To See & Do
Within the immediate vicinity of Crathie, Balmoral Castle is a popular destination for tourists passing through the area. The Lochnagar distillery is also located here and can be visited for a tour of the facility or just to try a quick dram at the bar. There are many other castles and distilleries within a short drive of the property.
Ballater is an old town which has retained much of its charm as it has avoided the extensive development so prevalent in the towns to the north of the park. There are numerous hotels, restaurants, bars and shops serving the local population and the busy tourist industry which reaches it’s peak during the summer months.
Braemar is considerably smaller but is still popular with tourists due to it’s enduring architecture and spectacular location in the remote central Cairngorms. Braemar castle and Invercauld castle can be visited at selected times and there are hotels, coffee shops, an art gallery and a tourist information centre.
Outdoor enthusiasts are spoilt for choice. For walkers, the Munro of Lochnagar with it’s high northern corries so popular with climbers, lies immediately to the south across the river Dee. To the north Ben Avon and the surrounding wilderness offers plenty of opportunity for exploration right out the back door. The central Cairngorms can be accessed on foot or mountain bike by selecting an appropriate entry point within a short drive.
Four National nature reserves are within short driving distance of Tomidhu. Glen Tanar lies to the south of Aboyne and is a remnant of the Caledonian pine forest that once covered the highlands. It is one of the regions where capercaille, red squirrels and Scottish crossbills can still be found. Muir of Dinnet is a maturing silver birch forest around the shores of Loch Kinord with a network of established forest trails and a small visitor centre. Both are well worth a visit (National nature reserves).
For sport climbers, ten minutes drive away, the Pass of Ballater offers routes of a range of difficulty.
For mountain bikers, Invercauld estate, Mar estate, and Balmoral estate all contain a network of paths and tracks that afford an opportunity to explore the area on two wheels.
Those wishing to spend some time fishing could try their skills pursuing salmon on the river Dee on the local beats operated by the local estate offices. In addition there is trout fishing available on Invercauld estate, in Loch Muick on the Balmoral estate and at Tullich Loch just outside Ballater. Coarse fishing is also available at Loch Kinord and Aboyne Loch.
Weather conditions can be challenging at all times of the year but this is especially true during the winter months when the high mountains are invariably covered with a blanket of snow. Sixteen miles south west lies the Glenshee ski area which is located at a high level to the south above Braemar. It has extensive slopes, three café/restaurants, a small shop and a sizeable ski hire facility. The Lecht ski centre is 10 miles to the north on the A939. The slopes are lower, generally less challenging and it also has a café and ski hire available.