Royal Deeside, as the name suggests, boasts very strong royal connections. Queen Victoria’s love for Scotland led to her husband, Prince Albert, building Balmoral Castle as a Scottish holiday retreat in the mid 19th century. When not in use, you can visit this wonderful castle throughout the year and when better to visit than during 2012, HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee?
Why not explore the truly spectacular landscape of Aberdeen City and Shire by following the Victorian Heritage Trail and discover why Queen Victoria fell in the love with the area and described it as her “dear paradise in the Highlands”?
Nearby the village of Tarland, you can experience the Queen’s View, a breathtaking panoramic vista that pans across Mount Keen and Lochnagar, a view that Queen Victoria claimed was the “jewel of all mountains”.
For more royal connections, check out the Victorian town of Ballater where many of the shops display Royal Warrants that indicate that they are suppliers to the Queen. You may wish to wander around the town, take in the sights and pay a visit to the beautifully restored Old Royal Station. Used by the Royal Family up until 1966, you can visit the Royal Waiting Room restaurant and discover the history of the station in the fascinating museum.
You can also visit Crathie Kirk, the place of worship for the Royals when in Balmoral or attend the Braemar Gathering in September, the most famous of the Highland games that is still attended by Royals and celebrities alike.