The beauty of Scotland is a year-round attraction, but during the winter months – and especially around Christmas – it comes into its own. Crisp mornings in charming cities illuminated with festive lights, cool mist over the Highlands landscapes, and slopes coloured white waiting to be carved by skis or snowboard. All of this, and more, can be found in Scotland.
If you’re planning a Christmas holiday in Aberdeenshire, look no further. We've rounded up some of the best places to go, for a memorable winter break.
The Victorian village of Ballater sits in the heart of Royal Deeside, Scotland at the eastern gateway to the Cairngorms National Park, making it one of Scotland’s most scenic visitor spots.
Visitors to this picturesque Victorian village can enjoy a range of accommodation, cosy cafes, quality restaurants, excellent shopping and great links to outdoor adventure, including hiking, climbing and skiing. Golf can be played in the beautiful surroundings of the 18-hole Ballater golf club and fishing is available, with the appropriate permits, on the River Dee.
There are many castles located close to Ballater, the most famous being Balmoral Castle, the summer residence of the Royal Family, described by Queen Victoria as ‘my dear paradise in the Highlands’.
But during the winter months, Ballater takes on a very different look. When the snow falls the village turns into a picturesque winter wonderland.
Here are just a couple of Christmas events to enjoy:
Fun for all the family is to be had at the Ballater Winter Festival, is a community run all day event filled with delicious food stalls, kids rides, a Santas grotto, a movie night, a farmers market, cairngorm reindeer, fire trucks and so much more.
Enjoy a wonderful tour of Balmoral, the Scottish holiday home to the Royal Family then why not explore our stunning landscapes, lochs and the famous River Dee within Royal Deeside.
Accompany one of the Balmoral guides on a fascinating tour of the Estate. The tour takes you through the manicured parkland and gardens in front of Balmoral Castle. You then travel through the Estate farm to enter the old Caledonian Pine Forest. This is one of the country's most important habitats and home to the elusive capercaillie.
After spending some time exploring this pristine area you’ll head out of the woods onto the open hillside. The views soon start to open up as you’ll travel through the heather high up the flanks of Lochnagar, one of Scotland’s most famous mountains.
The tour then heads back to civilisation via the monuments and historical buildings of Easter Balmoral. Discover the intriguing life stories of the resident wildlife and learn about the conservation management that is currently underway to help protect some of the United Kingdom’s rarest species.
Although there are no guarantees, wildlife species which are regularly encountered, include birds of prey, red squirrels, red deer, red grouse, black grouse, snow bunting and salmon.
Swarovski binoculars are provided on the safaris. The outstanding quality of the binoculars allows you to get closer to the wildlife and landscapes of Balmoral Estate.
Christmas at The Castle takes place within the grounds of Crathes Castle, near Banchory, Aberdeenshire AB31 5QJ.
Get the complete fairytale experience when you visit the 16th-century landmark Crathes Castle, which is all dressed up for the Christmas period with market stalls, festive lighting trail, and more.
To have a sneak preview of just how magical Crathes’ Christmas at the Castle is, just click here – enjoy!
And after an activity packed day, you’ll be wanting somewhere cosy and warm to come back and relax in, and that’s where our self-catering, 7 bedroom detached bungalow is completely perfect.
We offer you a home-from-home experience. Here are just some of our facilities on offer:
Book now for some great rates in November and December 2023!