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Royal Deeside : Braemar Castle

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At the heart of the magnificent Cairngorms National Park about one kilometre north of the village of Braemar stands the impressive Braemar Castle. Built in 1628 by the Earl of Mar and now part of the Farquharson estate of Invercauld, it featured in many of the important Jacobite wars of the 17th and 18th Century. In the rebellion of 1689 the castle was burned by the celebrated ‘Black Colonel’, John Farquharson of Inverey. In 1715 the Earl of Mar raised the standard of ‘The Old Pretender’ at the start of the rebellion.

After the 1745 rebellion a military road, passing through Braemar, was built linking Perth to Fort George near Inverness. The castle was repaired and converted to a garrison for Hanovarian troops – as was Corgarff Castle, just a few miles further north. At this point a remarkable star-shaped defensive wall was added to each castle.

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Braemar Castle re-opens for the season on Saturday 11th April 2009 with a weekend of spectacular free entertainment provided by the re-enactment group Fraser’s Dragoons. The turbulent times of the 17th century spring to life as musket and cannon fire echo round the hills.

Try your hand at Pike drill, find out how musket balls are made, sample life with the platoon’s surgeon/barber, visit the authentic tents and chat with the campfire cook. With plenty to watch and plenty to do on both Saturday and Sunday from 1100 - 1600, as well as the chance to tour the Castle, this is ideal family outing. Entry to the grounds to see Fraser’s Dragoons is absolutely free. And to celebrate the start of a new season, there’s even money off the normal rates of entry to the Castle. £5 for adults, £4 concession and £12 for a family ticket are all reduced by £1 on Saturday and Sunday 11th and 12th April.

Braemar Castle, historic seat of the Farquharson Clan, a reminder of the Jacobite wars.

The castle is based on an L-plan with a central circular staircase. After the purchase of Balmoral by Queen Victoria, the castle grounds were often used to host the Braemar Gathering. The castle itself was converted to a family home for the Farquharson family and later opened to the public. Recently, however, it was closed but re-opened in May 2008 after the magnificent efforts of the local community. Now local volunteers guide you round the 12 fully furnished rooms and entertain with fascinating tales of the castle’s former occupants

Braemar Castle is compact and informal castle offering a different experience and, since the re-opening it has enjoyed a steady stream of satisfied visitors from all over the world as well as many from Royal Deeside itself.

The Dining Room at Braemar castle

Entry to all rooms in the castle is via the spiral stone staircase so, unfortunately, the castle is not accessible to those having difficulty with mobility. There is, however, the opportunity to sit in the courtyard and enjoy the sunshine (and perhaps an ice-cream from the shop) while friends and relatives tackle the stairs.

To find out more about Braemar castle visit the official website

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Braemar Castle Nature Reserves 1 Nature Reserves 2 Ballater Station  




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