Ballater is the nearest town to Balmoral Castle, which explains the many “By Royal Appointment” signs that you’ll see on local shops and businesses. It is an attractive village, surrounded by hills and mountains, and enjoys a warm climate over the summer months. It lies within the Cairngorm National Park.
A planned agricultural town dating back to the 1800s, Ballater boasts many speciality shops, friendly hotels and guest houses. The Old Royal Railway Station in Station Square is a fabulously restored landmark that houses a tourist information centre with displays describing its 100 year history, as the station where the Royal Family alighted for their Scottish holidays. Don’t miss the unique Royal Waiting Room built for Queen Victoria and the Royal Train Carriage.
A few miles to the south lies wild Loch Muick and the legendary mountain of “dark Lochnagar” made famous by Lord Byron and also more recently Prince Charles who wrote a children’s book about “The Old Man of Lochnagar”. Here you may well spot red deer, golden eagles and grouse on the eight mile long footpath around the loch. To find out more about Ballater and all that this particularly Victorian village has to offer, visit www.visitballater.com and www.ballatercommunity.com .
In many ways the area is the eastern gateway to the Cairngorms National Park, and is entered through the Royal Deeside villages of Dinnet, Ballater and Crathie. Ballater is the largest village on the eastern side of the Cairngorms National Park, where outdoor activities such as golf, ski-ing, walking, mountain biking, fishing, shooting and stalking have always been popular.
Ballater is an excellent base from which to tour the area and take part in some of the activities available or just relax in the tranquil surrounds. There is a wide range of accommodation available from B&Bs and bunkhouses to sumptuous hotels. A variety of retail outlets offer everything for the visitor from gifts to outdoor clothing, as well as numerous cafes and restaurants.
There are a number of annual events held in the area, follow the links below for more information;
Ballater Bike Bash in April http://www.cyclehighlands.com/
Ballater Walking Festival in May http://www.royal-deeside.org.uk/RDnews/walkweek.htm
Royal Deeside Golf Week in July http://www.ballatergolfclub.co.uk/ .
Ballater Victoria Week in Augusthttp://www.victoriaweek.org/
Ballater Highland Games in August http://www.ballaterhighlandgames.com/