Leaving Aberdeen, we travel west along the River Dee until we arrive at Drum Castle, the ancient seat of the Clan Irvine or Irwyn as was the case in 1325 when the castle and grounds were granted to William de Irwyn by Robert the Bruce!
Next, we pass through Banchory, a wonderful little historic town, with the Feugh River offering a view of salmon leaping up the falls. Soon we are in Ballater with its wonderful spring water, once believed to have healing powers and later bottled commercially. Back in the 14th Century this area was part of the estates of the Knights of St John and more recently the shops enjoyed Royal patronage, Princess Diana was a frequent visitor when in residence at the castle and enjoyed the local swimming pool with her children. On to Balmoral Castle, a royal residence since 1852. Prince Albert bought the castle and estate for Queen Victoria after she had fallen in love with the area following a holiday. The original castle was not to their taste so a new one, the current one, was built over the following 4 years. The tour takes us through the gates and up the curved driveway, avoiding the red squirrels on the way and arriving at the castle ticket office. We then walk the 300 meters to the castle passing the restaurant, a later stop, on our way. The castle is very large close up but wonderful for photos. Weather permitting a walk round the gardens, offers further photo opportunities. We then enter the ballroom, which offers a historic feel of the past. Off to the stables for the pictorial history, the vehicle museum and a video of the estate. Coffee allows the sights and feel of this historic occasion to sink in, and the castle shop within the restaurant, provides a keepsake should you so desire. A look over the shoulder as we leave allows you to imagine how Her Majesty must feel leaving this oasis of calm far, far away from her London life. However, unlike Her Majesty, we can turn up behind the Castle to Lochnagar Distillery, perched above the castle, and take the opportunity to toast a wonderful Royal day.
What will be seen/done during the tour:
Our tour itinerary is dependent on our client’s wishes but normally they request a tour of castles, distilleries and Scottish scenery and often a mix of all three.
Duration of tour:
The average tour is for an eight-hour period but we have more local tours of two hours upwards. We can also do longer tours incurring overnight stays if required.
What is included in the tour:
Our tours embrace Aberdeen’s history, architecture, fishing, farming and wonderful scenery. Our varied coastline with fishing villages on sandy beaches, to the rugged rock formations supporting Dunnottor Castle.
Our tour departure point is Aberdeen, but we also uplift from most other surrounding towns. We uplift and drop off at the client’s respective hotels.
Let us help you enjoy your holiday.
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