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It was Queen Victoria who can be credited with ‘discovering’ this amazing area, making it her Highland retreat and building her castle at Balmoral. It’s been known as Royal Deeside ever since. She showed commendable taste, for the journey along the Dee from Aberdeen takes you through stupendous countryside of increasing grandeur, past the pretty town of Ballater to the tourist draw of Braemar.
Royal Deeside Self Catering Cottages
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A Truly Royal Experience
Royal Deeside is a beautiful area, renowned for its many castles and its salmon fishing and the Royal family have regularly spent holidays here since Queen Victoria bought the estate.
Glen Tanar, accessible via Aboyne (west of Banchory), is ideal for walking, horse riding and mountain biking. Ballater, 10 miles west of Aboyne, has a restored train station (although the railway line has been closed for a long time) with exhibits about the visits of the Royal family to Balmoral. There are many walks in the area including many from Loch Muik (9 miles south west of Ballater), one to the 400 metre Craigendarroch and more strenuous and lengthy walks up the 871 metre Morven and the 1154 metre Lochnagar.
To the West of the County
Balmoral Castle, 8 miles west of Ballater, was converted from a 16th century tower into a mansion house for Queen Victoria in 1855. Only a small part of the castle is open to the public and only for a few months in the year.
Braemar lies west of Balmoral at a height of 1,100 feet and is surrounded by mountains - good for hill walking and near to the ski resort of Glenshee, further south on the A93. Braemar hosts the Braemar Gathering (Highland Games) in September and has an interesting heritage centre.
From Braemar, a little road (that is ideal for cycling) leads past the other royal residence of Mar Lodge through a wide valley to the lovely Linn of Dee and then you can walk for miles in the Grampians and beyond them the Cairngorms.
You can also walk, or cycle if you're brave enough, for a couple of days cross country to Blair Atholl. There are also plenty of opportunities for mountain biking and horse riding. There are many walks starting at Inverey, five miles west of Braemar, including the long hike through the Lairig Ghru and the Glen Luibeg Circuit.
|Date||Product||Score||Customer Comment||Our Response|
|15-May-2021||The Old Smiddy GG5 (overall)||Very good. Company phoned to clarify a few things. However I did email about an earlier check in and they never replied. Great list of properties on website.|
|15-May-2021||Innis Bheatha DN3 (overall)||Good website made choosing and booking easy. Communication was excellent when our initial booking had to be rearranged due to Covid-19. The accommodation was excellent and as described.|
|15-May-2021||Knowpark Cottage CE4 (overall)||We value being able to speak to a friendly, polite and knowledgeable member of staff whenever we telephone the office. During Covid it has been even more important to be able to re-arrange holiday plans with no fuss. Replies to emails are prompt and nothing is ever too much trouble.|
|15-May-2021||Creagen Cottage AJ7 (overall)||Fairly easy to contact and reasonable response to queries.|
|15-May-2021||Tayvulin AN8 (overall)||Excellent service We have booked with them many times over the past ten years|
|15-May-2021||East Carsaig Cottage AU6 (overall)||Excellent and prompt, friendly communications.|
|15-May-2021||Bothy at Troston BZ3 (overall)||Excellent cottage, well equipped and very cosy.|
|15-May-2021||Poldhu at Kentra Bay DE3 (overall)||All queries regarding the covid situation and our stay were answered quickly and efficiently.|
|15-May-2021||Silcroft Cottage BD4 (overall)||Another lovely holiday property in Fearnan. Easy to book and deal with. Prompt return of deposit. Very pleased with service and would book again|
|15-May-2021||The Nest GA4 (overall)||Booking was easy, up to date availability, and fast email responses|