Explore Royal Deeside
With its stunning landscapes, varied activities and picturesque walks and hikes, Royal Deeside is a location with many gems and so much to offer. Guests will be spoilt for choice with the blend of majestic countryside, outdoor attractions and sporting activities. It is little wonder that the iconic holiday retreat of the Royal Family, Balmoral Castle, is located at its heart. The castle’s grounds and ballroom are open to visitors from the beginning of April until the end of July. The eastern Cairngorms, with the National Park at its centre, have everything from great drives, castles, distilleries, lochs and rivers to a wealth of outdoor activities – walking, biking, golfing, skiing, fishing and wildlife watching, to name but a few.
If you’re heading out we can provide you with a picnic. Please just ask at reception during your stay.
There are many stunning walks in the area around Darroch Learg. Many of these can be accessed on foot from the hotel with others a short drive away. Some favourites include; Craigendarroch, Loch Muick, Lochnagar and the Seven Bridges.
Balmoral Castle, the Scottish holiday home to the Royal Family, is located 8 miles from Ballater. The grounds, gardens, exhibition and cafe are open from April until early August - when the Royal Family arrive. Check the website for exact dates.
There are some fantastic local tour guides who can show you the very best of the local area. Tours can be arranged for walking, fishing or wildlife spotting.
Ballater’s 18 hole golf course is a short 5 minute drive from Darroch Learg. The golf course is located beside the River Dee with stunning views of the surrounding hills.
There are plenty of cycle friendly routes in the local area of all degrees of difficulty. Bikes can be rented in the village of Ballater.
The local distillery of Royal Lochnagar is located 8 miles from Ballater and the Darroch Learg Hotel and one mile from Balmoral Castle. It sits at the foot of the Cairngorm mountains, fed by the crystal clear water of the Scarnock springs. A range of tours are available on their website.
There are two ski centres located near to Ballater. The Lecht is 17 miles from Ballater and Glenshee is 25 miles. Summer activities are also available.