Explore the grounds of the Queen's Scottish home
Balmoral Castle is the Scottish holiday home of the Queen and her family.
Some of the grounds and the castle are open to the public when the queen is not in residence.
As well as the grounds, there are gardens, exhibitions, gift shops and a coffee shop to visit.
In 2022, it is open daily from Friday 1 April until Tuesday 2 August, and it is recommended to buy tickets in advance at balmoralcastle.com.
The cairn trail
Outside of the gardens is a six-mile circuit that climbs up to a spectacular view over Deeside, from where you can see Balmoral Castle and Crathie Kirk. The trail features cairns built to commemorate members of the Royal family and key events, such as marriages. At the top is is the magnificent Prince Albert’s pyramid cairn built by Queen Victoria in memory of her late husband. There are a total of 14 cairns on the estate.
Prince Albert’s cairn is often cited as the country’s only pyramid, but there is another pyramid and even closer to Forres!
The Duchess of Richmond’s monument at the Winding Walks in Fochabers may not be as impressive, but it debunks the myth that the Balmoral Pyramid is unique to Scotland.
Nevertheless, the walk around the Balmoral Estate is one to savour. The walk follows an interesting historical timeline, and the views at the top are worth the walk. Make sure you get a map (from the shop in the car park), some of them are well hidden, and it’s not well signposted.
Be warned, If you take the circuit clockwise, it’s a steep climb!
This walk may be closed if the queen is staying at Balmoral, so check before travelling. There is a large car park (fee) and an information centre with shop and toilets.
Further informationW: https://balmoralestate.com
Travel itinerary plannerRather than give you a fixed trip itinerary, here you’ll find details of nearby attractions and links (tags) to help you find activities similar to those at this location. Use this information to help you plan your stay without missing a thing.
- Distance from Forres: 59 miles
- Postcode: AB35 5TB
- What3words: mason.perusing.shows
- What’s nearby:
- Tags: Waymarked walks, history, nature, royal interest (all areas)