The history of the people and the land of Royal Deeside and the Cairngorms is long and varied. There is a wealth of information available in heritage centres and museums throughout the area.
Here are details of just a few –
AA Box 472 at Cambus O’ May. Recently refurbished old AA roadside box on the main A93 road. A local group of volunteers has provided a visitors book plus Box 472 photographic memorabilia from the past 60 years. The project has generated a huge amount of interest from passing visitors to the area and the group are to be congratulated on the preservation of a piece of social history. Visit it and sign the visitors book! www.aabox472.webs.com/
Banchory Museum – In a permanent collection you can see Royal commemorative china, 19th century tartans, Deeside natural history and Victoriana. You can also learn about the life of Banchory-born musician and composer, J. Scott Skinner, the “Strathspey King”. www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/museums/visit/locations/banchory.asp
Braemar Highland Heritage Centre – An interesting and informative exhibition detailing Braemar’s unique history and geography, as well as its famous Highland Gathering and Royal connections. Also includes a quality shopping experience offering tartan, cashmere and Scottish giftware.
Dalmochie Lumberjack’s Trail – Site of the Newfoundlander’s WW2 logging camp. – Immediately outside Ballater, on the south side of the River Dee is the Pannanich Wood operated by the Forestry Commission. The wood is now reaching maturity, having been replanted at the end of the Second World War. Replanting was needed as the forest that previously stood on the site had been felled to meet the war needs. Now the Forestry Commission and the Cairngorms National Park have created a circular walk from the centre of Ballater to Dalmochie, the site of logging camp used by the Newfoundland lumberjacks who felled the forest.www.ballaterforestry.org.uk/
The Old Royal Station, Ballater– A restored Victorian railway station containing displays on the 100- year history of its Royal use, including a unique Royal Waiting Room built for Queen Victoria and a Royal Train Carriage. Also includes the Deeside Orientation Centre, a restaurant and a Tourist Information Centre.
Royal Deeside Railway Preservation Society Visitor Centre – Opened in early 2002, the Visitor Centre is located at Milton Arts and Crafts Village, near Banchory. The centre, which is open at weekends only, is located in two railway carriages and incorporates an exhibition showing the railway in historical times as well as detailing the plans and progress made by the society. Refreshments, snacks and gifts are available. www.deeside-railway.co.uk