Torphins rests in a valley surrounded by rolling hills and rich farmland. Just six miles north west of Banchory, it was a small settlement until the arrival of the railway in the mid 19th century. With a good selection of local shops and sports facilities, it has grown to become one of the larger villages in Royal Deeside and the Cairngorms.
Stroll through the sleepy village and you will uncover more than a few historic treasures. The Deeside Railway line – used by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert when they travelled by Royal carriage to Ballater – passed through this area until 1966 and the charming bridges and buttresses that scatter the village are testimony to this. In 1898, Joseph Walker opened his first bakery in the village – more than one hundred years later Walkers Shortbread is a household name and the original bakery building in Bridge Cresent can still be seen.
Dense pathways weaving through Caledonian pine forests can be found in this beautiful part of Deeside, making it ideal for a spot of wildlife watching – the endangered red squirrel is a common find on the nearby Learney estate. After exploring to your heart’s content, try afternoon tea with tasty home bakes at Platform 22 – a ceramic gift shop with coffee shop attached which hosts a weekly Wednesday market.
A traditional Scottish celebration can be experienced at Torphin’s annual village gala with a host of fun filled activities for all the family, including a Mini Highland Games and parade.
Nearby, the smaller village of Lumphanan, which was predominantly built in the late 19th century, is also steeped in history. It was here a fierce battle took place in 1057 which saw Macbeth, the King of Scotland, mortally wounded. Macbeth’s Stone and Macbeth’s Well attract large numbers of visitors every year eager to trace the history of the Scottish noble.
Lumphanan is an ideal base for a variety of outdoor activities, including walking, hiking, cycling, canoeing, golfing, fishing or just touring around. For those serious about sport, local experts Running the Highlands will arrange tailored runs taking in some of the most picturesque trails in Deeside. Lumphanan’s renowned Detox Fun Run is held every January and attracts participants from as far afield as Canada.