Royal Deeside

Explore the area


Deeside is where Aberdeenshire meets the Cairngorms National Park, and where the snow-fed River Dee starts its journey from the mountains to the sea. You can roam for miles across grand highland estates – beneath wind-washed cathedral pines, by still, dark lochs, along crystal-clear rivers where salmon come to spawn.

Traditions – and roots – run deep here. Communities are strong. Doric – the language, poetry and especially the music – is alive. Along the valley, every village has its Highland Games.

The clans that gathered here centuries ago still gather today. Granite walls, legendary castles
and mysterious standing stones tell a long history of settlement. This is a landscape shaped and stewarded by hundreds of generations of hunters, farmers, foresters.

This heritage, this depth, these lovely landscapes and these long traditions – all combine to create
a place that feels like an embrace. 

Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire are home to an abundance of wildlife. Take a look at this fascinating video that shows you just some of the wildlife species you might come across when visiting.

Scotland's Natural Gem
Video produced on behalf of North East Scotland Biodiversity Partnership

From golfing and skiing to Highland games and farmers markets, it is all on your doorstep at Glen Tanar. Check out Visit Aberdeenshire's website for what's on across the region. Here are just some activities that are on offer:


Go Ape Crathes Castle Banchory

Deeside Gliding Club 

Renowned for being the foremost Wave soaring site in the British Isles, with the UK altitude record of 38600.

Go Ape, Crathes

Located in the grounds of an enchanting 16th-century castle, Go Ape features its very own Skateboard Zip for you to jump onboard.

Deeside Activity Park 

Offers a range of safe, friendly activities, adrenaline fuelled activities. From the most elaborate corporate house-party to a father and son quad biking or family learning archery.

Arts and Culture

The Butterworth Gallery

Butterworth Gallery 

Original fine art and high quality prints by renowned Scottish landscape artist Howard Butterworth and his daughter Mary Louise. Featuring in many private collections including the "Royal Collection" their work is treasured by many and highly sought after. 

McEwan Gallery 

Specialises in Scottish and European paintings and watercolours of the 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries by British artists.

Farmers Markets

Farmers Markets

Ballater Farmers Market

Located on the Ballater Glenmuick Church Green every 4th Saturday of every month (May - October) from 10am - 2pm.

Banchory Farmers Market

Located in Bellfield Car Park, Banchory on the 3rd Saturday of every month.


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Aboyne Golf Club 
A picturesque 18 hole course situated by the Loch of Aboyne, 15 minutes drive from Glen Tanar.

Ballater Golf Course 
An 18 hole par 70 course situated by the River Dee.

Lodge on the Loch, Aboyne 

A 9 hole course with a combination of par 3,4 and 5’s together with water hazards.

Inchmarlo Golf Course, Banchory 

A 9 hole golf course, 20 bay driving range and short game area.

Highland Games

Aboyne Games

Aboyne Highland Games 

Held annually on the first Saturday in August on the Green in Aboyne. Having run for over 140 years, the Aboyne Games have attracted thousands of visitors to witness the yearly show of Scottish culture in one of the most scenic parts of Aberdeenshire.

Ballater Victoria Week

Perfect for the family and held on the 2nd week of August every year. Events and activities include a Duck Race, Pet Show, Picnic, Sunday Parade and Fayre, Music and Outdoor Events.

Braemar Gathering

Held annually on the first Saturday in September in The Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park in Braemar.  While there have been Gatherings of one sort or another at Braemar since the days of King Malcolm Canmore, nine hundred years ago, the Gathering has been run by BRHS since 1832 and from 2011 the Gathering has been run by Braemar Royal Highland Charity.


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Glenshee Ski & Snowboard Centre

A 55 minute drive from Glen Tanar, Glenshee has 22 lifts and 36 runs offering a great day out skiing or snowboarding. Equipment can be hired on site.

Lecht 2090 Resort

A 50 minute drive from Glen Tanar. The Lecht is based 645 m above sea level and offers 12 different lifts for skiing or snowboarding. Equipment can be hired on site.



Deeside Community Centre

Located in Aboyne the centre is a 10 minute drive from Glen Tanar and has a 25 metre swimming pool and male and female changing rooms with disabled access. Please check timetables for swim times.

Hilton Craigendarroch Living Well Health Club 

Located in Ballater and a 20 minute drive from Glen Tanar. The Club offers daytime memberships and has a 55ft lagoon pool, sauna, steam room and spa bath.


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Royal Lochnagar Distillery

One of Scotland’s finest distilleries and located next to Balmoral Castle the original distillery was opened in 1826 and moved to its present site in 1841 after the original buildings were burnt down. The distillery offers regular public tours that take you through all the stages and processes of making whisky.

Dalwhinnie Distillery

Also in the Cairngorm National Park at the heart of the Scottish Highlands is the village of Dalwhinnie. From this remote but accessible location comes the Dalwhinnie 15 year old single malt scotch whisky, also known as the ‘gentle spirit’. A visit includes a distillery tour and a demonstration on how make our single malt whisky.

Tomintoul Distillery

Tomintoul Distillery is located inside the picturesque Glenlivet estate, within the whisky producing region of Speyside. The distillery is named after the nearby village of Tomintoul, the highest village in the Highlands of Scotland.

Glenlivet Distillery

Situated in a remote Glen in Ballindalloch, this is an award winning visitor centre and there are a variety of tours ranging from £10 to £60 per person.

Fettercairn Distillery

Fettercairn distillery has been in operation since 1824, making it one of Scotland's oldest malt whisky distilleries.The Distillery is snugly tucked away at the foot of the Cairngorm mountains from which it takes spring water supplies. Tours are available on the hour and half hour.

There are many more distilleries in Aberdeenshire. Read the "Secret Malts of Aberdeenshire" for more information.