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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|
|07-Dec-2021||Darach Cottage CJ8 (overall)||Wonderful location.|
|07-Dec-2021||Camlarg CR3 (overall)||This is the third year in a row that we have booked through Unique Cottage's and have no complaint at all. Since the start of the pandemic, Unique Cottage's have been helpful in providing information and updates. During the first lockdown in 2020 and the easing of restrictions thereafter, Unique Cottage's customer service and attitude was in total contrast to that of larger agencies featured in news reports. It was party for that reason that we booked with Unique for a third year. Regular relevant information was received right up to checking in and our damage deposits have always been very promptly returned.|
|06-Dec-2021||Old Howford Bothy GK3 (overall)||excellent service for a late booking.|
|05-Dec-2021||Corrarie Cottage CB6 (overall)||Booked with them before which was excellent, this time they should check their description of the property and directions to it, a closed road meant we had to find an alternate route which proved difficult as there was no indication of which direction to travel on the road to the property and the standard of the property wasn’t as high as expected|
|05-Dec-2021||The Boathouse DA8 (overall)||The service overall was excellent , the only hiccup was due to a new system being installed. We were getting e-mails from the old system but the new system was not fully operational which was a bit confusing.|
|04-Dec-2021||Marl Moss Cottage AG4 (overall)||Fantastic Service by the team, Very helpful in booking and giving fast efficient service had everything booked and confirmed within 24 hrs|
|04-Dec-2021||Glenurquhart Cottage BL7 (overall)||I booked this cottage at very short notice. Unique cottages were helpful and efficient.|
|04-Dec-2021||Sea Cottage AA3 (overall)||Wonderful holiday cottage.|
|04-Dec-2021||North Cottage, Point Steading EH6 (overall)||Straight forward & efficient booking|
|03-Dec-2021||Canmore Cottage BD7 (overall)||Perfect Location in the village, ideal for all amenities. The cottage has some age, but has all modern features we require, however still retains its charm, gives a cosy feel when the Highland weather takes a turn.|