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Base for two nights in Aberdeenshire...Ballater?

I am planning a trip to Scotland with my grandfather next April, and we want to include a couple of nights in Aberdeenshire. I'm looking for a nice, smaller town to base out of. We will be driving in from Edinburgh (via St. Andrews) and then will be heading up to Inverness. We plan on visiting Glen Garioch Distillery as well as some of the castles in the area. I was thinking about Ballater, but wanted other opinions as well. Just needs to be a place with a decent amount of nice B&Bs, restaurants/pubs, etc. Any recommendations would be most appreciated.

Posted by
171 posts

I have been thru Ballater a couple of times. On one trip we spennt the night at the Deeside Inn which is a B&B/Small Inn. The served a wonderful dinner. On another trip we were driving from Aviemore to Aberdeen and stopped for lunch in Ballater- There were several choices of places to eat but we ate at a sandwich shop. Not sure about pubs. Lots of castles in the area. Balmoral near by if open. We stopped at Glamis and Donnottar castles on our way back to Edinburgh. Also visited Crathes and some others. Ballater is probably the largest "small" town in the area. Braemar would be my 2nd choice but that is getting farther away fron your distillery tour but their are distilleries all over Scotland.

Posted by
5669 posts

I stayed on Ballater and liked it. It was a good base for castles in Aberdeenshire. I stayed in a small hotel right on the Dee by the bridge. The innkeeper was still distraught over the new no-smoking laws. It was funny as his restaurant was packed. BTW there are some lovely galleries. I liked the Knock Gallery and the Syllavethy Gallery. I bought a picture at the latter that I'm enjoying looking at right now, and a print that's over my shoulder at the Knock. Pam

Posted by
13 posts

Thanks to both of you for your input! It sounds like Ballater will make a great base for the area. Looking forward to it!