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Things to do in Ballater

30 contributors

The top 14 attractions in Ballater

Churches in Ballater
Crathie Kirk
In the village of Crathie, together with the famous Balmoral Castle lies this small rural church, which now forms part of the congregation of Braemar. Built on a famous site of Christian worship, and begun in the 9th century, it's well known for its annual visits from the British Royal Family. They hold a private mass for the Royals during the summer holidays. The present church was erected in 1804 on the ruins of another church that was built in the 13th century. Its opening was officiated by Queen Victoria, a great lover of Scotland, who started the existing tradition of monarchs visiting here. Located in the countryside, after passing Glen Shee and along the River Dee, the church is regularly visited by travellers who go that route, which usually connects the cities of Perth and Aberdeen. Worth visiting this area.
Unusual Places in Ballater
Cambus O' May Suspension Bridge
Located in River Dee, near the village of Ballater, you'll find several bridges, usually where the river waters are a bit calmer. One of the most famous is in the tiny village of Cambus O'May where many people go to bathe, to cycle around, hike or just have a barbecue or country picnic. Cambus O'May is an ideal location for nature lovers, near the ski station in Glenn Shee, Balmoral Castle, from the villages of Braemar and Ballater, and is definitely one of the summertime attractions in the eastern part of the Scottish Highlands.
Castles in Ballater
Balmoral Castle
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The Royal Dee Side is one of the most important castles in Scotland and is the summer residence of the British royal family. Queen Victoria established it in the late nineteenth century. tI is only open from early April to late July. After reaching the impressive entrance, you can choose continuing by Land Rover or a 15 minute walk. You will cross a beautiful and dense forest full of deer, squirrels and crows. When we got to the royal stables we took in an audio-visual introduction and a small exhibition . A few meters away we saw the very impressive tower of the castle, perfectly preserved and appropriately placed between the great plains of green grass and flanked by trees. From any angle and any distance the views are breathtaking. However, as in any fairy tale, this castle has its bitter side too, which is what generates the most gossip among the visitors . The inside of the castle is closed to visitors with the exception of a former ballroom which displays some of Queen Elizabeth II's wardrobe, including the famous yellow suit used in the wedding of her grandson, Prince William (remember that the Queen never wears the same outfit twice, and once used, it go to a museum or exhibition). Because it is the royal residence in Scotland we were prevented from seeing the castle completely, which means that we had to settle for the fabulous outdoor cafe and, of course, the souvenir shop. Despite criticism, the castle is a spectacular visit with stunning exteriors, huge gardens, mountains, trees and other elements that make our imaginations go back to those tales of yesteryear where there was always a castle in the middle of nature ... and of course, dragons ... but that's too much to dream of!
Villages in Ballater
Ballater
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Ballater is a small village in Aberdeenshire county, located on the River Dee. In the old days it was part of the Royal route established by Queen Victoria, who used the railway station in this town to get to Balmoral Castle. Next to the old church (Auld Kirk) lies the station, one of the buildings that represents the village. Full of traditional shops and parkland, there are many people who come and spend the night in this town, mainly in Aberdeen, or travel a bit further south areas. Local people, in true Scottish style, are very friendly and helpful, always willing to help the traveller or visitor. They have a peculiar accent, although it's clear enough. Our last visit, the first was very pleasant in summer, but winter also has its charm.
Wineries in Ballater
Royal Lochnagar Distillery
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Known locally as the Queen's Distillery, Royal Lochnagar has a history related to Queen Victoria and the use (and proximity) Balmoral Castle, the summer residence of the current monarchy. Currently this distillery is owned by a consortium of distilleries that a few years ago came together to become stronger and avoid possible closures. The tour is very enjoyable and the people there are very helpful. Their product is strong malt whiskey. I must admit that it is not my favorite but it is of very good quality. However, many are unaware that it produces a very unique malt whiskey specially for Balmoral Castle. It is obvious that this is the British monarchy's whiskey and often used for parties and similar events. I tried both and must admit that this second (called "Balmoral") by far exceeds the first. This has a Victorian origin. Queen Victoria visited a whiskey distillery and special custom, which according to the locals, this ensured the distillery could keep running. Another important thing - the distillery is near the river Dee and in the middle of a forest, which makes finding is not easy, but the landscapes are beautiful.
Nature Reserves in Ballater
Valleys in Ballater
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Canyons in Ballater
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Canyons in Ballater
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Canyons in Ballater
Lakes in Ballater
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Valleys in Ballater
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Valleys in Ballater
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Canyons in Ballater
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Activities in Ballater
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