of Scotland, Balmoral and Ballater
sports on the snow-covered slopes of the Cairngorm Mountains have
made this part of the Highlands a popular tourist area for Scots.
In summer, tranquil lochs, woodlands and glens teeming with wildlife
attract another group of visitors, those who wish to visit the
historic castles, or simply wander through the idyllic scenery
and perhaps glimpse an osprey or a golden eagle.
Resort catering predominantly
for skiing, though there are facilities for golf, squash, riding,
curling, and water sports. Cinema, ice rink, saunas, artificial
ski slope, go-carts and discos. Also a good summer base for touring
in the Spey Valley.
A small resort town in
the Royal Deeside parish of Glenmuick, Tullich and Glengairn,
W Aberdeenshire, situated on the River Dee 43 miles (69 km) west
of Aberdeen. Ballater developed as a spa resort, first in the
1770s to accommodate visitors to the Pananich Mineral Wells and
later after the arrival of the railway in 1866 (closed 1966).
Largely built of reddish granite, its houses are laid out in a
regular pattern around a central church green. The town lies amidst
dramatic mountain and forest scenery at an altitude of 213m (700
feet) above sea-level and is today a centre for wayfaring and
orienteering with tourist and sporting facilities that include
an 18-hole golf course. The Pass of Ballater to the north of the
town is an ice-worn ravine linking Milton of Tullich in the east
to Bridge of Gairn.
Scottish Baronial summer
home of Royal Family, rebuilt by Prince Albert from earlier castle
in 1859. The 70ft ballroom houses changing exhibits from royal
collection. Gardens have rare conifers, Queen Victoria's garden
cottage and Queen Mary's sunken garden. Opposite bridge leading
to castle's main gate is Crathie Church, built 1895, place of
worship for the Royal Family.
Museum at Boat of Garten
station is former waiting room, and has signs, signals and other
memorabilia on display. Village name comes from ferry which once
crossed River Spey where bridge now stands.
Village, set among heather-covered
hills and where the Clunie Water joins River Dee, famous for Highland
Games. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Treasure Island in cottage
Built 1628 and largely
rebuilt as residence in 18th century, castle has barrel-vaulted
ceilings, underground prison, star-shaped curtain wall and central
tower with spiral staircase. Interiors fully furnished and containing
items of historical interest, including a 52lb cairngorm -- a
semi-precious stone found in the Cairngorm Mountains.
Chair lifts lead to observation
point, short distance from top of Cairn Gorm -- mountain from
which range gets its name. Paths along range take energetic walkers
through moss, campions and creeping rhododendrons. Golden eagles,
capercaillies, deer, ptarmi-gan and wildcats. Awe-inspiring Ben
Macdui is highest mountain in range, rising 4294ft.
the tasting room offering more than 100 brands.
Landmark Visitor Centre,
popular attraction of this apres-ski resort, has audio show of
Highland history. Landmark Highland Heritage and Adventure Park
has treetop trail, nature trail and sculpture trail with works
by Anthony Caro and Eduardo Paolozzi; also steam-powered saw-mill.
Early 18th-century bridge spans River Dulnain.
Sports complex and hotel
attract visitors to this convenient stop-over between Aviemore
and Cairngorm chair lifts.
A 14th-century tower
house, remodelled as fortified military barracks with star-shaped
wall in 1748. Restored interior of 200 years ago has musket recesses,
wide wooden bunks and large stone fireplaces.
Nature reserve to north-west
of Aviemore is mainly birch forest on lower slopes. Plants and
wildlife include rowans, wych elms, bog myrtles, red grouse, spotted
fly-catchers. Among rare moths is Kentish Glory (flies March-May).
Breeding peregrine falcons nest on imposing granite cliff above
Aviemore; kestrels and jackdaws also favour cliffs for nesting.
Loch lies at foot of
glacial hollow. Reached by good hike from Glen-more Forest Park
along tracks once used by cattle thieves.
Guided tours of distillery
include free dram. Exhibits of ancient tools and artefacts used
in making whisky, and video programme.
Working Highland estate
seen from guided tours in Land Rover, focusing on history, landscape,
wildlife and land use.
Walking routes lead through
pine, spruce and Douglas fir, but one-fifth of park is mountainside
above tree line. Wildlife includes roe deer, red squirrels, wildcats,
foxes, badgers, golden eagles, whooper swans, ducks, grouse, woodpeckers
and Britain's only herd of reindeer.
and Lochnagar Wildlife Reserve
Walks and trails -- some
easy, others needing proper equipment -- lead through azaleas,
red campions, and cranberry and bilberry bushes. Wildlife includes
red deer, mountain hares and adders.
Ascends Cairnwell mountain
from summit of Britain's highest main-road pass, 3,061ft.
Popular ski resort, also
famous for trout and salmon fishing in Spey and Dulnain rivers.
Old Spey bridge built in 1750.
Grassy embankments, walls
of 11th-century fort. Picnic site.
Remains of 15th-century
castle on island in loch surrounded by deep pine and juniper forests.
Wildlife includes roe deer, red squirrels, wildcats, whooper swans,
herons and crossbills. Remains of stone dam at Milton Burn and
site of 18th-century mill, where pine trunks were hollowed out
to make water pipes -- reminders of time when area had flourishing
timber industry. Visitor centre in cottage by loch has small exhibition
with displays on the management and conservation of forest.
Hide and closed-circuit
TV allow viewings of pair of nesting ospreys, for a long time
extinct in Scotland. Reserve, much of which is Caledonian pine
forest, home to roe deer, red deer, wildcats, red squirrels and
Shell of 14th-century castle, stronghold of Alexander Stewart,
'Wolf of Badenoch', who terrorised Moray lowlands, stands on island
in middle of loch. Area has rolling heather landscape with peat
stacks and boggy grassland.
Inland loch at foot of
Cairn Gorm, surrounded by pine, birch, alder, willow and rowan
trees. Lies mainly within Glenmore Forest Park. Waymarked walks
lead along the shoreline. Wildfowl hides. Osprey sometimes fish
here. From Loch Morlich, the River Luineag rushes through banks
of tall pines to Spey Valley.
Many walks up this hill;
lower slopes clothed with gnarled birch trees. One walk leads
to view indicator which identifies view to Cairngorms taking in
three of Britain's highest peaks -- Ben Macdui, Braeriach and
Cairn Toul, all over 4000ft. Tomintoul farm nearby reckoned to
be highest in Britain.
Village, hub of timber
trade during 18th century, has Victorian hotel, remains of Norman
castle, old stone cottages and bridge built in 1809. Now centre
for skiing, fishing, walking and climbing.
Variety of walks, some
ranger guided, lead through farmland, woods, forestry plantations,
lochs and heath-clad hills that lie within boundaries of this
estate. Two-hour tractor and trailer ride to see red deer, Highland
cattle and other animals. Bird watching with experienced ornithologist.
Distillery granted royal
warrant by Queen Victoria in 1848. It is set amid beautiful scenery,
close to Balmoral Castle.
Garden Heather Centre
Heather Heritage Centre
has exhibition on the historical uses of heather, including thatching,
wool dyeing and medicine. Impressive ornamental landscaped gardens
display more than 300 heather varieties.
Steam trains travel along
line between Aviemore and Boat of Garten, allowing views of woods
and cultivated fields in Spey valley. The railway's locomotives
and carriages date from Victorian and Edwardian times.
Visitor centre is in
converted old carding mill. Picnic area, walks along River Livet.
Tomintoul Museum has
displays on local history, including reconstructed farm kitchen
and smithy, wildlife and environment. Picturesque village of limestone
houses, built 1776, is highest in Highlands, at 1,160ft. Now centre
for skiing, shooting and fishing.
stone monument to General George Wade and team of soldier-builders
who opened up Highlands with military roads, intended to pacify
the local population. Good views of the surrounding area. Picnic