logo image

Balmoral Castle

RS Home

Balmoral Castle is 50 miles west of Aberdeen, 9 miles west of Ballater, 10 miles east of Braemar.

This Castle was completed for Queen Victoria in 1856. You can visit when the Royals are not there, normally 1st April until 31st July, from 10.00 a.m. until 5.00 p.m. There is an entrance fee. Postcode: AB35 5TB

For Images on Mobile swipe right

Map Large Images Website

Click On Map for area Attractions

Camping & Touring Parks in area

Visits allow you to view the Castle Exterior, Gardens, Cafe, and Stables Museum. Tours of the Estate and into the Mountains have to be booked well in advance through the website.

The image top is of the Visitor Centre with large Car Parks for Castle visits. Crathie Kirk, used by Royals, is across the road from the Visitor Centre.

The second image shows the entrance to Balmoral with the Ticket Office, about a 300 yard walk from the car parks.

There is about a 5 hundred yard walk from the Gates to the Castle. A Landrover with a Seated Trailer runs all day, every 15 minutes, transporting visitors to and from the Castle.

The main Gardens are 200 yards in front of the castle.

The Cafe is next to the Castle, and Stables Museum a short walk from the Cafe. Castle Large Image.

The Museum gives information on the history and running of the Estate with many old vehicles. There is also a section with a number of vintage Land and Range Rovers, some used by Royals.

Royal Lochnagar Distillery is half of a mile up from the Castle, turn left at the Castle entrance and follow the road uphill.

The 3,789ft /1,155m Lochnagar Mountain is situated in the Balmoral Estate. Information on hiking the mountain Lochnagar Hike.

Crathie Kirk is by the Information Centre, free to visit although donations are encouraged. Large Image.

Old Invercauld Bridge is 6 miles west of Balmoral Castle towards Braemar. This 1750s Military Bridge is one of the most scenic old Bridges in Scotland. The Bridge is directly across the road from the entrance to Invercauld Estate. There is little car parking though. Large Image.

Balmoral Castle History

King Robert II 1316–1390, had a hunting lodge in this area.

1390 - the first Balmoral Castle was built for Sir William Drummond.

1400s - the Estate was sold to Alexander Gordon, 3rd Earl of Huntly.

1400s? - a Church was built in this area close to the River Dee.

1662 - the Estate was sold to the Farquharsons of Invery.

1746 - the Jacobite Army was defeated at Culloden by Inverness. Balmoral was taken from the Farquharsons at this time as they supported the Jacobite's.

1748 - work began on Fort George by Inverness to house Troops to prevent any more Risings.

1749 - a Military Road was built leading north to Fort George, passing through the Balmoral Estate. Old Invercauld Bridge was part of this road.

1798 - Balmoral was sold to James Duff, 2nd Earl of Fife, who leased the estate to Sir Robert Gordon.

1804 - a small Church was built where Crathie Kirk stands today.

1845 - John Begg built the Lochnagar Distillery 1 mile from Balmoral Castle.

1847 - Sir Robert Gordon died.

1848 - Queen Victoria and Prince Albert take on the lease of Balmoral.

1848 - the Lochnagar Distillery was awarded its Royal Warrant after Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, and their Children visited.

1852 - Queen Victoria and Prince Albert bought Balmoral Estate for £32,000.

1856 - the new Balmoral Castle was completed for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The Old Castle was demolished at this time.

1893 - Crathie Kirk was built in place of the earlier Church from 1804, with Queen Victoria laying the foundation stone.

1901 - Queen Victoria dies, leading to her grandson George V taking over Balmoral.

1937 - George VI becomes King and continues to use Balmoral for family holidays.

1953 - Queen Elizabeth II becomes Queen with Balmoral being one of her favourite homes.

1968 - Queen Elizabeth opens Balmoral to the public for a few months in early summer each year.

Today - the Castle Grounds, Cafe, and Museum are open to the public for a few months in early summer when the Royals are not there.

Ballater is a Town 9 miles east of Balmoral, where many Royals shop, with the Train Station there serving as a Museum with a Royal Carriage. The Town has information on how the Royals would Travel to the area.

8th September 2022 - Queen Elizabeth died at Balmoral aged 96.

RS Home


Balmoral Castle Photos