though Royal Deeside : 3
Heading west, the North Deeside Road (A93) enters the Highlands at Dinnet and passes through the important Nature Reserve at Muir of Dinnet. Overlooking the reserve are the two hills of Morven and Culblean, both mentioned in poems by Byron (who as a boy stayed for a time at a farm close by). Culblean is the site of an important battle for Scottish independence. The road then passes the delightful Cambus o' May before reaching the pretty town of Ballater with its many 'Royal Appointment' signs. Ballater has many fine Victorian buildings and is laid out on a pleasant grid pattern. The unique wooden former royal Railway station is now a visitor centre.
The Braemar road by-passes Ballater by taking a short-cut through the Pass of Ballater, climbing the shoulder of a conspicuous hill, Craigendarroch - the hill of oaks, rising steeply on the left. The pass road rejoins the A93 which then enters a narrow strath in which the sparkling Dee ripples its way between rising hills clad in pine and birch. In all seasons this is a lovely stretch of river and hill scenery. But it is most colourful, of course, in autumn with the gold of the bracken and the birch, the purple of the nearer hills aglow with their carpet of heather, the soft green and grey of the moss-clad boulders that edge the silver river. And as a backdrop there are continually fresh glimpses of the deep-blue background provided by the heights of Lochnagar and the Cairngorms, now dominating the landscape to the south and west. In early summer the roadsides are golden with the glow of broom.
Mid-way between Ballater and Braemar lies the village of Crathie. On the right the picturesque pale-grey granite and warm red roof of Crathie Church strike a note of variety in the scene. Here members of the Royal Family worship every Sunday morning during their annual autumn holiday at Balmoral Castle. Here too the Princess Royal was married in 1994.
|Top of Page|
|Introduction||Journey through Deeside||A Dram of Whisky 1||A Dram of Whisky 2||Forests and Woodlands||Lochnagar|
|The River Dee||Red Squirrels||Craigendarroch Hill, Ballater||Clachnaben by Banchory||Braemar Weather|
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