Aberdeen to Balmoral Castle

From the city to deep in the countryside

Follow the route - Aberdeen to Balmoral Castle

Crathes Castle

Aberdeen to Crathes Castle

> Leave Aberdeen on the B9077. Turn right on the A957, then left on the A93 to Crathes Castle.

Visiting Crathes Castle

Sixteenth-century Crathes Castle was the home of generations of the Burnett family. It is a typical design by the Bells, master masons of Aberdeen and its hinterland, with a tower-like structure and an intriguing ornamented roof­line. Look out for the lovely painted ceiling of the Nine Nobles Room, and in the Green Lady’s Room ponder the story of the Crathes ghost. 

There are eight individual gardens, and one of their major attractions is the array of massive yew hedges, planted in 1702. Topiarists trim them into sweeping shapes, a task which takes three weeks every year.

Places to stay near Crathes Castle

Feughside Caravan Park

The Ship Inn

Hillhead Caravan Park

Aboyne Green

Crathes Castle to Aboyne

> Continue on the A93 to Aboyne.

Visiting Aboyne

Built in Victorian times round a spacious green, Aboyne was previously a base for the ‘floaters’, the intrepid characters who made rafts of timber, cut up-river, and then steered them down the Dee to Aberdeen. Anglers fish the Dee, and there are pleasant riverside walks backed by banks of broom. Aboyne Highland Games, held every August on the green, are among the most famous in Scotland.

Places to stay near Crathes Castle

Dounside House

Loch Kinord Hotel

The Commercial


Aboyne to Ballater

> Leave Aboyne to the south. Turn right on the B976 and then right on to the A97. Shortly past Ordie turn left on to the B9119 and right on the A93 to Ballater.

Visiting Ballater

Close to the Royal Family’s Balmoral estate, this sturdy granite-built town has many shops showing the royal warrant. Golf, angling and walks by the Dee are favourite recreations here, but there are also enjoyable footpaths on Craigendarroch and Craig Coillich, the two wooded viewpoint hills which squeeze the town towards the river. In the now redundant railway station there is a display on the Deeside Line and its most celebrated passengers: the Royal Family used to arrive by train at Ballater and continue by road to Balmoral.

Places to stay in Ballater

The Auld Kirk

Deeside Inn

Loch Kinord Hotel

Balmoral Castle

Ballater to Balmoral Castle

> Leave Ballater to the south and turn right on the B976 to the car park for Balmoral Castle. 

Visiting Balmoral Castle

The Royal Family’s Scottish home is their private property, and not one of the great state houses. Prince Albert collaborated closely with the architect commissioned to build the present castle in Scottish Baronial style. From May until the end of July, the beautiful grounds are generally open to visitors. The ballroom houses an exhibition on the history of the estate. Across the river from the car park, Crathie parish church
is where the Royal Family worship when they are in
residence at Balmoral.

The Commercial

Douneside House

The Auld Kirk

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