Scotland Travel

Balmoral

Balmoral is the Scottish holiday home to the Royal Family. Bought for Queen Victoria by Prince Albert in 1852, is the private property of Queen Elizabeth. I discovered by chance that it can be visited when the Queen is not in residence, when we were in our holiday in Scotland. So, we’ve decided to visit the castle and we’ve adjusted our schedule to do that. There is an audio guide included in the price and is worth taking one.

Balmoral

Inside Balmoral we were not allowed to take pictures, in the few rooms we could see. So, enjoy the pictures from the estate and restaurant. I couldn’t visit Balmoral without having a slice of Victoria sponge, could I? Also, we were a bit hungry and we had a lovely vegetarian meal, with produce from the estate.

Balmoral estate

Pannier baskets on Display at Balmoral

These pannier baskets have been used on the estate since Queen Victoria owned it. The ponies can walk on land that is not accessible by vehicles. They can carry up to 89kg, quite impressive.

In the short movie about the estate, is also talked about hunting. It was interesting to find out that deer hunting is necessary on the estate, so there is enough food for the animals that are left and, of course, diseases don’t spread out due to overcrowding. As we know, deer have no natural predators since wolfs were all killed centuries ago.

Display at Balmoral

This is a model started by HRH Duke of Edinburgh and Mr Dawnay in 1954 and it was completed by Sgt. Gleed in 1989.

Display at Balmoral

 Car Display at Balmoral

Balmoral Estate

Greenhouse at Balmoral

Figs in the greenhouse at Balmoral

Kitchen Garden

Bee on a flower

Wooden cottage at Balmoral

Detail of beam at the wooden cottage at Balmoral

Balmoral castle

Balmoral castle

Lunch at Balmoral

The address of the Balmoral Estates is Ballater, Aberdeenshire, AB35 5TB. Balmoral is located mid way between Ballater and Braemar, just off the A93. There is an ample car park, with designated spaces for camper-vans and caravans.
The prices are £11.50 for adults and £6 for children. This year, Balmoral can be visited from 1st April until 31st July.

5 Comment

  1. Wonderful photos! My favorite is the second one showing that door tucked away under the berm. Do you know what was behind the door?

    Despite being an animal lover, I do believe in hunting and agree it’s necessary for proper game management. I don’t hunt very often anymore, but have done my share of it (deer, ducks, geese, dove, squirrels) and always made sure the harvest wasn’t wasted. Even though I never cared for the taste of wild game in my carnivore days, I was always willing to cook it for others. Folks who oppose hunting don’t realize what a horrible death it is for the animals if they become overpopulated and die from disease or starvation.

    1. I imagine is an ice house, like I’ve seen on other estates. Ice houses were used to store ice imported from Canada or Norway, until it was chopped in smaller pieces to use in ice boxes before the fridge was invented.

      I’m an ethical vegetarian because I can’t kill animals myself, so it would have been hypocritical of me to pay someone else to do for me (as in butcher). But, at the same time, I’m pro hunting for the reasons you’ve mentioned. What would the alternative be? Introduce wolfs in the Scottish highlands?
      The Queen eats from her estates, as does Prince Charles, so the carcasses are not wasted. The produce is also sold. Prince Charles does something similar with his estate in Tetbury.

  2. That seems like a more reasonable price than many of the historic properties. Quite beautiful. I have been reading a biography of Elizabeth and Margaret and there are many descriptions and background on Balmoral’s dark interior (at least as of their childhoods; much could have changed since then) and the grounds. So it’s interesting to see this so close to reading that book; really makes it come to life. I like the various displays you showed and went back several times to the model and then the wide shots. As always, you have beautiful photos.

  3. A stunning estate! That is wonderful that the produce is grown right there and served at the restaurant. We have the same problem with deer here. We often see them on the side of the road after being killed by cars. They live a difficult life. The exhibits look amazing here and of course the fresh produce!

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