Surrounded by the glorious countryside Ballater is a picturesque Victorian village in the heart of Royal Deeside located in the Cairngorm National Park.
Lying eight miles along the River Dee to the west, its rich history and royal connections are world famous. Ballater is the nearest town to Balmoral Castle, one of the residences of the Royal Family, which explains the many ‘By Royal Appointment’ signs can be seen on local shops and business. Close by is also Royal Lochnagar Distillery which produces one of Scotland’s most exclusive whiskies. A visit to the distillery is a timeless experience.
This planned agricultural town dates back to the 1800s. A stroll around the town reveals a fascinating range of many speciality shops and friendly hotels and guest houses.
The Old Royal Railway Station is a fabulously restored landmark that houses a Visitor Information Centre and displays on its 100 year history as the station where the Royal Family alighted for their Scottish holidays. The unique Royal Waiting Room built for Queen Victoria and the Royal Train Carriage are not to be missed when visiting Ballater. - Sadly the station, which houses a museum, restaurant and a VisitScotland iCentre, is currently closed following a fire. It is due to reopen, but in the meantime the iCentre is based in the Cairngorms National Park Authority office at Albert Memorial Hall, Ballater.
A few miles to the south lies Loch Muick and the legendary mountain of ‘dark Lochnagar’ made famous by Lord Byron and Prince Charles who wrote a children’s book about ‘The Old Man of Lochnagar’. Red deer, golden eagles and grouse can be easily spotted on the eight mile footpath around the loch.
For golf lovers there is the Ballater Golf Club, an 18-hole golf course situated in one of the most beautiful parts of the upper Deeside within a circle of hills and glorious hills making the golfing experience truly delightful.