Royal Deeside : Ballater Walking Festival - Welcome
A warm welcome awaits you in Ballater, 40 miles west of Aberdeen and about 60 miles north of Perth, in the heart of Royal Deeside, at the seventeenth annual
Ballater Royal Deeside Walking Festival
Saturday 17th to Friday 23rd May 2014
Royal Deeside, in the eastern Cairngorms National Park, starts at the western end of the Dee Valley and follows the majestic River Dee from Braemar, scene of the world famous Highland Games, down past Balmoral, Ballater and Aboyne to Banchory in the east. The area contains some of the finest mountain and glen country in Scotland - ideal for a walking break.
Photographs for the 2014 Photographic Competition are now in a gallery - see below
gallery of photographs from the 2013 festival is also available - see
Since 1998 when Ballater launched a week of organised walks to cater for visitors to Royal Deeside, this festival of walks has expanded considerably and now provides a programme designed for walkers of all capabilities from 'Munro-baggers' to those who like a gentle stroll. Most of the walks are situated within what is now the Cairngorms National Park, though a few will stray into parts of West Aberdeenshire which border the Park or the Angus Glens to the south of it. During each of the last four festivals between 90 and 100 walkers participated, taking part in four walks on average. We were delighted that the feedback is consistently positive. What makes this week special is that not only is Ballater surrounded by magnificent walking country but the festival is run by a mix of professionals and enthusiastic volunteers. Many of the festival participants have suggested that we should emphasise the friendly nature of our festival -even to the extent of calling it the 'Friendly Festival'.
Each day three categories of walk are available: Easy, Medium and Strenuous.
walks are generally low level ones of anything up to six or seven miles;
All the strenuous walks are led by a professional mountain guide and the remainder will be led by local residents or full-time rangers from Aberdeenshire Council, Glen Tanar or Balmoral Estates, many of whom have particular knowledge of the wild life, vegetation or local history which they are happy to share with visitors. Attention to safety is important when walking in Scottish hills - please see Essential Information
Each evening there is a talk or demonstration designed to appeal to our visitors and on Friday evening the week is rounded off by a traditional ceilidh (see Social Programme ).
to Ballater can be
You are welcome to contact the organisers for more information or to make a provisional booking. Ballater Royal Deeside Walking Festival is run for the benefit of the local community by
Ballater (RD) Ltd is a registered Scottish Charity SC026254
Photo Competition 2014
The photographs entered for the Ballater Walking Festival Photography Competition can be see here.
for the best photograph: All participants and helpers of the
2014 Ballater Walking Festival are welcome to vote for the best photograph.
Voting is open until June 15th 2014. To vote simply select one, two or
three photographs that you most like (no need to order your selection)
and email the results to us.
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