Originally a 16th-century tower house built for the powerful Gordon family, Balmoral was converted into a Scottish Baronial mansion in 1852. The Royal Family traditionally spend their summer holidays here. It is open (only the ballroom and the grounds) to the public for three months a year.
Crathie is popular with visitors due to its proximity to Balmoral, Royal Lochnager distillery and Crathie's granite kirk, opposite the gates of Balmoral Castle on the main road. This was built in 1895 with the proceeds of a bazaar held at Balmoral, and is the Royals' local church.