Ballater and Balmoral


In the middle reaches of Deeside, the high mountains are set back behind rolling foothills clad luxuriantly in Scots pine, and the mighty river sweeps past Balmoral Castle en route to Ballater. The small town itself ranks amongst the most attractive in the Highlands, packed into a grid pattern and centred on a large green - a popular tourist destination even before Queen Victoria ensured its fame.

As well as the pinewoods there are stunning lochs. Amongst them is Loch Muick, stern and majestic, whilst Loch Kinord is more intimate, fringed by the beautiful birchwoods of the Muir of Dinnet. To the south is the Mounth, a range of plateaux almost as extensive as the Cairngorms themselves, all presided over by the grand peak of Lochnagar.


Walk Grade Distance Time
Camus o' May Pinewood trail 4.25km 1 - 2 hours
Fairy Pool and Riverside walk, Glen Tanar 4.75km 2 hours
Loch Kinord circuit, Muir of Dinnet 6km 1.5 - 2 hours
Glen Tanar pinewoods, near Aboyne 8km 2 - 2.5 hours
Seven Bridges and Knock Castle, Ballater 10.5km 2.5 - 3 hours
River Dee and Cambus o'May circuit, Ballater 12.75km 3 - 4 hours
Craigendarroch oakwoods, Ballater 4km 1.5 - 2 hours
Pannanich Woods and Craig Coillich, Ballater 5km 1.5 - 2 hours
Burn O' Vat and the Culblean circuit 6.5km 1.5 - 2 hours
The Balmoral Cairns, Balmoral, Crathie 9.75km 2.5 - 3 hours
Loch Muick Circuit 12.5km 3 - 3.5 hours
Sgor Buidhe circuit, Ballater 11.5km 3 - 4 hours
Geallaig and the Gairn 17km 5 - 7 hours
Conachcraig and Gelder Shiel, from Balmoral 22.25km 6 - 7 hours
Mount Keen by Glen Tanar 27km 7 - 9 hours
Lochnagar from Glen Muick 19km 6 - 7 hours
Creag an Dubh Loch and Broad Cairn, Glenmuick 23km 7 - 8 hours
White Mounth Munros, Glen Muick 29km 9 - 11 hours

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Walking can be dangerous and is done entirely at your own risk. Information is provided free of charge; it is each walker's responsibility to check it and navigate using a map and compass.