Cheap Hotels in Ballater
This former church has been tastefully converted, enabling retention of the original features. Auld Kirk Hotel is situated in the heart of picturesque Royal Deeside. It features free Wi-Fi and free on-site parking. Breakfast is freshly cooked to order and made from local ingredients wherever possible, and Auld Kirk's chef has won numerous awards and accolades. Bedrooms are stylish and contemporary. The range of guest amenities in each room include a refreshment tray, an iron and an ironing boards, a hairdryer, a television and free Wi-Fi. The Royal residence of Balmoral castle is less than 8 miles away and Dufftown, part of the famous whisky trail, is just over an hour’s drive away.
Enjoy a Scottish getaway to the Cairngorms National Park at the Hilton Grand Vacations Club at Craigendarroch Suites. Set in Royal Deeside, just an hour from Aberdeen Airport, this Victorian country hotel offers the perfect location close to Balmoral Castle and outdoor activities in the Scottish Highlands.Settle in to a warm and inviting guest room or suite at this Royal Deeside hotel. Keep in touch with complimentary WiFi or curl up to watch the 32-inch TV. Select a spacious suite for upgraded amenities including a balcony.Take some time out and enjoy the array of recreational amenities for children and adults alike. Swim laps or take an aqua aerobics class in the lagoon-style pool as the children enjoy the kid’s pool with slide. Children adore meeting new friends at the Acorn Club, held during the school holidays. Maintain your exercise regime with a workout at the fully-equipped fitness center, play squash or tennis, rent a bicycle to explore the area, or book a treatment at the spa. Indulge in delicious Scottish cuisine in the elegant restaurant.
Ballater Hostel Hotel
The Glen Lui Hotel
Hotels in Ballater
With its pretty red and white train station and Victorian buildings, beguiling Ballater, on the banks of the River Dee, looks as if it has barely changed in decades.
Book one of our Ballater hotels and fall in love with this charming town and the spectacular countryside of the Cairngorms National Park.
The Balmoral estate, eight miles from Ballater, has been the royal family's Scottish home since it was bought by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria in 1852. Although much of the castle is still a private home and closed to the public, you can visit the ballroom, grounds and exhibitions from April until the start of September.
You'll get an audio guide as you go round, and there are exhibitions on the wildlife and landscapes of the estate, how it is looked after and the experiences of royal children at Balmoral. The ballroom, which is the largest room in the castle, contains works of art by Landseer and is used by the royal family for the annual Ghillies Ball. The gardens include a rose garden, a kitchen garden, Victorian glasshouses, a conservatory containing flowering plants, a water garden and a cottage where Queen Victoria used to write her diaries.
Next to the castle is the Royal Lochnagar Distillery, where you can take a tour and discover how Scotch whisky is made. At the end, you'll enjoy a dram of the award-winning Royal Lochnagar 12-year-old single Highland malt.
Ballater's strong royal connections stem partly from the fact that when the railway came to the town in 1866, it was the closest station to Balmoral. The railway was vital to the town's development, as it brought a great number of royal and non-royal visitors and holidaymakers. It closed in 1966, but the station remains and now houses a visitor centre, the tourist office, a restaurant and shops. You can still see a replica royal carriage and the royal waiting room, added at Queen Victoria's request in 1886. The town celebrates its connection with the queen and Balmoral each August with Victoria Week.
Ballater town centre
Ballater has a good selection of shops selling antiques, art, clothes, second hand and antiquarian books, jewellery, Scottish cheeses, chocolates and of course shortbread and whisky. Larks Gallery exhibits a selection of Scottish artwork, including paintings, sculpture, ceramics, glass, photographs and jewellery. There's also an 18-hole golf course, with excellent views of the countryside.
Cairngorms National Park
The countryside around Ballater is beautiful, with lochs, forests and mountains creating majestic landscapes. This is a great place to go hiking, mountain biking, fishing or indeed skiing – and you may well be able to hire any equipment you need in the town. At nearby Cambus O'May and the Muir of Dinnet national nature reserve, look out for red squirrels, dragonflies, pearl-bordered fritillaries, capercaillie, black grouse, otters, ospreys, wood warblers, chaffinches and more. On the reserve you'll also see the Vat – a giant pothole around 25 metres across, formed when the glaciers melted at the end of the last Ice Age. You can also book guided walks and 4x4 safaris around the countryside, where you can look out for eagles, coal tits, red and roe deer and more.
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