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Castle Braemar Scotland

Yet another shot of this beautiful castle, which has a free car park, by the way (which is not your typical setup when visiting castles in Scotland).

Balmoral Castle

These are the main gates of Balmoral Castle, the Scottish residence of the Royal Family during summer since 1852. We decided to not visit the castle as you just see one room of it (the Ballroom), which makes the price of £7.00 per person a bit, well, hefty. The car park is £0.70, so two adults and one car are £14.70 - too much, we think.

Crathie Kirk

But wait! While you are at Balmoral, you can visit the beautiful Crathie Kirk opposite the castle at the A93, overlooking the Glen Gelder. On the first Sunday of August, the Queen usually visits the service at 11.30 am, and there are long queues of people waiting to get into the tiny church on this day. So if you want to see her, you'll have to get up early!

Crathie Church View

The excellent view across Glen Gelder from Crathie Church. If you look closely, you will recognize a pyramid on the left side. This is a granite pyramid erected by Queen Victoria in memory of Prince Albert after his death in 1861. She reputedly spent many hours at the distinctive monument.

Glen Muick

We then came to the village of Ballater, which is also a good place to stay for your trip to the Grampian Mountains. You should definitely go and see Glen Muick and Loch Muick, which are just a short drive away from Ballater. This is one of the many beautiful views of Glen Muick.

Loch Muick

Loch Muick glistening in the distance - and the mountain Lochnagar to the right. Queen Victoria was here quite often, and we recommend to come here as well while you are in Ballater!

Glen Muick

A view back from Loch Muick across Glen Muick.

Loch Muick Deer

On our way back from the Loch, we came across these deer. Well, I had to use my 300mm telephoto lense to catch them, but it was quite nice to see them liberated in nature.

Ballater Scotland

Glenmuick Church in the centre of Ballater. Once all the day-tourists are gone, the village suddenly becomes quite calm and almost falls asleep, except for young guys showing off their pimped-up cars in front of the church. :-)

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