did you know?
- ~ Braemar can boost to have a World class five star hotel – one of the best in Scotland. The Fife Arms Hotel. and its own classic French patisserie. Hazelnut patisserie.
- ~ There are 24 Munro’s to bag (mountains over 3000 ft high) in the Braemar area and the Cairngorms National Park is the largest in the country.
- ~ Braemar has the lowest recorded temperature in the UK, -27.2, recorded at the weather obseravtory in front of the property.
- ~ The story Treasure Island was written by Robert Louis Stevenson in Braemar just along the road from No.2.
- ~ Braemar has its own TV station, Braemar TV. Learn more about the community, whats on and some of the Braemar folk that make it such a special place.
- ~ Enjoy golf? Braemar Golf Course is the highest in Scotland.
- ~ The Victorian painter Edwin Henry Landseer lived in the village for a period of time, best known for his paintings of animals and Scottish wildlife. One of his most famous was ‘Monarch of the Glen’ a painting of a Red stag in the Braemar mountains.
- ~ Queen Victoria and Prince Albert fell in love with the area and bought Balmoral Castle for their Scottish holiday home. Since then The Royal family often visit and always attend the Braemar Gathering every September.
- ~ Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards the 1988 British Olympic ski jumper, trained and taught at Glenshee Snowsport Centre. His Olympic career was made into a comedy drama film in 2016.
- ~ Kindrochit Castle was built by King Malcolm in 1059 as a shooting lodge and was extended over time. It’s ruins can still be found in the village today.
- ~ Braemar Gallery is an eclectic mix of paintings, etchings, prints, sculpture, pottery and jewellery. They often have live music and craft workshops and demonstrations
- ~ The water is so good there’s no need for bottled water. Good for plastic waste and our environment.
lunch and coffee
- ~ In the village The Bothy is open between 9-5.30 so a great place for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea. Just opposite the house, so its our favourite breakfast destination before we hit the slopes or go on a long walk.
- ~ Hazelnut-braemar.com A world class Patisserie in the village by the games field. Mathilde Lacourière is a young classically-trained French pastry chef and Ros is a master coffee maker. Beautifully crafted patisserie and the best coffee. Check opening times but usually open Thursday -Sunday.
- ~ The family run Gordons Tearoom is one of the oldest in village serving light lunches, filled rolls and home cooked cakes.
- ~ Further a field, The Black Faced Sheep in the village of Aboyne is excellent for lunch, morning coffee and cake and has a great emporium of gifts and goodies.
- ~ The Spider on a Bicycle in the Station Square Aboyne, caters for Vegans and Veggies very well and has a fantastic selection of cakes. www.spideronabicycle.com
- ~ The Deeside Activity Park at Aboyne, has delicious home made burgers, soups, and mince and tatties (slow cooked beef and mashed potatoes) and wonderful baking. Great for kids!
- ~ In Ballater, Rock Salt & Snails has a delicious light lunch menu
- ~ The Bothy Ballater the sister cafe to the one in Braemar are family friendly.
- ~ The River Cafe at Campus O’ May just outside Ballater is one of my kids favourite lunch stops. Amazing home baked bread for sandwiches and Italian ice cream which are used to created the most fancy ice ream sundaes.
- The fife Arms. This hotel has been suggested as being one of the top must do places to stay in the world ! We are exceptionally lucky to have this wonderful world class hotel in walking distance from the house. The flying stag at the Fife. It was said that if you were looking for someone in Braemar, the first place you should look was the public bar at The Fife Arms. The Flying Stag public bar continues to be the social centre of the village. With regulars rubbing shoulders with visitors, the bar has a vibrant atmosphere with animated conversation and live entertainment. The bar offers local beers, Scottish whiskies and spirits accompanied by a menu of bar snacks and hearty Scottish dishes. The Clunny restaurant at the Fife; with menus created by Head Chef Marcus Sherry, The Clunie Dining Room showcases the art of wood-fire cooking. Highly recommended for the food and the whole Fife experience. Ask for an art tour of the hotel the staff are also very accommodating. Booking way in advance is essential.
- The Cairn grill. ~ which serves an amazing fillet steak with all the trimmings. Other home cooked options are venison steak, North Sea haddock and chips and slow cooked local lamb shank. Grant also provide’s a take away service on request which is very handy as the restaurant is just opposite the house. Booking essential.
- ~ Braemar Lodge Hotel, offer some good bistro food. Cullen skink, grilled North Sea haddock, with malt whisky iced parfait for pud, are just some of the ideas off the menu. Just changed hands and good reports so far.
- ~ Rothesay Rooms in Ballater, owned by Prince Charles is a fine dining treat. The food will not disappoint…. excellent but pricy. A very reasonable taxi service helps you to have a relaxing evening.
- ~ Lochnagar Indian Brasserie in Ballater, Award winning delicious Indian cuisine, well deserved after a day on the river or a mountain climb. www.indiaonthegreen.co.uk
- ~ If you are travelling towards Kildrummy direction, The Kildrummy Inn has a fine menu with delicious food. Alex the hotel Head Chef was on the BBC professional Master Chef a couple of years ago.
- The Darroch Learg Hotel in Ballater. A wonderful hotel owned by Nigel and Fiona Franks. Award winning chef that creates dished like: Fillet steak that just melts in the mouth and old favourites like Mushroom risotto, Pan roasted Gressingham Duck and Venison in red wine Jus. Delicious food.
- ~ If you are travelling to Aboyne, The Boat Inn does really good pub grub.
We know you are on holiday but the following is a helpful guide to the best places to find local Scottish produce. No.2 has a well equipped kitchen and has some great recipe books for inspiration.
- ~ Supermarkets: There is a small Co-op in the village which has all the basics. Asda, Tesco and Morrison all deliver to Braemar. The Co-op in Ballater is much larger and has a good selection of produce.
- ~ Menzies Butcher in the village is great and provides plenty of inspiration for your supper, with helpful advise from the staff and prepare meats ready for the oven. Their game is outstanding and all sourced from three local Estates. Supplies all the local restaurants in Deeside.
- ~ The Cairnton Farm Shop Kens award winning beef will not disappoint and they also stock Ingrim’s pork sausages and bacon products.
- ~ The Highlanders Bakehouse is your local artisan baker all products are made fresh overnight. Try a local buttery or two they are very addictive local breakfast roll. They can be found at Crathies near Balmoral Castle next to the primary school. They have an outstanding Cafe serving breakfast, lunch and teas. Super wee shop with recycling and satiability at its roots. They will also make fresh takeaway sandwiches to order.
- ~ The Dee Larder in Ballater also stocks their bread if you miss out or forget to order. Try their Butteries a Aberdeenshire breakfast roll, they are the very best! Serve them warm with a topping of your choosing or just as they come. The Dee Larder has a great selection of deli products, fresh vegetables, cheese and cold meats and supplies the Queen and Prince Charles.
- ~ There are Farmers Market at Ballater and Aboyne each month.
- ~ The Deeside Deli have a superb selection of cheese, charcuterie with fresh vegetables and preserves. They also have home made prepared evening meals for an easy supper.
- ~ Sheridans Butcher in Ballater is by Royal appointment. Great for game, beef and sausages of all flavours made on the premises.
- ~ George Strachan is also by Royal appointment too and this grocer shop can be found in Aboyne and Ballater and has a great selection of Scottish Whisky, cheese, cold meats and the shop in Aboyne sells almost anything you might require. From a garden hose to dog chews.
- ~ Byron Bakers in Ballater; a must try is their Balmoral Bread, my kids love it! Also good for picnic lunches with a very retro selection of cakes, tray bakes and freshly made sandwiches. Also try their steak scotch pies, just the job after climbing a Munro.
- ~ For the Freshest Fish: There are many fish vans that flee about Deeside on a regular daily base that come from Arbroath, Montrose and Gourdan on the coast. They stop and sell from the back of their van, so keep a look out! Look out for The Skipper and his wife who can be found by the butcher on a Wednesday at approx 2.00pm. Ask in Menzies for further information. Fresh from Johnshaven south of Stonehaven. Lobster and Crab can be preordered.
Outdoor Activities & Scenic Drives
the snow road
You will find Braemar on the Snow Roads Scenic Route, a 90 mile journey which takes you from the picturesque market town of Blairgowrie through to the traditional Highland town of Grantown on Spey. The route traverses the highest public road in Britain taking you through some of the most outstanding landscapes on the eastern side of the Cairngorms National Park. www.youtu.be/xkAT82-R0S8
Braemar is on the circular road that is called the North East 250. Journey through Speyside, the Cairngorms, Royal Deeside, Aberdeen, the East Coast and the Moray Firth Coast. Experience some of our Countries most beautiful scenery, while at the same time being able to explore castles, wildlife, coastal villages, stunning beaches, golf courses, mountains, forests and distilleries.
braemar safari and bespoke tours of Royal Deeside.
Braemar Highland Experience offers a 5 star trip into the mountains around Braemar expect to see red deer, golden eagles, mountain hares and black grouse and the odd spotting of Prince Charles, all in a Land Rover Defender.
Yellow wellies tours. Luxury 5 star bespoke tours of Royal Deeside. Well known local personality Simon Blackett will entertain you and help create wonderful memories of your holiday while you relax and enjoy the culture, history and countryside of this magical area.
- ~ The Malt Whisky Trail is the ultimate Scotch experience. Here, you will find the world’s largest concentration of whisky distilleries. As you explore, you’ll meet the craftspeople who make the whiskies you love. They are the guardians of centuries of knowledge, and you’ll only find them here.
- ~ Discover all of Scotland’s distilleries here.
victorian heritage trail
The Victorian Heritage Trail pinpoints many of the historic places that make the picturesque Dee and Don Valleys, in the north east of Scotland, a truly majestic place.
With over 300 castles, stately homes and ruins dotting its landscape, Aberdeenshire is unsurprisingly known as ‘Scotland’s Castle Country’. There are more castles per acre here than anywhere else in the UK, and you can discover 19 of the most famous and dramatic castles in Aberdeenshire on Scotland’s Castle Trail.
salmon & trout fishing
- ~ Salmon fishing on the River Dee is internationally famous as the top Spring Atlantic Salmon River in the world during February – May. It has some of the best beats in Scotland, and all set in the stunning scenic back drop of Royal Deeside. All the Beats along the Dee are fly based and have a catch and release policy only.
- ~ There are some fabulous stocked Trout Lochs. Have a look at the Glen Tanar website as they have the most picturesque loch with two boats and four rods.
- ~ Tullich Fishery just outside Ballater is great too, with the mountain of Lochnager as a back drop, it is perfect for beginners and has a pool for kids to have a go too. Rods for hire.
- ~ Visit www.fishdee.co.uk for more information and to book fishing.
- ~ Braemar Golf Club is the highest 18 hole course in Scotland at around 1,205 feet above sea level. Stunning scenery and a the greens are among the finest in the area. Visitors very welcome.
- ~ Other Aberdeenshire courses cater for both the novice and more experienced golfer. At Ballater Golf Club visitors will receive a warm welcome. Breathtaking scenery, an interesting and challenging golf course will test your skills.
- ~ Aboyne Golf Club is a well maintained 18 hole Parkland course with spectacular views and well stocked pro shop.
- ~ Deeside Activity Park offers a range of outdoor activities including: quad biking, kart racing, archery, clay pigeon shooting, 4×4 off road driving, paintball, and rifle target shooting. Great fun for all ages. Farm shop and restaurant, with indoor play barn and outdoor all-weather sledging slope.
- ~ Battlegrounds Adventure Activities based at Banchory is a 5 star fun day out with Paint balling and laser tag.
walking & hill walking
The area is a walkers paradise and offers some of the best walking in Scotland. There is no less than 24 Munros (mountains over 3,000 ft) in the Braemar area alone.
- ~ Braemar Mountain Festival annual event at the beginning of March. The Festival is a celebration of the mountains in winter and includes workshops on ski touring, winter skills and avalanche awareness, low level walking, navigation and fell running. New for 2018 are mountain bike skill sessions and workshops.
- ~ The Ballater Walking Festival in May is a major annual event. The Active Aboyne Festival in September has a large number of hill walking and outdoor activity events.
- ~ Walk Deeside is a local company that offers outdoor activities and guided hill walking holidays.
- ~ Running The Highlands offers training weekends, tailored running weekends and quirky guided runs.
- ~ Run Balmoral is annual event usually the last weekend in April for more information.
Three of Scotland’s five major snow centres and within easy reach of Braemar:
deeside gliding club
If you fancy taking to the air, Deeside gliding Club is located near Aboyne and is renowned for being the foremost wave soaring site in the British Isles. The UK altitude record of 38,600 feet was set in a glider flown from the club.
Glen Tanar Equestrian Centre offers safe, quality riding along some of the most stunning countryside on Deeside. For all abilities and ages. Trek up mountains, along riverside and through ancient Caledonian woodland. There‘s spectacular views and scenery to be enjoyed.
Aberdeen Water Skiing Centre operates on the Loch of Aboyne and caters for all levels and ages, from beginner through to national competition level. April – October. Visitors welcome Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Booking required.
Deeside is surrounded by terrain suitable for all abilities. Explore forest trails, single track descents and quiet roads. The IMBA has recently awarded Scotland the worlds’ top mountain bike destination for the second year running.
- ~ Cycling Highlands, in Ballater, specialise in bike hire, guiding and corporate events. They are also the largest bike shop in Aberdeenshire. Speak to Richard the owner for more information or visit their website.
- ~ Recently opened is a mountain Aboyne Bike Park. It is situated in Bell Wood Forest on the out skirts of the village with ‘pump track’, a down hill section, and jumps area.
- ~ Tarland Tails also offers a new bike track and park.
castles, scottish history & culture
Z-plan Scottish castles, beautiful walled gardens, art galleries, the Granite City Aberdeen, and much more. Please use the following to plan your tour: