The small but popular village of Braemar is nestled between the River Dee and Clunie Water, and surrounded by the Grampian Mountains in the Cairngorms National Park. Thanks to this fantastic setting, the village lends itself as a base for outdoor activities, with 65 miles of walking and cycling routes in the vicinity, and many Munro’s to climb; the Cairngorms is home to 4 of the 5 largest mountains in the UK! The National Trust for Scotland’s Mar Lodge Estate is a good exploratory base; the estate accounts for 7% of the Cairngorms and is recognised as one of the most important nature conservation landscapes. Salmon fishing is popular on the River Dee, and Braemar Golf Course offer 18 holes in the heathland, and is the highest course in Scotland! The 17th Century Braemar Castle is a lovely outing, explore the diverse history of the site, and its interesting architectural features.
Aberdeenshire, located on the north east of Scotland’s mainland, boasts a unique array of landscape and heritage. The historic county of Banffshire on the north coast is now commonly considered to be part of Aberdeenshire. The many miles of easterly coastline offers rugged cliffs as well as sandy beaches and appeals to watersport enthusiasts. The inland westerly border incorporates the Cairngorm National Park, attracting walkers and explorers. The region is home the Lecht Ski Resort, and Glenshee Ski Resort, so really can cater for a massive range of sports! Investigation of the Castle Trail is a must – the trail takes in 17 of the best castles Aberdeenshire has to offer, including Balmoral Castle, seasonal home to the Royal Family. Aberdeen plays a part in the oil and gas industry forming a land base for the North Sea oil rigs, however don’t be deceived by what you may find here – the city has won the ‘Britain in Bloom’ award a record breaking 13 times, thanks to its incredible number of parks and gardens, and is home to a beautiful stretch of sandy beach. Its nickname the ‘Granite City’ is courtesy of its quarrying history, and the famous 'Granite Mile' (Union Street) is home to many shops. The traditional neighbouring towns of Banff and Macduff sit on either side of the River Deveron, a popular fishing river, and nearby you will find the magnificent Duff House. Other large towns in the area include Peterhead and Fraserburgh, both fishing towns on the north east coast, and the market town of Inverurie.
Highlands and Islands
This region takes in Inverness-shire, Ross-shire, Sutherland, Caithness and the islands include the Inner and Outer Hebrides as well as Orkney and the Shetland islands. For spectacular scenery the Highlands of Scotland provides some of the best, with a huge expanse of area full of mountains, lochs and glens full of romance, wildlife and scenic beauty. The heritage of this area includes Culloden, taking the ferry to the Isle of Skye or just taking in one of the many castles like Eilean Donan. There is also an immense range of wildlife to be found.