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Journey through Royal Deeside : 1
Banchory Area

Images of Royal Deeside, Scotland
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Royal Deeside is a delightful part of Aberdeenshire that in autumn is possibly the most beautiful place in Britain. The majestic River Dee flows through the valley adding extra appeal to the scenery. Running alongside the river are the North and South Deeside roads. The North Road, the A93, is the main route to Royal Deeside running westward from Aberdeen through Banchory, Aboyne, Ballater and Braemar and on to Perth. The South Road is quieter and offers a pretty alternative between Aberdeen and Crathie. The Victorian Heritage Trail constantly switches between the two roads, crossing the river as it does so. Around the river and these two roads there is much to see and do.

Here we take you on a journey through Royal Deeside. It is divided into 4 areas:

Banchory ; Aboyne ; Ballater ; Braemar

Please use the buttons in the table below to navigate.

surrounds & environment
villages & small communities
news & events
visitor attractions
sport and activities
history and folklore
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community : services
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Area Banchory Aboyne Ballater Braemar

Scolty Hill by Banchory Scolty Hill near Banchory is a popular walk for residents and visitors.
Painting by Beverley Black

To Kincardine O'Neil

On leaving Aberdeen for Royal Deeside there is a choice of three roads. The main route is the A93 or North Deeside Road, also called the Royal Deeside Tourist route between Aberdeen and Perth. Aberdeen extends a long way along this road. For about 10 miles the road passes through a succession of attractive suburban centres such as Cults before the outskirts are reached at Peterculter. Already, the hills of Royal Deeside are visible ahead and within a short distance the first castle, Drum, is reached. This 13th century castle with a massive keep is managed by the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) but is still used, in part, as a family home by the Irvine family. Just beyond, is the village of Drumoak with a mixture of old and new houses. The road continues winding its way through attractive farmland arriving at Crathes Castle, one of the most popular of the properties run by the NTS. The castle, roughly contemporary with its neighbour Drum, is not only fascinating in itself but is complemented by superb gardens. Opposite the gates to the Castle is the Milton Craft Centre from where it is intended that the short stretch of railway will run to Banchory just 3 miles away.

Banchory is an attractive and thriving town and the most important commercial centre in Royal Deeside. One of its famous sons is Scott Skinner, the ‘Strathspey King’, whose name is commemorated in the pretty new centre off the High Street. At the edge of Banchory are the first of the golf courses. To the left is the long established Banchory course and to the right is the newer Inchmarlo centre with 9 and 18 hole courses plus a driving range. From now on the hills of the mounth are a constant companion on the left with Scolty and Clachnaben particularly distinctive. For a few miles the road runs through a delightful stretch close by the River Dee, passing the fine Potarch Bridge. Just beyond is Kincardine o’ Neil, the oldest village in Royal Deeside and unusual for the granite built terraced housing along the main street.

If travelling from the north of Aberdeen a lesser road runs towards the village of Torphins through some beautiful countryside. To the right are large hills such as the Hill o’ Fare while across the valley the hills of the Mounth are visible. Travellers would normally leave this road either at Raemoir for Banchory or at Torphins for Kincardine o Neil and the continue on the A93. If travelling from the south of Aberdeen, the South Deeside Road is the usual choice. Again a pretty road, it passes through Durris before meeting the ‘Slug’ road from Stonehaven. At that point you can rejoin the A93 at Crathes or continue on the quieter road, crossing the Bridge of Feugh before turning into Banchory. One of the compensations for Aberdeen commuters is that they travel to work through such delightful surroundings!

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Introduction Journey through Deeside A Dram of Whisky 1 A Dram of Whisky 2 Forests and Woodlands Lochnagar
The River Dee Red Squirrels Craigendarroch Hill, Ballater Clachnaben by Banchory Braemar Weather  




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