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So much to do in Braemar....part 1

Braemar is such a wonderful place to visit, not only is the scenery spectacular, the wildlife sightings amazing, and the walking and cycling routes endless, there are many places of interest and attractions to visit and experience whilst you’re here. Here is part 1 of just a few recommendations....

Natural wonders

The Linn of Dee

The Linn of Dee is where the river Dee narrows from a vast river to a natural narrow rocky gorge and the water gushes through it into a waterfall. It’s a spectacular place to visit and just a short walk from the car park. Linn of Dee is 6 miles from Braemar.

The Linn of Quoich and the Devils punchbowl

A few miles further along the road from the Linn of Dee is the Linn of Quoich, where Quoich water narrows to a natural rocky gorge, creating another impressive waterfall. At the Linn of Quoich you’ll also find the Devils punchbowl, a spectacular natural rock formation that is the site for some significant events in Scottish history.

The Colonels bed

The Colonels bed is in Glen Ey, and is where the river runs through a vertically sided rocky gorge. It’s a bit of a walk to get there from the car park in Inverey, and care must be taken as the track to get there narrows to a rough can be slippery, but it’s worth a visit and the walk through Glen Ey is spectacular.

Castles past and present

Braemar Castle is an unmistakable landmark on the edge of Braemar, overlooking the river Dee. It was built in 1628 and has a fascinating history, from the Jacobite rising, housing the British army, and Mrs.Frances Farquharson decorating the castle is shades of pink. The castle is now run by the community and is open from April until the end of October.

Kindrochit castle is a ruined castle in the centre of Braemar. Kindrochit castle dates back to the 14th century, and was a hunting seat of King Robert II. It is well worth an explore of the ruins whilst you’re visiting Braemar.

From Easter throughout the summer, Braemar local history group lead a guided walk every Tuesday at 8pm and Wednesday at 3pm, which gives a fascinating insight into the history of Braemar.

Balmoral Castle has been the Scottish home of the Royal family since 1852, the Castle, the grounds, and the estate as a whole is well worth a visit. The castle is now open until the end of July when the Queen arrives for her Summer break. Balmoral estate is open to walk on all year round, with Loch Muick being a favourite spot. Balmoral is just a 9 mile drive from Braemar.

For more information about things to see and do and Braemar, visit BraemarScotland, and I will continue with part 2 of things to do in Braemar soon.

 

Seasonal Pitches at Braemar Caravan Park

Braemar Caravan Park is a fantastic location to base yourself in the Cairngorms if you enjoy walking, hiking, skiing, climbing, cycling, wildlife watching, or simply if you like to get away from it all for some peace and quiet and relaxation. A short break somehow never seems long enough to get out and explore all of the amazing sights the area has to offer.

Every year we have a limited number of pitches available for use as seasonal pitches, where you can bring your Caravan or Motorhome and leave it here on your pitch, ready to go, and visit as and when you would like to. It’s a really easy and convenient way to enjoy caravanning and Motorhoming without having to tow your caravan, or drive your motorhome, every time you want to go away. There is also an NCC approved mobile caravan servicing and repair company who can visit your caravan while you’re here to carry out your service.

Winter is a wonderful time to have a seasonal pitch, at a time when roads can be icy and snowy, it means you can simply jump in your car and arrive to your caravan or Motorhome without the need for hitching up, towing and setting up. You can simply arrive, fill up your water, plug in your electric and you’re ready to relax.

Our winter season starts in early December and last for 100 nights until mid March. Summer Seasonal pitches start in Mid march until the end of October. We are fully booked for summer season 2017, but are now taking bookings for the Winter season 2017/18.

If you’re interested in a Seasonal pitch at Braemar Caravan Park, get in touch and we’ll be happy to give you more information.

The Mountains are calling you to Braemar Mountain Festival.

The Mountains are calling!

Braemar is in such a stunning location, nestled within the Cairngorms National Park surrounded by Mountains, a Mountain lovers paradise, so it would be a shame not to celebrate such a place, so celebrate it we shall.

Loch Callater from above

The first Braemar Mountain Festival will take place between 3rd March- and 5th March 2017. It is a celebration of the mountains in winter and includes workshops on ski touring and telemarking, winter skills and avalanche awareness, low level walking and fell running. In addition there will be photography and art exhibitions and workshops, and in the evening, talks, films, music and food. Come to Braemar to join in the fun. More information about the Mountain Festival can be found here.

Braemar Caravan Park is pleased to announce a discount of 20% to guests coming to Braemar for the Mountain Festival. At time of booking, you will need to quote ‘MOUNTAIN2017’. Please note; No further discounts will be applied, and the discount applies to new bookings only, between the 3rd and 5th March 2017.

Winter Walking in Braemar

 

 THE MOUNTAINS ARE CALLING AND I MUST GO.

Our New Shop!

Braemar Caravan Park is in such a stunning location, a beautiful, small village in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. Braemar has some shops, cafes and restaurants, but if you forget some  bits and bobs for your camping and caravan holiday that isn’t available in the village, it’s a pretty long drive to find somewhere which stocks what you need. We often get asked for a variety of items on a regular basis, so we made a list and decided to get the builders in.

We have now extended our reception to include a shop, which is much more spacious and welcoming, and we now stock a wide variety of items for your camping and caravan holiday. Everything from electric cables, Thetford toilet and cleaning chemicals, Fenwicks Caravan and motorhome products, Fiamma levelling plates, tent pegs, sleeping bags, Sewing kits, Low wattage kettles and hairdryers and more.

                                    

We stock a variety of outdoor equipment such as survival bags, walking poles, torches, sit mats, boot bags and gaiters and OS maps.

As well as stocking camping and caravanning accessories, we have cold drinks, hot drinks, snacks, Ice creams, and as one of the most common requests is for fresh bread in the mornings, so we have teamed up with Highlanders Bakehouse, a local Artisan baker, who can deliver fresh bread each morning in a variety of different flavours, and very tasty it is indeed.

And for when you are looking for a special gift, we have a variety of cards, gifts and crafts, unique to Braemar Caravan Park and Invercauld Estate.

We hope you enjoy our new Reception and shop and we look forward to seeing you all soon.

Winter Walking in Braemar, Cairngorms National Park

Walking in the Cairngorms National Park in the winter can be a magical experience; the colours, the light, the crisp, glistening snow on the mountains. It’s so inviting, and can be such an amazing experience. But walking in the winter hills does need a lot of preparation, skill and equipment to ensure you stay safe.

Don’t underestimate how fast the conditions can change in winter it may be bright blue sky when you set off, but conditions can change in a split second, ensure you have appropriate warm clothing, layers, socks, boots, gloves and hats, and a really indispensable piece of kit is some goggles. As well as warmth, you’ll need a good outer shell. Down jackets are amazing, but in rain they can become heavy and cold. The guys at Braemar Mountain Sports are fantastic and can help with everything you need.

Navigation is key. Ensure you are familiar with using an OS map and compass. GPS are a fantastic piece of kit but should be an additional piece of kit, not your soul piece of kit to rely on your walk. Mobile phones are also a fantastic addition to your kit list, but in the hills there may not be signal, your battery can drain fast, and if it’s all you are using to navigate you can be left lost. You can learn about Navigation by attending a course such as this one run by CN-Do Scotland or Glenmore Lodge

Be avalanche aware. Avalanches are very complicated entities which are dynamic and the conditions can change quickly. Avalanches can happen at any time, but it is a really good idea to become familiar with the Scottish Avalanche Information Service and also attend a winter skills course to get familiar with planning your walks depending on the conditions you are faced with.
 
Check the weather forecast. You might book a holiday in the hills weeks in advance with the aim of walking 12 munros, but weather conditions can scupper your plans. Always be prepared to change your plans if the weather poses a threat. It’s always better to turn back and return in the future than risk getting in to difficulty.

Leave a route card. It’s a good idea to leave a route card with someone detailing your route, when you set off, when you expect to return, and contact numbers.

Daylight is limited so be realistic about how much time you have available for your walk. And always carry a torch and spare batteries in your bag.

Using crampons and an ice axe. The snow may be fluffy and bright at the start of your walk, but up on the hills it can be sheet ice, and without an ice axe and crampons, may be completely inaccessible. You will need good winter boots to fit your crampons on, and also have knowledge on how to use your ice axe and crampons. It’s a brilliant idea to attend a winter skills course, such as one run by McDougall Mountaineering  or The Mountaineering Council of Scotland

Don’t forget your camera and have fun.

Winter Wildlife on Invercauld Estate around Braemar Caravan Park

Invercauld Estate is home so some of Scotland's most iconic wildlife, which is a truly magnificent to witness in such an amazingly beautiful environment. At Braemar Caravan Park you don’t have to venture far to see Red Squirrels which can be seen foraging and caching for nuts and seeds to keep them going through the long winter.

From our new view point you may be lucky enough to see Buzzards circling overhead, or sometimes catch a glimpse of the elusive and stunningly beautiful Golden Eagle.

Mountain Hares transform from brown in to a bright white and can be seen surviving in the most harshest of environments. Ptarmigan are perfectly adapted to living high up in the mountains in the arctic conditions of the Cairngorms National Park, transforming their camouflage from the grey mottling of the granite to the bright white of freshly fallen snow.

There are Tawny owls and Barn owls, Fieldfares, Red wings and so many more bird species all in search of food to keep them going through the cold winter.

The Red Deer are also a spectacular sight in the Winter months. Their coat grows thick to keep them insulated from the harshest of temperatures, and they venture further down the hills in search of food to graze on. In winter herds of Red Deer hinds can be witnessed in their hundreds, whilst the stags tend to stick to smaller herds.

Braemar Caravan Park is an ideal place to start your search for wildlife, there are paths and tracks that can be followed directly from the Caravan Park or just a short drive away, which will take you deep in to remote glens, along gushing rivers and waterfalls, through Caledonian forests or vast heather moorland.

The Wardens at Braemar Caravan Park are passionate about the area and are always happy to give advice on routes to walk in the area.

Welcome to the Winter Season in Braemar

Winter has come early at Braemar Caravan Park, early November and the mountain tops are covered in a dusting of the white stuff. Not yet enough to ski on but more snow is forecast along with the ‘Polar vortex’ promising and extra cold winter.

For those who have never ventured out in their caravan or motorhome (or tent) over the winter months, there’s worries of being cold, getting snowed in, being cut off etc. So how do you prepare for a winter adventure at Braemar Caravan Park?

Getting here: Many people arriving from the south will access Braemar Caravan Park from the A93 via Glenshee. There are snow gates at the Spittal of Glenshee and outside Braemar Caravan Park which have webcams with a live feed so if you are worried if the snow has affected the road, check on the webcams and traffic Scotland current incidents. If the road does become impassable, you can still access Braemar Caravan Park by travelling up the A90 towards Aberdeen and then the A93 towards Braemar. It is a slightly longer route but is less prone to being affected by the weather.

It is a good idea to prepare for winter conditions, even if there is no snow on the ground when you set off. Winter tyres are invaluable and will help give you traction when the roads become slippery.

Have a snow shovel, ice scraper, warm clothes and a hot drink and some food to hand in case you do get delayed for a time.

Once you’re at Braemar Caravan Park, we have a snowplough, snow blower to ensure access is kept as clear as possible and we grit the paths and roadways to help you get around the Caravan Park easier, but do be prepared that pavements and roadways can be slippery and some ice grippers on your shoes or a walking pole can help you stay upright.

Our toilets and showers are fully heated, and we have a drying room, boot drying room, and ski lockers to help store you wet gear when you’ve been out in the cold. We also have an information room with a sofa and book swap if you want to come and put your feet up and read a good book.

Temperatures can drop impressively overnight, and it is a good idea to have some kind of insulation for your aquaroll so ensure you can still get water in to your caravan.

Finally, sit back and enjoy. Winter is a magical time to enjoy a break in your caravan or motorhome. Whether you enjoy walk, photography, watching wildlife or doing winter sports, there’s no better place to spent the winter time.

Braemar Caravan Park opens for the winter season on 10th December 2016. Christmas and New year are a magical time here, peace and quiet and wonderful views of a winter wonderland.

Glenshee Ski centre
is just a short drive from Braemar Caravan Park and has a ski school, 22 ski runs for all levels of ability. 

Have a wonderful winter.