Balmoral Castle, Residence of British Royals in Scottish Highlands.
This evening, I am posting information on Balmoral Castle, a popular visitor attraction situated about 50 miles/80 km west of Aberdeen in the Scottish Highlands.This region is known as Royal Deeside (after the river which flows through it). Other popular visitor sites in the area include the small town of Braemar, Braemar Castle, Crathie Kirk and Royal Lochnagar Distillery.
The origin of the name Balmoral sits at odds with the status of the current building in that it means 'hut in the big clearing', a Gaelic name which may date back to around middle of the first millennium.
One of the attractions of Balmoral is the Royal connection which dates back to the purchase of the property by Queen Victoria in 1848 since when it has remained under ownership of the British Royal family in a private capacity.. However, the Castle today represents a major rebuild dating from 1855 to accommodate Queen Victoria’s ever-increasing entourage, family and important visitors.
Only the Castle’s ballroom is open to visitors. Nevertheless, there are very extensive grounds and gardens to enjoy, including a walk along the banks of the neighbouring River Dee. The castle is accessed via a half mile drive lined by magnificent specimen trees many of which were planted in the mid 19th century. For horticulturists there are extensive gardens to admire including a sunken rose garden and kitchen garden.
Looking at the wider picture, the entire Balmoral estate extends to 49,000 acres (20,000 ha) which is contained with the Cairngorms National Park.
Balmoral is usually open to visitors from around April 1st to July 31st each year with opening times from 10.00am to 5.00pm. There is an extensive visitor centre containing shop and refreshment facilities.