Balmoral & Royal Deeside Tour

© Grampian Escapes & Tours

Ballater, Northeast of Scotland

Balmoral & Royal Deeside Tour

Experience the beauty of the Royal Deeside with it's connections to the Monarchy. Starting from Aberdeen we follow the River Dee to Balmoral*. Walk in the footsteps of generations of Royals who have called this castle home.

Departs: Tue, Wed, Thu & Fri at 09:00 (Bookings must be made in advance)

From: The Wallace Monument in front of His Majesty's Theatre on Rosemount Viaduct.

Duration: 7.5 hours

Stop 1: Balmoral Castle

Deeside is most famous for Balmoral Castle and the long history with the Royal family who have loved this area for generations. There are stunning views of the hills and mountains as well as fields of heather with the scenic river Dee flowing through it.

Balmoral Castle & Estate was the late Queen Elizabeth's private country retreat in Scotland and a beloved home since Queen Victoria & Prince Albert purchased the castle in 1853. King Charles III, has his own private home on the estate and as his predecessors, has a great affection for the castle and grounds. 

When visiting the estate, we highly recommend the audio tour! With the audio tour you will hear stories from people who lived and worked at Balmoral as they guide you around the estate. The tour brings to life such characters as Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and the Tsar of Russia but also, to a lesser extent staff from the Estate and Royal Household. 

The Ballroom is currently the only room that is open to visitors within the Castle as the other areas are private. The objects in the Ballroom are all brought from within the Castle for display, these are all objects that belong to the Royal Family and normally live on a wall or shelf or cupboard in one of the private rooms.

***Balmoral Castle & Estate will close at the end of 11th of August 2024. This tour stop will be changed to Crathes Castle as of the 12st of August 2024.

Stop 2: Caigngorm National Park

Scotland is iconic for its beautiful rugged mountains, hills of heather and cool clear rivers running through the countryside. On this short scenic drive we detour through the fringes of the highland moors and heath lands of the east Cairngorm National Park. Stopping briefly to take in the countryside scene at Gairnshields bridge and the river Gairn. This historic single-arched rubble-built bridge, dates from 1751, originally formed part of the network of military roads in this region. The surrounding hills which are part of the Cairngorm National Park, form the largest National Park in the UK and stretch for 4,528 square kilometers!

Stop 3: Ballater

Ballater is is a picturesque Victorian village in the heart of Royal Deeside. This planned agricultural town dates back over two hundred years and is set around a central village green and the impressive Glenmuick Kirk which held its first service in December 1800. A stroll around the town reveals an interesting range of many specialty shops and good selection of restaurants and cafes to enjoy some of the local food & drink. Notice the number of shops which display the Royal Warrants, a sure sign of quality and support of the Royal family who support them as you wander through the village.

Stop 4: Cambus O'May Bridge

The Cambus O' May bridge spans the river Dee and was paid for by the estate of Alexander Gordon, who had grown up nearby. The bridge was built in 1905 and is a suspension footbridge 50 m long and 1.2 m wide. The Deeside Way, a trail following the former Deeside Railway, passes the north-eastern end of the bridge. Footpaths from the bridge lead to Torphantrick Wood and the Muir of Dinnet nature reserve and were popular spots for city visitors to step off the train and explore the countryside. The area still is very busy with woodland walks and wild swimming in the river.

Stop 5: Tomnavarie Stone Circle

Tomnaverie is a recumbent stone circle, a kind of monument found only in north-eastern Scotland. Their characteristic feature is a large stone on its side, flanked by two upright stones, usually on the south or south-west arc of the circle. The stone circle surrounds a burial cairn dating to about 4,500 years ago. The site appears to have seen use as late as the AD 1600s. It’s situated in a landscape littered with remains of stone circles and burial cairns.

Stop 6: Migvie Kirk

Migvie Kirk is a deconsecrated church on the Tillypronie Estate. In the centre of the kirk is group of stone chairs, carved with biblical texts, Pictish symbols and Ogham scripts. On the north wall is a huge oblique cross set into the plasterwork, and there are three stained glass windows, that illustrate the integration of Christianity into the Pictish practices. The combination of Pictish symbols and Christian ones illustrates a time when the two cultural traditions were melding together. 

Stop 7: Queen's View

Just outside the village of Tarland is the Queen's View. 'The Queens View' gained its name from Queen Victoria who quickly fell in love with the view of the lower valley of the Dee which includes a view of the peak of Lochnagar. The view is particularly loved by the royals who find it an unspoiled beauty which has not altered greatly for hundreds of years making it even more remarkable and memorable, and a view which epitomises Aberdeenshire.

From £70 per adult

Departure days

  • Monday
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Friday
  • Saturday
  • Sunday

April — October

Contact details

Grampian Escapes & Tours Ltd

Woodstock House
Inverurie Street
United Kingdom
AB30 1XS

Tour information


  • Aberdeen


1 Day


  • Minibus


  • Small Group (1-16)


  • English


  • Castles
  • History
  • Landscapes

Tour prices

From £70 Per Adult

Book now

Prices are subject to change depending on season

Tour Stops

Grampian Escapes & Tours Ltd

Tour company information

Grampian Escapes & Tours Ltd

We offer day trips around Aberdeenshire and pride ourselves on providing high quality tours in a welcoming environment so you can make the most of your experience. Whether that is getting away from daily life, sightseeing at a relaxed pace, or enjoying the company of fellow travelers and having a good conversations. We love combining the region’s showcase attractions with "off the beaten path" locations. That is why our tours include beautiful scenic drives, gentle walks and dramatic locations. From the mountains to the sea, there is so much to experience in the northeast of Scotland.

Opening times

09:00 - 17:00 Every day

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