Cairngorm National Park

The Park was opened in 2003 and is the largest national park in the UK. It covers one of the country's most special and cared for landscapes with a wide variety of traditional and unique villages and communities. It preserves the history and heritage of the area, manages wildlife and the environment, promotes and encourages sustainable tourism.

Muir of Dinnet

Muir of Dinnet National Nature Reserve is one of nine National Nature Reserves in and around Cairngorms National Park external site. It offers woodland, heath, open water and stunning geological features such as the Burn O'Vat (see right). You can follow any of the well-marked trails through birch woodlands, watch for the native birds and insects, or rest by the clear water of the lochs. The Visitor Centre provides basic facilities and a large car park, and its changing educational displays are a draw for adults and children alike.

Royal Deeside

Since being discovered by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in the mid-nineteenth century, Balmoral and its surrounding area has been a firm favourite with the Royal Family.

The River Dee rises deep in the Cairgorms, passes through an impressive gorge at the Linn o' Dee above Braemar, passing Balmoral Castle and running on through Ballater, Aboyne and Banchory before spilling into the North Sea at Aberdeen. On its way it passes under several mountains such as Lochnagar, through large forested estates, and by many charming villages steeped in history.

Migvie Kirk

From the outside, Migvie Kirk looks like any late 18th century small church. However, when you open the door the lights activate to expose a unique redesign for a deconsecrated church, restored by Philip Astor in memory of his parents. The work was completed in 2001, all undertaken by local artists and craftspeople. The furnishings and carvings hark back to Pictish times and depict early Scottish saints and religious sites in Aberdeenshire. The quality of the workmanship is stunning, whether you view the kirk as a place of worship or as a gallery and meeting place.

Other Attractions

  • The Tarland Way,
  • Queen's View,
  • Tomnaverie Stone Circle,
  • Ballater,
  • National Trust for Scotland,
  • Historic Scotland Sites.