Braemar, Royal Deeside & the Cairngorms
Braemar is situated in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park and close to Balmoral Castle in Royal Deeside. Our lovely village is surrounded by stunning mountain scenery, with beautiful glens, ancient pine forests and meandering rivers with an abundance of wildlife.
Braemar is a ideal place to come and enjoy walking, climbing, wildlife watching, cycling, canoeing, fishing, stalking, golf and skiing and sightseeing. Within close proximity to over a quarter of Scotland’s Munros, and home to some of Scotland's most iconic wildlife, the area has been the inspiration to countless people for generations.
The village is known around the world for the annual Braemar Gathering. The event attracts around 15,000 people on the first Saturday in September each year and has the patronage of Her Majesty the Queen.
Braemar is situated on the tourist route from Perth to Aberdeen, which climbs over the Cairnwell Pass, the highest A road in the country. The new viewpoint at the famous Devils Elbow is a must see when you are here.
Braemar has been strategically important in history since very early times. Hill passes, from the north, south, east and west converge where the modern village now stands. The earliest settlement is believed to have been near the raised mound where Braemar Castle is now situated. The first church dedicated to St Andrew in Scotland was built here and the area came to be known as St Andrews.
In the 11th century, King Malcolm Canmore built a fine hunting lodge on the banks of the Clunie and is credited with being the first to use a competitive hill race to find his best soldiers, a tradition which lives on in the annual Braemar Gathering.
Kindrochit Castle is known to have been in regular use by Scottish kings until the 16th century. Around the castle, grew up the village of Castleton on Invercauld Estate which along with Auchendryne (field of the thorns) on Mar Estate forms the modern Braemar.
By the 17th century, Kindrochit was ruinous and a new Castle of Marr was built by the Earl of Mar, near the site of the original St Andrews. In 1715, the Earl of Mar gave the village a lasting place in the history of Scotland when he raised the standard to start the 1715 Jacobite uprising.
back to main activities page