THINGS TO DO
CAIRNGORM NATIONAL PARK
Bertie Cottage is situated in the Cairngorm National Park and at any time of year, the Cairngorms National Park offers many outdoor pursuits. With some of the best snow in the UK, it has three ski centres: The Cairngorm at Aviemore; Glenshee near Braemar; and The Lecht near Tomintoul. It also has many other activities throughout the year, including walking, mountain biking, shooting, fishing, wildlife watching and a variety of watersports.
There are many walks in and around Ballater minutes from Bertie Cottage, including a lovely river walk along the River Dee, Craigendarroch Hill or further afield the stunning Lochnagar. (www.walkhighlands.co.uk). The cottage provides a great location for walking in Royal Deeside.
Some of our favourites include:
Burn O'Vat and the Cul Blaen: A circuit that observes the deep bowl or vat, carved by deep water geological processes
Cambus O'May: Pinewood trails
Loch Muick: Fairly level walk with good views of surrounding hills, waterfalls and Queen Victoria's Glas-alit Shiel
Lochnagar: Known from Lord Byron's literary works, it is the highest of the peaks surrounding Ballater
Glen Tanar: Pine, heather and water of Tanar trails, the visitor centre is great for families
There are many places to fish around Ballater, including bagging salmon along the River Dee or catching trout in one of the many lochs nearby.
Minutes from Bertie Cottage is Ballater's 18 hole golf course. It lies next to the River Dee and offers stunning views of Lochnagar. Other challenging and scenic courses nearby include Banchory, Aboyne and Braemar, the highest 18 hole course in the UK. The Royal Deeside Golf Week is held annually in May at Ballater golf club while the Royal Deeside Golf Classic is a package played in July at the four courses mentioned above.
The National Trust for Scotland has many spectacular castles in Aberdeenshire including Crathes Castle, Drum Castle, Cragievar Castle and Castle Fraser (www.nts.org.uk/visit). Of course the most famous of all, 7 miles from Ballater is the Royal Family's Balmoral Castle and Estate.
A traditional combination of sport and culture, Highland Games are a fantastic day out for all the family. They were initially started over 900 years ago to pick clan chieftains households. Events typically include hill races, tug-o-war, tossing the caber, highland dancing and pipe bands. The most famous being the Braemar Gathering, attended by members of the Royal Family and held each September since 1864. Ballater has its own Highland Games held in August, while many others are held throughout the Summer in Aberdeenshire and the Cairngorm area.
DISTILLERIES AND WHISKY TRAILS
There are many distilleries surrounding Ballater where it is possible to enjoy guided tours, tastings and to buy famous Scotch Whiskys. Close to Balmoral Castle is the Royal Lochnagar Distillery. the visitors centre offers a variety of guided tours from the tours of the distillery to the avid whisky fan's 'Royal Tour' (www.visitscotland.com/info).
Other pursuits include:
Holiday Cottage in Cairngorm National Park