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Royal Deeside : Ballater Walking Festival - Welcome

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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 16th to Friday 22nd May 2015

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

A gallery of photographs from the 2013 festival is also available - see below

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Ballater Walking Festival 2013 : Crossing a burn
Go To Page Introduction Walking Programme Welcome and information Apply for a Place Social Programme

The printed brochure for 2014 is available from the end of December. If you require a printed version of the brochure please contact us (details below).

Down-load a pdf version of the 2015 brochure (2.0Mb).

Down-load a printable booking form (2015).

For both safety and transport reasons the number of participants on many walks is strictly limited. To avoid disappointment book early.

View a gallery of photographs (from 2013).

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.

Easy walks are generally low level ones of anything up to six or seven miles;
Medium walks typically measure around ten or twelve miles and may include some hefty hills or the occasional Munro.
Strenuous walks will either include several hundred metres of ascent (and descent!) or walks of considerable length.

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 ).

Travel to Ballater can be
by car from the south via the A93 Perth - Aberdeen road, from the north via Tomintoul on the A939 or
by rail/air to Aberdeen and then by bus or private vehicle westwards on the A93.

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
The Bank House,
7 Bridge Street,
Ballater, Aberdeenshire,
Scotland AB35 5QP

Tel 0 13397 55467 (If phoning from outside United Kingdom +44 13397 55467)

e-mail: info@walkballater.com

web: Ballater (RD) Ltd

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.

View BWF Photographic Competition


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Introduction Deeside Festival ActiveAboyne Cycle Cairngorms Coming Soon
Braemar Gathering Balmoral Road Races Ballater Victoria Week Ballater Walking Festival Ballater Highland Games




This website is maintained for the benefit of the residents of Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, Scotland by
Ballater (RD) Ltd, a charitable company limited by Guarantee.


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