Braemar Castle is located near the town that shares its name. It was and is the official residence of Clan Farquharson. Even now its owner, Lord Farquharson (a hero of World War II), at the age of 93, often spends a few days at the castle. Historically, it was built in the seventeenth century to replace the existing Castle Kindrochit (now in ruins, but still visitable). The wall around the compound, with the castle at its center, is star-shaped. At the time of its construction, the owners were the Earls of Mar, Erskine family (one of the most powerful in Scotland), and the castle was used during the Jacobite riots. Interestingly, the castle is maintained by the community of Braemar, who govern its use and collaborate on various charity events. Be sure to visit everywhere inside: photographs are allowed everywhere, but the visit will be guided. The interior decoration combines Renaissance, Victorian and mid-twentieth century, including, with the permission of its owner, medals and utensils used in the Second World War.
Braemar is a pretty village in Aberdeenshire in Scotland, 58 miles west of Aberdeen in the Scottish Highlands. It is an excellent base for hiking in the area and for those interested in skiing at nearby Glenshee. In winter, Braemar is one of the coldest areas of Scotland. The locals say that the temperature has sometimes reached -29 degrees in the dead of winter and hungry deer have been seen roaming the streets of the town in search of food. The site is also famous because the Highland Games are celebrated on the first Saturday of September, always attended by a member of the Royal Family. There are competitions, athletics, bagpipe exhibitions and dancing. There are some excellent tourist offices in Braemar that can give you advice on local excursions and places of interest. Both the village and the surroundings are wonderful, a great place to visit.
Shortly before arriving at Braemar, after leaving Glen Shee behind we got to the area known as "Invercauld State". A vast area that is partly in the county of Perth and partly in Aberdeen. In this area there are plenty of hiking trails of varying difficulty, all with free access. The name itself denotes that it has an owner, because the term Estate (State) in Scotland was previously used to refer to the land belonging to a castle, palace or noble family. In Braemar, we can find the castles of Invercauld and Braemar, both belonging to a the Farquharson noble family and clan of the Highlands, who acquired the land in the early 17th century. The current Lord Farquharson, who is roughly 93 years old, kindly allowed for the lands to be used by the general public, not only as hiking area, but for hunting and fishing, to offset the price of maintaining the land.A beautiful quiet place, and thanks to the generosity of the owner, we can now enjoy it. An example for many.
The River Dee basically cuts the county or district of Aberdeen, from Perth to Aberdeen where it merges with the sea. It is neither the biggest or perhaps the most important, but it is certainly one of the most beautiful and wild. It offers superb views of the Cairngorms Nature Park, where you will often see families fishing or picnicking. Among the locals, the river is known as Royal Deeside and in the late 19th century, Queen Victoria established the area as a summer residence of the British monarchy. In this she revitalised Ballater and of course Balmoral Castle, the favourite residence of the current Queen Elizabeth II. As we advance (from south to north) the river amazingly changes shape and size, which enhances the beauty of everything that surrounds it. Moreover, the city of Aberdeen is named after the river (Aber = Over = About + Deen = Dee). You can sail along the river for about 2-3 days and enjoy charming villages and castles and of course lots of nature.
The Braemar Gathering is always held the first Saturday in September. You're guaranteed a show of fun and games with the participation of real Scottish pipers and Highland dancers in front of the spectacular backdrop of the Scottish Highlands. Athletes compete in different games, including races and tug o' war, and the presence of the queen will top it off!