What to do near The Invercauld | Coast & Country

Plenty To See And Do

The county of Aberdeenshire is well known for being home to a number of peaceful and charming villages that are ideal for relaxing breaks.

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Braemar is one of the best, as an idyllic and friendly Scottish destination that is authentic, quiet and convenient.

Situated within easy reach of many of the best attractions, it’s the perfect place to stay if you want a relaxing base in a great location, making it easy to tour Aberdeenshire.

During your stay in Braemar, it’s definitely worth paying a visit to the nearby Royal Estate of Balmoral. Balmoral is one of the holiday homes of the Royal Family, but is also open to the public so that visitors can tour the extensive and well-maintained gardens and the grand and impressive ballroom. Particularly interesting for gardeners is Balmoral’s vegetable garden, which is used to grow the produce that is served to the Royal Family.

Away from Balmoral, much of the attraction of the Braemar area revolves around the Cairngorms National Park, where you can try your hand at all kinds of water sports from a sedate sailing experience to the exhilarating rush of tubing or white-water rafting. The Cairngorms are also famed as a year-round ‘winter’ destination thanks to the snow-capped hills and mountains that are used for skiing, snowboarding and sledding, complete with huskies and herds of reindeer. It’s easy to see why the Cairngorms is considered to be one of the UK’s most attractive national parks, and why a short country walk can soon develop into a day-long hike if you end up being tempted by the mountains, the valleys and the lush green forests.

Around Braemar you’ll also find the Whisky Trail of Speyside, leading you to excellent distilleries where you’ll learn all about the history of the industry, with plenty of opportunities to sample the fine delights on offer.

Alternatively, visit one of the numerous local golf courses within easy reach, to see why Scotland is famed as the World’s Golfing Capital.

Be sure to consider when you’ll travel, which is sure to affect what you see. The colours of spring, the bright summer sunshine, the crisp autumn leaves and the winter snow will all play a part in your experience of Braemar, as will the annual events that are held in and around the town. Perhaps the most famous of all local events is the Braemar Gathering, which is a Highland Games event and is attended by the British Royal Family during their visit every September. Will you schedule your trip to coincide with the Gathering?

Your Braemar hotel acts as a gateway for exploring Balmoral, the surrounding Cairngorms and many of the world’s top whisky distilleries, but it also serves as an ideal place to escape the rigours of modern life. There’s a lot to see and do, but you’re equally as entitled to sit back, relax and simply enjoy the view.

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The Royal Lochnagar Distillery

If you like Scotch Whisky this is the place to visit, watch on as the staff set about their day tending to the traditional mashtun, copper stills and fill the casks at their traditional distillery. Located beside her Majesty the Queen's Scottish home of Balmoral Castle this is one of the jewels in the Royal Deeside crown. Enjoy a tour around the distillery learning about the making process as you go rounding off your tour with a wee dram of the award-winning Royal Lochnagar 12 year old single highland malt.

Crathes Castle and Gardens

This turreted castle complete with glorious gardens stands against a backdrop of rolling hills. Inside you can explore this magnificent 16th century tower house with its maze of turrets and towers and admire the beautiful painted ceilings. Wander outside through the walled gardens and admire the huge yew hedges start started life as early as 1702 or walk through the trails spotting roe deer, woodpeckers, buzzards and red squirrels.

Braemar Castle

Originally built as a hunting lodge, Braemar Castle has large towers and defensive walls giving it a real sense of history and intrigue, with guided tours showcasing the original furnishings and features that have been retained throughout the property.

The surrounding countryside also makes for an exciting walk, with the chance to see red deer and golden eagles.

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Balmoral Castle

The Scottish residence of HRH The Queen. Guests to Balmoral are able to tour the extensive gardens and grounds alongside some interior exhibitions that detail the history of the castle.

Visitors can enjoy the formal gardens and the vegetable garden, which is harvested every year for the Royal Family's holiday visit.

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Cairngorms National Park

One of Britain's most varied national parks for landscapes.

There are exceptional hiking and casual walking routes available in the breath-taking Cairngorms, whether you wish to tackle the mountains themselves or would prefer to stick to the lowlands. Numerous visitor centres and ranger bases provide opportunities to learn all about the surrounding regions.

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Glenshee Ski Centre

Glenshee lies on the boarder of Aberdeenshire and Perthshire in the Cairngorm National Park.

The car park at Glenshee is at 650m (2132ft) above sea level which makes the A93 the highest A road in the UK.

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