We left Mar Lodge today but extended our holiday somewhat by visiting Balmoral Castle on the way home. Balmoral Castle is owned by the Royal Family. The estate and original castle were bought by Prince Albert in 1852 but a new and bigger castle was built in 1856 to the designs of Aberdeen architect William Smith.
Queen Victoria is said to have described the place as, “My dear paradise in the Highlands” and the current Queen visits Balmoral for ten weeks every summer. It is a gorgeous location and the castle itself looks typically Aberdonian to me with the granite fabric and mediaeval-inspired towers and turrets. It’s a very attractive building and a superb location; I can see why the Royal family like it so much.
Visitors can’t go into the castle but you can wander around the grounds as you please and go into the ballroom. There’s also a cafe and shop as well as a bit of a museum in the stables. There are lots of walks on the estate and we did one up a nearby hill which had grand views from the top.
Here’s the bridge over to the estate:
And lastly, a couple of pics from a lookout between Mar Lodge and Braemar: