Royal Deeside: Queen Victoria and More

SUMMARY: The River Dee provides the focus of this tour as we travel westwards from Aberdeen to visit that part of Scotland so dear to the Royal Family since Queen Victoria and Prince Albert bought their Highland estate, Balmoral, in the middle of the 19th century.

Together we’ll explore the countryside, culture and history along the Deeside Road, visiting fascinating towns, exploring sumptuous castles, and sampling the delights of a renowned distillery along the way. If that’s not enough to whet your appetite, there’s always the possibility of spotting some iconic Scottish wildlife. 

DURATION: Single Day (can be extended to up to three days by travelling north to visit Inverness, Loch Ness and the coast of Moray)

HIGHLIGHTS & KEY LOCATIONS: Balmoral Castle, Crathie, Royal Lochnagar Distillery, Ballater

ITINERARY: After collection from your hotel in Aberdeen we will follow the course of the River Dee along its northern bank to the village of Crathie. Here we can visit Crathie Kirk, the church where the Queen and her family worship when they are in residence in Balmoral. Queen Victoria’s loyal servant John Brown is buried in the graveyard here.

Then (April to July only) we visit the grounds and ballroom of Balmoral Castle, the Queen’s private summer residence. Outside April to July, when access to Balmoral is prohibited, we will visit the historic Braemar Castle, a possession of Clan Farquharson.

After lunch in the highland town of Ballater we will visit the famous Royal Lochnagar Distillery, where a tour and tasting will allow an insight into Scotland’s most famous export; whisky!

The return journey will take us along the south bank of the River Dee past the Falls of Feugh, where we may be lucky enough to watch salmon leaping the waterfalls.

OVERNIGHT STOPS & ACCOMMODATION: Why not extend your tour by travelling north to Inverness and take in a visit to Culloden Battlefield, where the last land battle in Britain was fought, completely changing the face of the Highlands? There is the opportunity to visit Loch Ness, home of the famous monster Nessie, and to return via the picturesque Moray coastline visiting some fascinating fishing ports with the possibility of watching dolphins on the way.

PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES: Balmoral Castle and/or Braemar Castle, Crathie Kirk, Royal Lochnagar Distillery (NB. Photography is not allowed within the distillery production areas), Highland landscape, Falls of Feugh

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