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Balmoral Castle

Anyone have thoughts on whether to visit here? I read online that the only room open was the ballroom & gift shop, is it worth the drive?
Thanks,
Jean

Posted by
2023 posts

When we toured Balmoral there was only one room open. The gardens and grounds are gorgeous and worth seeing IMO. I think we combined the visit with a Glenlivit tour which was high on my husband's list. I never miss an opportunity to visit a castle. Be careful with the time of your visit because it will be closed to visitors if the Royals are there.

Posted by
5669 posts

Here's another take, the drive to Balmoral is beautiful in and of itself. I have not been in the castle, but I've driven in the area a couple of times. For me, it's about the Cairngorms and the River Dee and the castles near the Dee and a few stone circles thrown in. :)

Pam

Posted by
462 posts

Hi Susan, we want to do the same, visit Balmoral Castle then stop at for Glenlivit tour on our way to Grantown-On-Spey! Trouble is I can't find an address for Glenlivit as there is more than one Distillery. Is the Distillery actually in the town of Glenlivit? Do you have to prebook a tour?
Thanks for any info you can provide...
Jean

Posted by
2023 posts

We visited Glenlivit before Balmoral (a bit north of Balmoral)--actually had been to Cawdor Castle prior. We used Rough Guide for our Scotland travels--very detailed. I don't remember Glenlivit being in a town--stands in the countryside--B9008 to Tomintoul. If you have a detailed map you can find it. It was a nice tour and also very nice is Glenfiddich which is close to Dufftown--along the same road you could tour a cooperage as well as Walker's Shortbread. According to notes in a travel diary I have described the road to Glenlivit being winding and sparsely traveled. Beautiful drive and worth it!

Posted by
185 posts

I live very close to Balmoral Castle and can confirm only one room of the castle proper (the ballroom) is open to the public. There are exhibitions in the stables area, a short film to see and you also get the use of an audioguide to take around with you. This will add more to your experience and help you understand the history of Balmoral and how the modern estate is run. My advice is to spend a couple of hours at least on the site to get the most out of it.

There are four marked walks in the grounds and gardens which should not be dismissed, unless the weather is very wet. A combination of the blue and red walks will take you away from the castle gardens and into the woodlands where you have a good chance of seeing red squirrels and birdlife. The yellow and green walks are more on the flat and take in gardens and a nice walk near to the river Dee.

It would be a good idea to combine a visit to Balmoral with a distillery visit to either Glenlivet or Glenfiddich on the same day. Both to my knowledge have free entry and you do get to try a dram at the end of the tour. However Scotland has very strict drink drive laws now and whilst a dram at a distillery might not put you over the limit another drink somewhere else afterwards might.

The drive from Glenlivet along the A939 to Balmoral is fabulous and I recommend it to anyone.

Hope this helps.