Things to do
As well as orienteering there are many other activities available in the area:
Cycling, Mountain Biking, Hillwalking, Golf, Birdwatching, Fishing, Historic Buildings…
Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017
Orienteers at Highland 2015 enjoyed Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink. In 2017 we welcome visitors to continue sampling local produce but also to take the opportunity to delve into the past – think ancient and mysterious standing stones, romantic castles, heritage heroes, Jacobite battles and much more set against our unique panoramic landscapes and enriching culture. Around 50 million people around the world claim some sort of Scottish ancestry – this number excludes the many orienteers whose forefathers from the 8th through to the 15th centuries colonised what became Scandinavian Scotland.
The map shows just some of the many places of interest within Royal Deeside – extend your stay a bit longer and enjoy many of the other sites and sights further afield.
Twice the size of the Lake District, the Cairngorms National Park has more mountains, forest paths, rivers, lochs, wildlife hotspots, friendly villages and distilleries than you can possibly imagine.
Discover and explore at the Cairngorm National Park Website
A 17th century castle with a colourful past and an exciting future. Built by the Earl of Mar in 1628, it has been hunting lodge, fortress, garrison and family home.
Set amid the stunning scenery of the Cairngorm mountains with castellated turrets, a star shaped curtain wall and a bottle necked dungeon.
Mar Lodge Estate occupies nearly 7% of the Cairngorms National Park, covers some of the most remote and scenic wild land in Scotland, including four of the five highest mountains in the UK.
Crathes Castle is a 16th-century castle near Banchory in the Aberdeenshire region of Scotland. This harled castle was built by the Burnetts of Leys and was held in that family for almost 500 years. The castle and grounds are owned and managed by the National Trust for Scotland and are open to the public.
The Peel of Lumphanan is a defensive structure dating back to the early 1200s. It comprises a central mound measuring some 37m by 45m standing nearly 10m above an encircling moat or ditch.
Neighbouring Balmoral Castle, Royal Lochnagar is the perfect place to discover how Scotch Whisky is made. Watch as our team of operators tend to our traditional mashtun, gleaming copper stills and fill casks at our traditional distillery, which retains much of its original charm. The tour ends with a dram of the award-winning Royal Lochnagar 12 Year Old Single Highland Malt.
Go Ape! offer a discount to orienteers and their family and friends at Treetop Adventure course, Crathes Castle, near Banchory.
Ballater Golf Club offer a special £25 rate for orienteers on production of race number.
Corgarff Castle, dating back from the 16th century, sits in the tranquil Aberdeenshire countryside.
Situated in stunning scenery with magnificent views, this tower house is thought to have been built in 1550 before being converted in to a barracks for government troops in 1748.
Situated on low-lying ground, Muir of Dinnet National Nature Reserve (NNR) consists of extensive Birchwood, wetlands and heather moor.
Muir of Dinnet blends woodland, heath, open water and an impressive example of nature's sculptural work, all on one site. Visit the Burn `o Vat, a giant pothole carved by a huge melt water stream during the last ice age.
Deeside has an amazing selection of walks from rambles in ancient pinewoods, excursions along the mighty Dee, and full blown mountain days into the heart of the Cairngorms. Walkhighlands provides detailed descriptions with maps for a wide range of walks accessible from the Deeside bases of Ballater and Braemar.
Set on the eastern edge of Scotland’s spectacular Cairngorms National Park, Glen Tanar spans 25,000 acres of breathtaking Highland scenery.
Kildrummy Castle is a ruined castle near Kildrummy, in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Though ruined, it is one of the most extensive castles dating from the 13th century to survive in eastern Scotland, and was the seat of the Earls of Mar. It is owned today by Historic Scotland and open to the public.
The Tomnaverie Stone Circle stands on a hilltop about three quarters of a mile south east of the village of Tarland in Aberdeenshire. It is one of the 99 definite or probable "recumbent" stone circles identified in north east Scotland: so called because the largest stone was laid in a horizontal or recumbent position.
Bike Station Ballater stocks a large fleet of continually replaced Mountain, Carbon Road and E-bikes available for hire
Albert Hall Ballater - August 4th
Set amongst the magnificent scenery of Royal Deeside, in the shadows of Lochnagar is the Balmoral Estate. Purchased by Queen Victoria in 1848, the Estate has been the Scottish Home of the British Royal Family ever since. The Estate extends to just over 50,000 acres of heather clad hills, ancient Caledonian woodland and of course the River Dee is nearby.
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.
A Dutch street youth orchestra, the Ricciotti Ensemble is coming to Braemar! The most energetic orchestra in the world will be playing their full repertoire during an evening concert at St. Margaret’s Braemar on Saturday 29th July. More details...
Loch Muick is located 8 miles south west of Ballater in Aberdeenshire, and is part of the Balmoral Estate.
Loch Muick is found at the foot of Lochnagar, one of Scotland’s finest mountains. The area has many walking routes and a variety of wildlife including grouse and deer.
Facilities include a visitor centre and a car park.
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.
The high Lochnagar ridge has superb views of Deeside, the Cairngorms and the moorlands of the Balmoral estate.
Castle Fraser is an atmospheric baronial castle dating back to the 15th century and was the ancestral home of the Fraser family. As you venture through the castle and up to the round tower, with its panoramic views of the gardens and estate beyond, you get a sense of life from the medieval to the Victorian period.
Take in an enormous sweep of Scottish history as experienced by the Irvine family who lived in Drum Castle for over 650 years, from the 14th century onwards.