Walking and Cycling Royal Deeside, Ballater

Aberdeenshire is notorious for being a paradise for walkers, cyclers and hikers owing to the many beautiful trails throughout the county. Ballater itself is known for its lush forests, mighty rivers and sparkling lochs. There are a range of options open to visitors from gentle walks around the glens of the River Dee, up to more challenging routes which often see visitors traversing a munro, such as the famous Lochnagar. 

Deeside Walking

Camus o’ May Pinewood Trail – 2.6 miles

This beginner’s level walk is a scenic and relaxing stroll through the pinewoods at Camus o’ May, with good paths and tracks to follow throughout. The route takes walkers past two divine lochans and offers excellent views over Deeside. The forest here is ideal for wildlife watching and there are plenty of spots to stop and enjoy a picnic in the warmer months.

The Balmoral Cairns, Balmoral – 6 miles

This intermediate level circuit walk is ideal for history buffs – taking walkers on a tour of the cairns which commemorate the British royal family, as well as providing excellent views over Deeside. Beginning near the side entrance to the grand Balmoral Castle, this route brings walkers on an oftentimes steep up and down journey through each of the pyramid shaped cairns, each offering a unique view.

Lochnagar from Glen Muick – 12 miles

This walk is one of the more difficult in the area, with the imposing Lochnagar being the highest and most popular mountain in the area – immortalised by a poem of George Gordon Byron. The mountain stands guard over Balmoral Palace and features stunning panoramic views from its summit over many surrounding towns. The route is signposted and doesn’t get too steep – although it is long, but offers many opportunities to stop and rest and admire the beautiful surroundings.

Mountain Biking

This tranquil part of the United Kingdom has won awards for being one of the best regions for mountain biking. The terrain ranges from laid back cruising, to challenging up and down hill routes.

At Deeside Inn we are fortunate to be located directly opposite Cyclehighlands – Aberdeenshire’s leading cycle centre. You can hire high performance bikes from as little as £15 for a half-day and you will be given route cards, maps and plenty of good advice from the helpful staff. A guiding service is also available. For more information contact Cyclehighlands on 01339 55864.

It is important to wear suitable clothing when preparing for a walk, with appropriate footwear and a good rain jacket. For those who have less experience it is a good idea to go with an experienced local guide, for more information please contact the hotel directly on 01339 755413 or email the hotel at: deeside@crerarhotels.com.

Eat & Drink

Eat and drink before or after your outdoor adventures at our hearty restaurant, which specialises in traditional Scottish hospitality and local, high quality produce. The décor of the inn’s restaurant and lounge is warm and welcoming with many original features retained. The open fire places and polished antiques create a setting that makes our guests “feel at home”, so they tell us!

Book a Room

We offer a selection of hotel guestrooms from single, double and family size rooms. Insidour welcoming inn you will find a traditional and cosy Scottish atmosphere, with delightful Victorian era inspired decorations.View our latest offers & breaks.