Has anyone attended the Highland Games in Braemar? Where is the most convenient place to stay? I'm assuming IN Braemar, but I gather it's difficult to get a room there. I see that you can stay in Aberdeen or Dundee, but they seem a little far. I also gather driving a car from nearby & parking is a nightmare, so I'm thinking a bus? Is there anywhere closer than Aberdeen or Dundee or is that the easiest? Thanks for any input, tips or B&B suggestions.
Pitlochry has several hotels. Ballater three or four. Bunches in Aviemore.
The bus from Aberdeen is probably close to three hours and they slim down late in the day so getting back might be a problem.
There is no bus or train service from Pitlochry. Trying to avoid driving a car in from what I have read, due to parking. I know Braemar would be best, but I wonder if anyone knows how hard it is to get rooms there. When I did a quick check they looked VERY expensive, like £175/nt!
My response was to proximate places with hotels that might prove less expensive. The one transportation remark only had to do with the time and distance factor. From any of the places I mentioned I'd think you'd have to drive to Braemer.
The Gathering area is west of town and has extensive, although expensive, parking. If you enter Braemer from the north (or drive through for that matter) there's a large field on the east side of the road on the northern edge of town that becomes a huge parking lot during the games. The cost is five pounds and you have to walk about a half mile.
The chances of renting a car in any of the three places I mentioned are slim to zip as far as I know. You'd have to bring one with you from somewhere else.
Just FYI, the largest Highland Games in the U.S. take place in Pleasanton, CA over Labor Day weekend. In case you miss the ones in Braemar, or see them and get hooked on the caber toss and pipe bands.
April, If I were you I would contact VisitScotland. firstname.lastname@example.org As them about staying in nearby towns. Look and see if there is any transportation from Ballater for example. It may be that you just have to deal with the parking. :)
Also, check out the Braemar forum on TripAdvisor. Ask them about parking.