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Planning for your visit to Braemar

It's that time of year again when the days are getting longer, the flowers and trees start to wake up, the birds start to nest, and our thoughts turn to planning trips away. Whether Caravan, Motorhome, Campervan, tent or staying in one of our Camping pods, Braemar Caravan Park is a fantastic place to stay, in such a beautiful location in the Cairngorms National Park.

There are so many opportunities for exploring and outdoor adventures on our doorstep, and there are also many places to visit, both well established favourites like Braemar Castle and Balmoral Castle, The Braemar Gathering and a number of new places to visit. 

The New Braemar Highland Games centre opened on the 15th March. The centre has an exhibition hall, Gallery, Café, Shop and Archive. You can discover all about the world famous Braemar Gathering which has been an annual event since 1832.

For a small village there is a really great choice of places to eat out, whether for Breakfast, lunch or dinner; casual quick bites to eat, coffee and cake, or a special occasion. The much anticipated opening of the Fife arms has the already infamous 'Flying Stag', a cocktail bar, Drawing room for High tea and the Clunie dining room for that special evening meal. There is a café in the Braemar Highland Games centre cafe, the much loved favourites Bothy and Taste, The Bistro and more, will soon be joined by Farquharsons Bar and Kitchen. For more information on eating out in Braemar Visit the VisitBraemar page.

And why not enjoy the spectacular routes of the Snow roads and the North East 250 while you're in the area. These routes will take you through some breath taking scenery, to some wonderful villages, where you can explore the amazing variety of the North East of Scotland.

Whatever you do when you are in Braemar, it'll make you want to keep coming back again and again.

See you soon.

 

Autumn at Braemar Caravan Park

 

Autumn is a really magical time at Braemar Caravan Park. There might be a few more wet and windy days than Summer, but there so much to see and do, it's well worth a visit to enjoy this very special time of year.

The colours of the landscape are spectacular, and change every day. The deep golds and Rich reds of the Rowan, the bright Yellow Aspen, the chestnut browns of the Beech to name but a few. Braemar Caravan Park has a variety of trees on the site, which attract lots of different Wildlife; Red Squirrels which gorge on the Hazel nuts and Scots Pine Cones; Black Birds, Red Wings and Mistle Thrushes enjoying the Rowan Berries; Long tailed Tits, Great Tits, Coal Tits and Blue Tits, Tree Creepers, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Tawny Owl, all on site feeding themselves up preparing for the long Winter ahead.

And if you're lucky you'll catch a glimpse of the cheeky Stoats and Weasels darting around in the evening light to find some food, or the Pippistrelle Bats flying around the lights to feed on the insects. 

In the woods opposite Braemar Caravan Park on the flanks of Creag Choinnich, there's a brilliant Nature trail which guides you round some fantastic habitats.

 

October is also a brilliant month to Visit Braemar if creativity is your thing. The annual Braemar Creative Arts Festival hosts an amazing variety of workshops and events to get your creativity flowing. This year is no exception and has many new arts and crafts on offer to try, it's hard to choose what to choose, but whatever you choose will be fantastic. Whether you are interested in creative writing, drama, music, dance or crafting, there is something for everyone. This years festival starts on the 24th October and finishes on the 28th October with Braemarket, a craft fair in the Village hall which is a great opportunity to get some unique christmas presents in early.

If you normally come camping in a tent but are unsure about being under canvas as the seasons change, our Braemar Caravan Park Camping pods offer a comfortable, warm, cosy alternative. The Pods are heated, insulated, carpeted, thick curtains, comfy mattresses and have a microwave, kettle and a mini-fridge. Book your camping pod break now.

Braemar Caravan Park is open until the 28th October 2018 and reopens on the 1st December 2018, so we're only closed for a few weeks before the Winter season begins. 

Looking to the future with Invercauld Estate

Braemar Caravan Park has been operating since around 1984, and since 2013 has been managed by Invercauld Estate. 

Invercauld Estate has been in the ownership of the Farquharson family since before 1432. The current laird, Captain Alwyne Farquharson of Invercauld is the 16th laird and chieftain of the Clan Farquharson.

The Estate covers around 200 Square Miles of amazing landscapes in the Cairngorms National Park. The Estate is run as a trust with the guidance of the Farquharson family

Invercauld Estate is located in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park , in spectacular Royal Deeside. The Estate is managed commercially but with great respect for the natural environment.


Invercauld Estate is a sporting Estate and is world renowned for grouse shoots, deer stalking and salmon fishing. The native Caledonian Scots Pine provides the backdrop for rolling heather covered mountains leading up to a number of Munros. 

Invercauld Estate plays a significant role in the community of Braemar, and in the last two years have been carrying out a masterplan to identify the potential developments for the future of Braemar to help ensure a sustainable, thriving community. 

On the 4th September 2018 between 2:30 - 4:30pm or 5:30-7:15pm at Castleton hall, the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) will be holding a consultation event to set out proposals for Braemars future in its Local development plan. CNPA has suggested that some land at the North East of the village should be made available for development.

Invercauld Estate owns this land and is now preparing proposals for consideration by CNPA. Invercauld Estate invites you to give your views on  how a development in the village might meet the needs of Braemars residents, businesses and visitors.

 

 

Braemar Caravan Park Fog Pods.....What's a Fog Pod???

Braemar Caravan Park Camping Pods are truly unique and a great place to stay. We often get asked why we call them Fog Pods, so we thought we'd explain.

Braemar Caravan Park and Camping Pods is operated by Invercauld Estate. A large estate spanning some 200 Square miles in the Cairngorms National Park, with Braemar at its Heart. Invercauld Estate has been in the ownership of the Farquharson family for over 500 years, and dotted throughout the Estate are a number of little 'Fog Houses'. 

Fog houses are little follys, huts to have a picnic and take a break. Fog Houses on Invercauld estate are decorative wooden structures with a Heather thatch roof. You can visit 2 of the Estate Fog houses during your visit to Braemar. One is next to Braemar Castle, another is in the woodland behind Keiloch Crag, where there is a fantastic waymarked trail you can walk and you'll discover a Fog House perched on a hill with spectacular views down the river Dee. 

The reason for them being called a Fog House is uncertain. Some say ‘fog’ is anglicised from the word ‘Feugh’, which is a traditional Deeside thatched longhouse. Others state that ‘Fog’ derives from the Scots word for Moss, which was used for making the walls and roof. Others have said that because many of Scotland’s fog houses are close to water sources, the spray from nearby waterfalls appears like a fog, although the Fog houses of Braemar are not close enough to water.

Braemar Caravan Park Fog Pods are a modern version of Invercauld Estate Fog Houses. They are designed and built by Invercauld Estate on Invercauld estate, so are unique to us. They are a really comfortable, warm, cosy and relaxing place to stay while visiting Braemar. They sleep four people, with comfortable mattresses and they are equipped with a microwave, Kettle and mini-fridge, table and chairs, Sockets with USB ports and Wifi is available. 

They have a decking area where you can sit and look at the spectacular views in comfort.

So whether you're looking for more comfort than a tent, or are unable to tow a caravan, and you don't have a motorhome or campervan, Braemar Caravan Park Fog Pods are a great place to relax and unwind and enjoy your holiday.

To find out more and book your stay in the Fog Pods at Braemar Caravan Park, visit our website for more information.

Summer holidays at Braemar Caravan Park

Summer has well and truly arrived at Braemar Caravan Park. Winter was really late.....and long, but the sun has been shining for weeks on end to make up for it. 

We've been welcoming folk from all over the world, in Caravans, Motorhomes, tents, trailer tents, teepees and of coarse our Camping pods. 

The School holidays have begun and with the great weather conditions, many folk are visiting Braemar to enjoy some fantastic walking, cycling, visits to some of the amazing places and venues in the area such as Braemar Castle, Balmoral Castle and Royal Lochnagar distillery.

There are a number of new Scenic routes which have been mapped out to help guide you around some of the most spectacular landscapes of Scotland, and these routes have brought many people to enjoy Braemar.

The Snow Roads is an amazing drive which starts at Blairgowrie and finishes in Grantown on Spey. The Snow roads should be enjoyed at a slow and steady pace as there is so much to see, places to visit on the way, and amazing views to take in.

The Snow roads passes through some of the most spectacular landscapes of the Cairngorms National Park. You will travel through Glenshee, along the A93 - the highest A road in Britain, then travel along the A939 through Cock Bridge, the Lecht and Tomintoul, and arriving in the final destination of Grantown on Spey. There are 3 installations on the route which help you to make the most of your time exploring, called Connecting contours, The Watchers, and 'Still'. They are positioned in such beautiful locations you can sit and enjoy the view for hours. Download the route map and get planning your journey.

North East 250 is a new road route to help you explore Aberdeenshire and Moray. It is an area so diverse, for Landscapes, culture, History, Natural History, breathtaking coast and of coast through Whisky Country of Speyside. Aberdeen is a good place to start the North East 250, then head West through Royal Deeside to Braemar, in the Cairngorms National Park, before heading North towards Speyside and the Moray Coast, then head East along the coast, passing some fantastic coastal villages, before returning to Aberdeen. It really is a beautiful journey and well worth taking your time to enjoy.

Braemar is not part of the North Coast 500, but many folk have taken the opportunity to visit many of the places you pass through while driving both the Snow roads and the North East 250, on route to or from the NC500.

Scotland is such a stunningly beautiful, welcoming, interesting and culturally diverse country that it would be a shame to rush the journey. Take your time, visit some amazing places, try some of the delicious local foods, visit some unique and globally important places, and enjoy some time to relax. 

We hope to see you at Braemar Caravan Park, either while you're exploring on a scenic route or coming to Braemar Caravan Park for a holiday in this fantastic area.

 

Top 5 things to do in Braemar: For all of the family

Braemar is located in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park in the Highlands of Scotland and is the perfect location to get outside and explore the massive wide open spaces and really explore nature and the outdoors, there is so much to see and do for the whole family.

Here is our top 5 suggestions of things to do this Summer with all of the family for your Highland Holiday adventure.

1. Cairngorms Nature Big Weekend. 

Braemar is a fantastic place to explore the environment and watch wildlife, and it is home to some of the Highlands most iconic wildlife. Braemar wants to celebrate this unique and special area and is holding a number of events and activities for the Cairngorms Nature Big Weekend on the 11th - 13th May 2018.

There's a whole range of fantastic activities and events activities celebrating the Natural heritage of the Cairngorms National Park, including Tree Folklore, Falconry, Mountain Biking, family Butterfly workshop, bat and bird box building, orienteering, and there's even a Ceilidh where you can get your dancing shoes on. For more information about the programme of events, visit Cairngorms Nature Big Weekend.

The event hub is at the Highland Games park in Braemar Village, and there will be a minibus available to take you from Braemar to the Linn of Dee. 

2. Explore the New Braemar Nature Trail. 

Braemar has such a diversity of Wildlife and in the different habitats in and around the Village, it can be difficult to know where to look first. The New Nature Trail in Braemar, in the woods of Creag Choinnich is designed so you can explore some spectacular habitats, and you may see Red Squirrels, Red and Roe Deer, Damselflies, Dragonflies, Woodants, so many different bird species, and much more. You can get a map of the Nature Trail from the Visit Scotland information centre in the Mews.

3. Visit Braemar Castle.

Braemar Castle is a fascinating castle to visit and an ideal place to visit with the whole family. Braemar Castle dates back nearly 400 years and is the only castle in Scotland which is run by the local community. The Castle was originally built as a hunting lodge for the Earl of Mar in 1628 but for the last 200 years it was home to the chief of Clan Farquharson. in 2007 Braemar Castle was taken over by the Braemar Community. 

You can have a guided tour around the castle or make your own way around. For the younger children there is a Kilted Teddy bear hunt and for older children a Quiz. 

4. Go for a Picnic

There's some fantastic places in Braemar to explore with all of the family, where you can sit and relax and watch the world go by while having a Picnic.

To make your picnic there is so much delicious local produce to choose from; delicious bread and Croissants from Highlanders Bakehouse, Cheese from Cambus o'May cheese factory, pies and sausage rolls from the Butcher in Braemar, and lots of delicious goodies from Taste.

Take a Picnic blanket or find one of the benches scattered around the village. Some of our favourite spots for a Picnic are Loch Callater, The Morrone Birkwoods, The River Dee Walk and the Viewpoint on the Lions face walk. There are many more perfect picnic spots, so why not get outside and explore to find your favourite.

5. Braemar Junior Highland Games

Braemar is home to one of the biggest and most spectacular Highland Games in Scotland - the Braemar Gathering. But did you know there is also a Junior Highland Games every July. This year it is being held on the 14th July 2018.

Braemar Junior Highland Games is organised annually to allow children between the ages of 5 and 18 the opportunity to participate in Highland games events normally reserved for adults. 

The emphasis is on having fun and having a go. There is lessons in a number of traditional Highland games events, overseen by qualified instructors. Children also have the opportunity to try Highland dancing, heavy events such as tossing the caber and throwing the hammer, tug o war and running races. There are Competitions for solo piping, solo drumming, Highland dancing and cross country running races.

It's a fantastic day out whatever age, come and join in and cheer.

There is so much more to see and do in Braemar for all of the family, and Braemar Caravan Park is a perfect location to base yourself. Book your break now.

Top 5 things to do in Braemar: For those who love exploring the outdoors

Braemar is such a special, awe inspiring area, so for those who love getting out in to the hills, Braemar Caravan Park is the ideal base. It's so hard to choose a top 5 for exploring the outdoors, so this list is by no means exhaustive, but if you're time limited and can only fit in limited time for exploring, here is our top 5.

1. Take a walk up Morrone. Morrone towers over Braemar Caravan Park, tempting you the whole time to take a walk up it. It's a beautiful walk, about 8.5 miles, and there are spectacular views from the top. 

 

2. Visit Loch Callater. Glen callater is an amazing and special place. The walk/cycle from Auchallater to Loch Callater is 3 miles each way along a track, and is an easy going walk. Glen Callater is home to some amazing wildlife, including Red Deer, Mountain Hare, Curlews and Wheatears, Dippers, Ring Ouzel and so much more. Once you reach Loch Callater the views are incredible and it's quite easy to take hundreds of photos! 

3. Cycle or drive to the Linn of Dee, then walk or cycle to Derry Lodge (and beyond). The Linn of Dee is on the Mar estate, where you can start your walk along Glen Derry to Derry Lodge, an old shooting lodge. 

4. If you want to explore and photograph the iconic Highland Landscape we are blessed with in the Cairngorms, then a day out with Steven Rennie Photography is a must. Steven offers bespoke photography tours on Invercauld Estate. Steve can provide tuition for the beginner to the advanced photographer. Get in touch with Steven for more information.

If you want to go for some more strenuous walks and you would like some guidance, get in touch with Hillgoers who can guide you to some amazing places, and help teach you some navigation and hill skills at the same time. There are a number of planned events throughout the year, such as a walk through the Lairig Ghru, or up some of the Munros in the area, or get in touch hillgoers if you want a bespoke guided walk.

5. This definitely has to be on the list. Our lives are getting increasingly busy and pressurised, and the constant connection to phones and internet, although can be really useful, can also play havoc with you peace of mind and wellbeing.

So one of our top 5 things to do in Braemar is to turn off your phone and other devices you may be connected to, and put them away in your bag. Take a walk in to quiet spot (this is something quite personal to each of us and really hard to choose from in Braemar as there are so many beautiful spots, like the Morrone Birkwoods, a quiet spot on the top of Creag Choinnich, or by the river Dee). Just take some time to look at the view, listen to the birds, watch the wildlife, look at the wildflowers, or just close your eyes.

The pressures of daily life can get overwhelming and just taking some time out, in the peace and quiet of nature, can be like a reset button and can make you feel completely refreshed. 

The most important this is to enjoy yourself. Happy holidays everyone.

Things to do in Braemar: Top 5 short walks

Braemar is an amazing place and there is so much to do whether you are interested in walking, cycling, wildlife watching, visiting castles or distilleries, and so much more. We can't fit it all in one blog so we'll be doing a series of top 5 things to do.

This is our top 5 short walks. Braemar is a beautiful place and Braemar Caravan Park has so many walks on our doorstep that it's easy to pitch up and not have to get behind the wheel again until it's time to go home or move on.

Invercauld Estate and Braemar Caravan Park have produced a booklet of walks which you can start from Braemar Caravan Park, which will soon be for sale in the on site shop. We also stock local OS maps and other books and guides of Braemar and the Cairngorms. We all love walking and cycling, so pop in for a chat and we're more than happy to point you in the right direction of our favourite places to walk.

Walks from Braemar Caravan Park book details these walks and a few more:

1. Braemar Village Loop; approximately 1.5 miles

If you've had a long journey and you need to get out to stretch your legs for some fresh air, this walk is perfect. It is an easy walk, on good surfaces, and takes you in to the village if you need any supplies.

2. Queens Drive; Approximately 2.5miles

A walk which gives spectacular views of Braemar, Ben Avon, Morrone and many other mountains of the Cairngorms. It also takes you through the Pine woods on the slopes of Creag Choinnich. There are gentle inclines and some uneven paths.

 

3.Lions Face: Approximately 4 miles

An extension of the Queens Drive walk, this route also gives fantastic views, takes you through woodland, and you can pop in to Braemar Castle on route. There are gentle inclines, some uneven surfaces and some steps on route.

4. River Dee walk: Approximately 3 miles

Another wonderful route on the banks of the River Dee. Fantastic for watching wildlife. The route is flat and even.

5. Morrone Birkwoods: Approximately 3 miles or 5 miles.

A slightly longer route which visits some really special habitats in the Morrone Birkwoods. There's so much opportunity for watching wildlife and the views are breathtaking. The route has steady inclines and some uneven surfaces which can be wet in places. Well worth every step.

These are just some of the walking routes, and there are many many more. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Happy walking everyone.  

Camping and Caravan holidays with your dog

Camping and Caravanning (Campervan/trailer tent/rooftop tent/Teepee also very welcome - but that'd be a long title!) is a way of life for many; whether you spend all your free time on campsites exploring this beautiful country, or have a planned few weeks in which to enjoy your holidays, it's important to know that when you arrive that you'll feel welcomed and relaxed, whether you travel solo, as a couple or as a family, and your pets are included as part of your family. 

We regularly have enquiries about whether we allow dogs, and the answer is yes we most certainly do. Braemar Caravan Park is a dog friendly campsite, whether you are bringing your own caravan, motorhome or tent, or you are staying in one of our camping pods. 

Braemar Caravan Park has a dog walk on site which is perfect for a quick stretch and toilet break in the mornings and evenings, and on the doorstep of Braemar Caravan Park there are walking routes a plenty, whether you prefer something more strenuous and challenging or a low level gentle stroll. We have two dogs who love exploring and we are happy to point you in the right direction when you're looking for walks that are suitable to do with your dog.

One of our dogs favourite walks is the Queens drive and the Lions face. Both are circular walks from Braemar Caravan Park which give breathtaking views in every direction. The Queens drive is just over 2 miles and if you add on the Lions face section it is around 4 miles. The walk takes you on well signposted tracks, which have sections which are a bit uneven with the odd hill in places. And if you want to walk up a wee hill with a lot of character, the summit of Creag Choinnich is just a mile from Braemar Caravan Park, and the views from the top are out of this world. It's a bit steep in the final section, but well worth it.

Braemar has a few places where you can go for a meal and you can include your dog. Moorfield House hotel has a great bar and serves fantastic meals. Invercauld arms welcomes dogs in to the foyer bar, The Bistro has an outdoor area in which you can take your dog. Some of the shops in the Village are happy for you to take your dog in with you if you're browsing, including the Wild Thistle, which has so many lovely things it makes you keep saying oooh, Braemar Mountain Sports and The Newsagent/Pharmacy...and of course Braemar Caravan Park Reception and shop.

We do love dogs and welcome them with open arms, but we do have some important information to highlight when you are bringing your dog to Braemar Caravan Park: Please Please ensure you clean up after your dog. We have a dog walk on site, and there is a poo bin as you enter/exit. You need to clean up after your dog in the dog walk as well as the Caravan Park and indeed when you're out exploring the village and beyond.  We have dog poo bags available in the shop at Braemar Caravan Park, and there are bins available to dispose of the bags. Please do not leave dog poo.

Dogs should be kept on a lead while on the Caravan Park. Dogs are a bit like us in that some do not like to be petted by everyone or greeted by all dogs that are passing. Some dogs may be nervous, recovering from illness or injury, or may be elderly or reactive in certain situations. Some people are also scared of dogs so respect other guests on the caravan park and always have your dog on a lead and under control.

Braemar and the surrounding area has a large population of Deer, Hare and many other wild animals, as well as having sheep and cattle roaming and in enclosed fields. Always ensure you have your dog under control to prevent any worrying of wild animals or livestock. If you're unsure or you see livestock in the fields or on the hills, keep you dog on a lead and under control.

In the event of an emergency  Morven Vets is a very good vets in Ballater or Alford, hopefully you'll never have to use them but it's good to be prepared.

Above all, book now and have a fantastic holiday at Braemar Caravan Park.

A New Year for Braemar Caravan Park

Braemar Caravan Park has been welcoming people for many years, and over the years there's been a number of changes, but what remains at the heart of Braemar Caravan Park is that we welcome people to come and stay with us in the beautiful surroundings of Invercauld Estate in the Cairngorms National Park, whether you want to stay in a caravan, Motorhome, tent, or one of our Camping 'Fog' Pods. 

Braemar Caravan Park has been open since around 1984; the exact date seems to be a mystery, but the Caravan Park has been here in one form or another for over 30 years.

The Land on which Braemar Caravan Park is situated, has been part of Invercauld Estate for generations. For many years, The Caravan Club leased the land and set up Invercauld Caravan Club site. 

In 2013, The Caravan Club terminated the running of the Caravan Park and Invercauld Estate took over the management, and around that time it became known as Braemar Caravan Park.

Braemar Caravan Park continued to be affiliated to The Caravan Club for a few years, but in December 2017, Invercauld Estate decided to end the affiliation and that Braemar Caravan Park will continue to be a campsite which welcomes all those who want to enjoy the fantastic scenery, the amazing walking opportunities, wildlife watching opportunities and explore the amazing rich history and culture on our doorstep - and that Membership of a club is not required.

Scotland has hundreds of fantastic Campsites which are located in some truly spectacular areas, some of the sites are run by Clubs, many are independent and unique - get out there and explore. If you're staying with us and you're planning a tour, pop in to reception and we're happy to share with you some of our favourite campsites we've stayed on throughout Scotland.

Invercauld Estate is investing in the future of Braemar Caravan Park to ensure we continue to offer great facilities, on a Caravan Park with a special atmosphere in a spectacular location. Invercauld Estate has over 200 square miles of amazing landscapes, set in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, and we want to ensure that people are welcomed without the need for a membership - but of course members of the numerous camping and caravanning clubs, are welcome with open arms too. 

In the last 3 years, extensive improvements have been carried out, to ensure Braemar Caravan Park is a fantastic place to be. We have a new reception and shop selling Camping and caravanning equipment, food and drink, and local arts and crafts. We have fantastic bread delivered daily from the Highlanders Bakehouse, and beautiful soaps from Deeside Soap Company.

We've designed and built 6 new Camping 'Fog' Pods; Beautiful and unique camping pods which are a brilliant alternative if you don't want to tow a caravan, or don't want to carry a tent and spend the time setting it up. They're heated, have comfortable beds, and have a mini-fridge, microwave and kettle. Perfect for a comfortable break.

Behind the scenes we've refit the showers, fitted new electrics, gas, and water pipes, renewed all of the fencing and much more.

The work will continue as we strive to make Braemar Caravan Park one of the best Caravan Parks around.  We are open 11 months of the year, only closing in November for a short break.

We love Braemar Caravan Park and we want to welcome and share this beautiful site with you, so why not come and visit, we look forward to seeing you. Why not book your break now. 

Happy New Year from the team at Braemar Caravan Park and Invercauld Estate.