group seeking to encourage and develop cycling within Aberdeen. The Cycle Forum can keep you updated on the latest information about cycling in Aberdeen and -shire. Please not that it is compulsory to wear a helmet in the UK when travelling by bike.
Driving in Aberdeen is on the left hand side , as it is in the whole of the UK. Please have a look at the Highway Code for the up-to-date UK driving rules and for your own safety.
Whilst it can snow any time between November and April, in general snow does not tend to lie for long in the city itself and roads are kept clear. Outlying areas are a different matter, though main routes into Aberdeen are usually well gritted for early morning travelers. Winter tires are not compulsory but are advised for your own safety especially if you choose to live somewhere rural and remote. If you are not used to driving in ice and snow it may be wise to take a Skid Course which will teach you how to react if you lose control of your car on icy roads.
Once arrived you might want to get back into your routine. Picking up your sport might help you to settle you back into living in Aberdeen. Aberdeen has many independent sporting facilities. The most used and known facilities which offer a wide range of sports are listed here.
Woodbank is the Shell member club only facility. Woodbank is the Shell conference, sports and recreational club in Aberdeen. Accessible only for Shell staff and membership for shell staff is free, partners pay a low fee. There are tennis, squash facilities, a fitness room, basketball, and badminton field and several classes throughout the morning, after work hours and over the weekend. There is a café, restaurant and study available and rooms for discounted rates for shell staff to use. There is also a sport facility at the Office at Tullos.
David Loyd is a more sports focused facility with a pool, restaurant and cafe and children’s classes are on offer.
Kippie Lodge is a sports and country club, with a pool and a small 9 hole golf course, restaurant and children classes and facilities etc. They also offer summercamps/facilities for kids during the summer period.
Aberdeen has a wide range of sports on offer, whether you are looking for more information on playing tennis in Aberdeen, are looking for a swimming pool, would like to find your nearest yoga studio or like to play golf. If you are looking to build your network by finding a partner in your sport, Outpost Aberdeen might be able to help you.
We offer to those recently arrived in Aberdeen a one-to-one settling session to be able to share information to make the settling-in process a little bit easier and to help you get connected to things of your interest. While in Aberdeen, Outpost Aberdeen will keep you updated on our Outpost news, information and events, If you would like to be included in our mailing list to be able to receive future information, please just send us an e-mail. We have a weekly social morning on Friday to meet new people and build a network here in Aberdeen and have regular events on topics of interest. Please refer to our News section for further details and the latest information.