Balmoral Castle is a large estate house situated in a area of Cairngorms National Park, Scotland, known as Royal Deeside. The Balmoral estate was purchased by Queen Victoria's consort Prince Albert, and Balmoral Castle remains a favourite summer royal residence.
The Balmoral Estate and Castle covers about 20,000 hectares of heather clad mountains, ancient Caledonian woodland, lochs and of course the beautiful salmon river , the River Dee. Three thousand hectares are forested and 222 hectares are arable or pasture, with 100 Highland cattle, and The Queen's Highland, Fell and Haflinger ponies. It provides for and works with the local community. The Royal Family employs around 50 full-time and 50-100 part-time staff to maintain the estate and look after the animals. The part-time staff are used particularly when the Queen makes her annual visit. Farming is difficult because of the nature of the ground and the climate, there are seven Munros (mountains over 914.4m/3,000 ft) and most of the land lies over 300 m above sea level. At present about 100 hectares are farmed in hand and 75 hectares let to neighbouring farmers.
Over the past 150 years careful stewardship of Balmoral by the owners, The Royal Family, has preserved the wildlife, scenery and architecture which is available for all generations to enjoy. In her journals Queen Victoria described Balmoral and its Castle as her paradise in the Highlands - we hope you will feel the same way about Balmoral and Balmoral Castle once you have visited this most special place in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. The grounds, gardens and exhibitions at Balmoral are closed to the Public during August, September and early October as the Royal Family are in residence. However winter guided tours will be available during late October, November and early December.
The Balmoral Castle cafe also offers some tasty, reasonably priced lunches. A great day out for everyone! For more information on Ballater and Royal Deeside check out our Ballater village page.
Below are just some of the amazing sites and sounds that can be found at Balmoral Castle and Estate, Royal Deeside in the Cairngorms National Park.
Balmoral Castle - Usual Opening Hours - check web site for more detail.
The grounds, gardens and exhibitions at Balmoral are closed to the Public during August, September and early October as the Royal Family are in residence. However winter guided tours are available during late October, November and early December. The grounds, gardens and exhibitions will be open on a daily basis from 1st April until 31st July.
You will need a whole day for a full experience of the Balmoral Castle and Estate.
Balmoral Castle - Balmoral is situated in a secluded location on the south bank of the River Dee, mid way between Ballater and Braemar. Crathie Church is situated nearby and parking is available in the Regional Car Parks by the Tourist Information Centre.
The nearest railway station and airport are located in Aberdeen, which is approximately 50 miles east of Balmoral. A bus service operates between Aberdeen and Braemar.
Travel straight out the A93 towards Braemar and approximately nine miles west of Ballater you will come to Crathie. On your right hand side is Crathie Church and on your left hand side is the regional car park and the tourist information centre.
From Edinburgh or Glasgow:
Take a route to Perth. Then take the A93 over the Spittal of Glenshee to Braemar. Approximately ten miles east of Braemar you will come to Crathie. You will see the regional car park and tourist information on the right hand side.