Queen Elizabeth II calls Balmoral Castle their home every summer, staying here from July until September of each year. The Royal Deeside estate was purchased by Prince Albert in 1852. He fell in love with the property because it reminded him of his native land, Thuringia, Germany. He and Queen Victoria first leased the property. They eventually bought it outright for £32,000. The house was then enlarged to fit the growing family. After Queen Victoria died in 1901, the estate was inherited by his eldest son King Edward VII who also passed it on to King George V. King Edward VIII retained ownership of Balmoral (as well as Sandringham) after his abdication in 1936 until a financial settlement was struck that transferred ownership to his brother and successor, King George VI. Today, this favorite royal residence is enjoyed and well-loved by thousands of guests who come to relish the estate’s panoramic landscape, the tranquil surroundings, and the opportunity to live like a royal, even for just a few days. So if you’re planning to make a trip here, take note of these 4 must-do activities that you shouldn’t forget!
Visit the Castle and the Gardens
The Castle’s gardens have been opened to the public since 1931. It is now available for public tours from April until the end of July, after which Queen Elizabeth II enjoys her annual summer holiday. Guests may also tour the Castle’s ballroom, which is the only room in the castle open for viewing.
Go on a Safari Tour
Yep, you got it right! No need to go to Africa to experience a luxury land rover tour! This is a great chance to explore and enjoy Scotland's amazing mountain view. The safari tour comes with a guide who takes guests through the estate’s parkland and gardens facing Balmoral Castle. The tour then heads to the Estate farm into the ancient Caledonian Pine Forest, hailed for being the home to important habitats, especially the elusive capercaillie.
Sleep like a Royalty at Balmoral's Holiday Cottages
There is a choice of holiday cottages that you can choose from. Yearround accommodations, such as Colt Cottages, Connachat Cottage, Karim Cottage and Rhebreck Lodge are always open for reservation, while Alltnaguibhsaich Lodge and the Garbh Allt Shiel provides you the perfect place to stay whilst in the estate from late April until early November. Now, that’s really a home-away-from home experience with a touch of royal splendor!
Go Salmon Fishing
Balmoral provides three fishing beats for those interested to catch their very own salmon! The River Dee passes through the estate and provides some of the finest fishing experience in the whole of Scotland. The three Balmoral Beats are found in the South Bank of the river, extending from The Brig O' Dee (near Braemar) down to Dalliefour (near Ballater). Guests can rent these fishing beats from April until July, except on some weeks when the Royal Family needs them. Fishing is available on a weekly basis though, from Monday until Saturday although guests may be lucky enough to get a part-week deal.
Join a Ranger for a Guided Walk
The Ranger Service offers themed guided tours to guests, which usually takes visitors through the grounds and gardens of Balmoral. And that's for free! Must-see are the estate’s monuments and cairns. The Ranger loads anyone with Balmoral’s rich history, as well as stories of its thriving woodland, wildlife, flora and fauna.
Planning to visit the Balmoral estate? Be sure to contact to make necessary arrangements before you arrive so you can indulge on a completely royal experience!
Telephone : 013397 42534
Fax: 013397 42034
Images were borrowed from Geograph.org.uk and are available for reuse under Creative Commons.