Top things to do

Castle in Royal Deeside

Balmoral Castle

Built for Queen Victoria in 1855 as a private residence for the royal family, Balmoral kicked off the revival of the Scottish Baronial style of architecture that characterises so many of Scotland’s 19th-century coun…
Nature Reserve in Braemar

Mar Lodge Estate

West of Braemar spreads the National Trust for Scotland's Mar Lodge Estate, one of the country's most important nature conservation areas, covering 7% of the Cairngorms National Park. The £4 million legacy that allo…
Castle in Braemar

Braemar Castle

Just north of Braemar village, turreted Braemar Castle dates from 1628 and served as a government garrison after the 1745 Jacobite rebellion. It was taken over by the local community in 2007, which now offers guided…
Cafe in Ballater

Rock Salt & Snails

A great little cafe serving excellent coffee and tempting lunch platters featuring locally sourced deli products (cheese, ham, salads etc), including a kids' platter.
Cafe in Braemar

The Bothy

An appealing little cafe tucked behind the Mountain Sports shop, with a sunny terrace out front and a balcony at the back overhanging the river.
Cafe in Royal Deeside

Black-Faced Sheep

Coffee shop serving the finest and freshest of local produce, amid a homewares store stuffed with quality furniture, accessories and gifts.
Cafe in Braemar


Taste is a relaxed little cafe with armchairs in the window bays, serving homemade soups, sandwiches, coffee and cakes.
Food in Ballater

Dee Valley Confectioners

Drool over the manu­facture of traditional Scottish sweeties at this confectioner's workshop and store.
Food & Drinks in Braemar


Grocery store in the village centre.
Highland Games in Braemar

Braemar Gathering

There are Highland games in many towns and villages throughout the summer, but the best known is the Braemar Gathering (, which takes place on the first Saturday in September. It’s a major o…