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Exclusive Victorian Castle | 830

map Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire

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  • At a Glance
  • Facilities
  • Accommodation

    • Sleeps 26
    • 16 bedrooms
    • 16 bath / shower rooms

    Your holiday home

    • £21,000 - £21,000 per week
    • Security Deposit £750 (refundable)
    • Friday changeover
    • 4:00 PM check in
    • 10:00 AM check out
    • 2 pets welcome (Pets go free)
    • No smoking
    • Property rating: 5
    • Facilities

      • This property is fully serviced
      • Open fires
      • Laundry facilities
      • Selection of games
      • Wifi
      • Garden furniture
      • DVD player
    • Features

      • Sporting activities available
      • Remote getaway
      • Luxury
      • Grand piano
      • Four poster bed
      • 5 Star venue
      • Fishing


**This property is let on an exclusive use, fully-catered basis**

This splendid castle is situated on a private country estate overlooking the spectacular scenery of Royal Deeside. Victorian castles were designed to let light flood in rather than keeping the bandits out and were masterpieces of the time with state of the art facilities, built for comfort, grandeur and entertainment. So when looking for a unique venue that is both majestic yet comfortable in which to entertain a large house party, you wouldn’t go far wrong choosing an historic castle like this for your next event.

Located in Royal Deeside, a place that has captured the hearts of generations of the Royal Family and where the Queen is said to be at her happiest, the castle is just 35 minutes from Aberdeen International Airport and 2.5 hours to Edinburgh. The views from the castle extend to Byron’s majestic Lochnagar, the hill that is in the centre of the Queen’s Balmoral Estate.

Flexibly accommodating groups from 6 to 29 in 16 comfortable bedrooms, each with their own bathroom, it is an ideal venue for all sorts of events including family holidays, celebrations and private house parties. Let on an exclusive use, staffed and catered basis you’ll enjoy some of the finest food prepared by their two in-house chefs, Rupert and Louisa as well as amazing hospitality from the Laird and his wife, Andrew and Nicky. This is a grand country house that feels like home.

Weddings & Events
The castle is a superb venue for events of all kinds. Smaller celebrations including weddings can take place in the castle while a variety of marquee sites offer capacities to over 500. Weddings and events using marquees are subject to separate quotation. For groups of up to 150 they can provide in-house catering and above this number they have trusted preferred caterers. If you want to enquire about a wedding or an event please give an outline of your initial plans as this helps greatly in enabling the owners respond with relevant information.

Pricing & Catering
One and two night breaks, or longer visits, are welcome all year with the exception of Christmas, New Year and Easter. Prices quoted online are based on the accommodation elements of the booking only. All other meals are tailored to your specific needs and quoted accordingly at the time of booking. Sample menus are provided on request.  If you allow a budget of £150 per person per night for catering (including drinks), you’ll not be too far off the mark. Breakfasts are normally charged at around £15 per person (depending on requirements).  These are guideline rates subject to agreeing exact details. 

  • Living
  • Beds & Baths
  • Grounds
  • Please note
  • The entire castle is comfortably furnished as the family home it is. Art from the early 16th – 20th centuries lines the walls and most of the superb antique furniture dates from 17th – 19th centuries.

    Marble Hall
    A splendid marble Entrance Hall leads up a grand staircase to the Great Hall on the Principal Floor.

    Reception Rooms - these are all on the Principal Floor

    The Great Hall
    This superb oak-panelled room is majestic. Portraits of ancestors and stags’ heads hang on the upper walls while at a lower level is a fine small collection of Dutch Old Masters to enjoy. The Steinway grand-piano is tuned regularly and guests are welcome to play it. Three sofas and other seating are near the large log fire while a 300 year-old grandfather clock still keeps impeccable time. Overlooking the scene is a large minstrels’ gallery.

    The Drawing Room
    From the Great Hall the Drawing Room is a contrast with six large windows it catches the evening light on its pastel walls and painted ceiling. A superb glass chandelier with 1,500 pieces is complemented by fine glass wall-brackets and the room is very comfortably furnished. It makes a second sitting room in addition to the Great Hall.

    The Dining Room
    At the other end of the Great Hall is the splendid Dining Room which is hung about with portraits spanning some 400 years of the family’s history. It is one of the Laird’s party tricks to tell you some of their stories and you’ll be treated to a humorous romp through the centuries which includes Guy Fawkes, imprisonment in Windsor Castle, Jane Austen, Tutankhamun, Alfred Brendel the pianist, and even Dracula. Candlelight from five tall candelabra gleams off the silver and warm polished mahogany table which seats 24 but extra tables can be added to bring the rooms capacity to 40 or so. It is a magnificent setting that complements the superb food and wines that are served.

    Cloakroom: This has sufficient space for a wheel-chair.

    On the Ground Floor:

    The Board Room:
    Formerly the Servants’ Hall this splendid room is lit by five large windows and is a huge improvement on the gloomy basement room familiar to fans of Downton Abbey. The room makes an excellent meeting space and can be used for a variety of other purposes.

    WiFi: There is free wifi and this is accessible over most of the castle including the bedrooms. 

    The Laird’s personal chefs will provide delicious cuisine during your stay. Along with the full cooked breakfast they will provide a superb Dinner each evening. Afternoon Tea is served in the Great Hall and Lunches can be provided if required. 

    The chefs have both worked for years in London restaurants. Rupert was Chef de Partie at two separate Michelin starred establishments: his wife Louisa was Head Pastry Chef at Theo Randall, the famed Italian restaurant at the foot of the Intercontinental Hotel in Park Lane. Much food is sourced locally, sometimes from the estate and gardens. You can be assured of wonderful food and menu ideas will be provided before your arrival from which you can chat directly with the chefs to design you own meal plan.  Fine wines are chosen from the castle’s cellar to match the food. 

    If you allow a budget of £150 per person per night for catering (breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner) you’ll be not far off the mark. This figure includes champagne before dinner and three fine wines with the meal. This is a guideline rate subject to agreeing exact details.

    Exclusivity: The only people your party will share the castle with are the Laird and his Lady, Andrew & Nicky and, of course, their excellent staff. Relaxation and discretion is guaranteed.

    Ambience: This is like staying with friends in a grand country house. Time and again guests comment how it feels like a home from home.


    Household staff will discretely tidy and clean the public rooms and re-stock logs for fires etc. They also make-up bedrooms daily and there’s an evening turn-down service too.


    Andrew and Nicky, the owners, live on-site and are happy to help make your stay as formal or as informal as you like.

  • The 16 bedrooms are on three floors. The Ground Floor is below the Principal Floor and there are two floors of rooms above it.  13 of the 16 bathrooms are en-suite.   All bedrooms have large windows with magnificent views of the gardens, estate and the hills beyond. Views extend to Lochnagar on the Queen’s Balmoral Estate.

    •  1 SuperKing Double Bedroom
    • 4 SuperKing Double Or Twin Bedroom
    • 2 Four Poster Double Bedroom/s
    • 4 Single Bedroom/s
    • 1 Queen Double Bedroom/s
    • 1 Family Bedroom Super King Or Twin Plus Single Bed
    • 3 Twin Bedroom/s
    First Floor - – this is immediately above the Principal Floor:

    Bedroom 1: Maggie’s Room: Twin beds or zip-&-link Super-King double bed, with en-suite bathroom, with en-suite bath with power shower over. 

    Bedroom 2: The Queen’s Bedroom: Four poster double bed, with en-suite bathroom, with bath with shower over. (Called the Queen’s room, because it was given over to Queen Elizabeth II in 1991, though whilst her coat rested on the bed, she didn’t sleep here). 

    Bedroom 3: The Bird Room: Twin beds or zip-&-link Super-King double bed, with en-suite bath with power shower over. 

    Bedroom 4: Charlie’s Room Twin beds or zip-&-link Super-King double bed, with en-suite bathroom, with en-suite bath with power shower over. 

    Second Floor: This is two floors above the Principal Floor:

    Bedroom 5: Nini’s room Single room with splendid 42” wide brass bed and wash hand basin. The private bathroom (no shower) is off the corridor. 

    Bedroom 6: The Chinese Bedroom: The extraordinary, rare antique Chinese bed dates from 1780 and is 4 feet wide. It could be used for a cosy couple, but is let for a single, with en-suite bathroom, with bath with shower over. 

    Bedroom 7: The Tower Room: Twin bed, with en-suite shower room with power shower. 

    Bedroom 8: Emslie Bedroom: Splendid twin brass beds, with en-suite bath with power shower over. 

    Bedroom 9: Old King Cole Bedroom: Twin beds or zip-&-link Super-King double bed, with en-suite bath with power shower over. 

    Bedroom 10: The Turret Room: Super-King double bed, with en-suite bath with power shower over. Two turrets each have two windows. 

    Bedroom 11: The Garden Room: Sleeps three in twin beds or zip-&-link Super-King double bed plus a single antique brass bed. En-suite bath with power shower over. 

    Bedroom 12: Edward’s Bedroom: Queen Sized double bed. This quaint room has an ante-room which serves as a dressing room with an en-suite shower room off it. The windows look North-West and North-East.

    Ground Floor: This is below the Principal Floor:

    Bedroom 13: The Housekeeper’s Room: This has a Queen-sized four-poster bed and an en-suite shower room. 

    Bedroom 14: The Butler’s Room: This room has two single beds and an en-suite shower room which is a full wet-room. It is perhaps the most suitable room for someone who requires a wheel-chair. There are no steps to get outside and by an outdoor route, with assistance, the Principal Floor can easily be accessed. 

    Bedroom 15: The Stranger Footman’s Room: This quaint single bedroom has a private bathroom along the corridor. (Stranger Footmen weren’t especially weird footmen. They were footmen who travelled with their masters, and thus ‘strangers’ to the castle’s household.)

    Bedroom 16: The Footman’s Room: A single bedroom; private bathroom along the corridor.

  • The castle sits within a 3,000 acre estate nestled near the eastern edge of the Cairngorms National Park with inspiring views over Royal Deeside. The grounds immediately surrounding the property are well-maintained gardens and policy woodland. The gardens are superb, their restoration was inspired by a princess in 1996, and include a walled garden, planetary garden, wildflower enclosure, shrub border and an extensive woodland garden.

    One huge benefit to visiting this Castle is that the dreaded highland midge very rarely visits, which to anyone who has experienced them, is an absolute Godsend.  The sealed drive is suitable for all types of cars and even full sized coaches with plenty of parking to the front and rear for vehicles. There is also a large area of park suitable for use as a helicopter pad.

    Nearby Towns
    The castle is located 23 miles west of Aberdeen near the historic village of Kincardine O’Neil, 8 miles from Banchory, 5 miles from Aboyne and 32 miles from Braemar. It is in an excellent base to explore Aberdeenshire and Royal Deeside.

    North Coast 250 Route
    The castle is on the NE 250 driving route through spectacular countryside, passing world class links golf courses, dreamy castles and fabulous gardens. The North East 250 route is a self-drive tourist route running in a loop from Glenshee in the Cairngorms National Park along the Moray Firth coast past towns like Ballater, Aboyne and Glenlivet as well as the city of Aberdeen.

    Things to do nearby
    - The hosts can provide suggestions for itineraries to suit every taste and ability, and can point you in the direction of some of the area’s best hidden secrets!

    - You’re too close to Balmoral Castle to not have this on your itinerary, though its not open when The Queen is in residence. However when she is you can still walk on much of her magnificent estate.

    - On Balmoral Estate you could climb Lochnagar, one of the most celebrated Scottish mountains, which can be seen across the valley from the castle. A more gentle route around Loch Muick is also a great way to see some wild, highland scenery.

    - Visit Royal Lochnagar Distillery and enjoy a scenic walk and a ‘Dram at the Dam’

    - Have lunch beside a Picasso at the Fife Arms in Braemar operated by superstar gallerists Hauser and Wirth

    - Immerse yourself in traditional Scottish culture from food and whisky to music, dance, art and the local Doric dialect.

    - Head to Aberdeen’s harbour and go on a dolphin & whale watching cruise or explore the spectacular coastline.

    - Explore historic sites from ancient stone circles to fabulous castles and gardens

    - Enjoy a Landrover Safari or pony trek to see the countryside from a different perspective

    - Salmon fishing on the world famous River Dee

    - Shooting on the moors of some of Scotland’s great estates

    … and finally if you’re visiting at around the time of The Braemar Gathering, this Highland games is an event not to be missed. Who knows you may bump into The Queen.

  • Included in the Rental

    At a basic level the prices displayed on this website include staffed and serviced accommodation (daily housekeeping and turn down service). Meals are extra and arranged directly with the Estate Office.  Additionally, the owners are on hand each day to provide assistance where necessary.

    Dogs Welcome

    The owners have their own dogs at the property and are happy to welcome one or two visiting dogs by arrangement. Please contact the office in advance to discuss.

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Nearest shop
1 mile
Nearest supermarket
8 miles
Nearest pub
1 mile
Nearest Airport
Aberdeen Dyce Airport 20 miles
Train Stations
Nearest Train Station
Insch 18 miles
Inverurie 18 miles
Stonehaven 19 miles


Stunning serviced castle in Ballater
The Great Hall
The Great Hall
Drawing room
Dining room
Exclusive Victorian Castle, near Royal Deeside (830)
Antique Chinese Bed
Castle to rent in Ballater
Views of Balmoral

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