Royal Deeside : Introduction to Dinnet near Ballater
Dinnet is located on the main road from Aberdeen to Braemar, equidistant from Aboyne and Ballater. Heralded as the start point of the mighty Highland Region of Scotland, and also as the Gateway to the Cairngorms National Park, Dinnet occupies one of the most picturesque areas of Royal Deeside. Backing onto the famous River Dee, in the shadow of the hills of Morven and Culblean, Dinnet, and its surroundings, known as the 'Muir of Dinnet' is a 'must see' for anyone exploring the area - "the final pause, the holding of the breath so to speak, between hilly uplands and the Highlands proper" (Cuthbert Graham 1972)
Dinnet, as we know it today, dates back to the advent of the Deeside Railway, which joined Aberdeen to Ballater in 1866. As Deeside revelled in it's new Royal connections, due to Queen Victoria establishing Balmoral Castle as her Scottish retreat, Dinnet thrived.
The Old Coaching Inn, a haven to weary travellers making their way up the valley with their horse and cart, was refashioned as the Profeits Hotel. Established by the nieces of Victoria's Royal physician at Balmoral, Dr Profeit, the hotel has continued to play host to sightseers and tourists from around the world. Indeed, Queen Victoria herself states in her diaries that she "stopped at the Profeits on her way home"! The Profeits still thrives today as the renamed Loch Kinord Hotel
Although the railway was eventually closed in 1966, Dinnet remains a Mecca for wildlife enthusiasts, bird lovers, walkers, historians, geologists, archaeologists, or those who simply want to get away from it all. For Dinnet, and the surrounding area, enjoys an extraordinary history, dating back to well before the railway. In fact, evidence shows that Dinnet was settled more than 5000 years ago!
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