Farmers markets provide the ideal opportunity to meet our local producers and purchase some of the wealth of local produce coming from our great estates and heathery moors. With more farmers markets in Aberdeenshire than in any other parts of Scotland you are almost guaranteed to catch one during your stay. Each market will vary but you can bank on it being local and fresh produce. Check out some of the recurring local farmers markets here.
For the visitor there is every chance to taste the place: A traditional fisherman’s rowie or buttery – the local breakfast roll – flat flaky and rich. A succulent steak. The freshest seafood. Honey straight from our heather hills. Although there aren’t many shops in Aboyne and Royal Deeside you can buy your essentials from independent village shops that are lovingly stocked with local produce. You’ll find shopping a unique experience because what’s on offer you won’t find anywhere else and if you plan to shop in Ballater or Braemar you will come across shops that supply to the Royal Family at Balmoral Castle.
Castles & Estates
History is writ large here. Ancient sites and symbols mark this as a heartland of the ancient Picts. In the millennia that followed, no fewer than 300 castles were planted here. There are more castles per square mile in Royal Deeside than in any other part of Scotland, including cliff top Dunnottar now open to the elements, and Balmoral the Scottish home of the British Royal Family.
Our food is full flavoured, hearty and comforting; this region is known for its produce. It’s known for the quality and scale of it’s arable land and rich pastures. It’s known for the seafood. In quirky cafes, pubs and country houses you can enjoy slow food and local produce; there are contemporary and creative menus to suit all tastes.The information pack in your lodge provides details of our local favourites and of course please do contact Sarah if you would like to book somewhere in advance of your stay. We are lucky to have several pet friendly pubs in the locality that welcome dogs in the bar area – perfect for our guests who are holidaying with their dogs. We are also happy to organise a dog sitting / walking service if you want to head out for a special meal and leave your dog in safe hands.
The clans that gathered here centuries ago still gather today. Communities are strong. Doric – the language , poetry and especially the music – is alive. Along the valley, every village has it’s Highland Games. Check dates in our What’s On section and join us for some true Highland Hospitality.
Cafes & Coffee Shops
You are spoiled for choice with the countless castle tea rooms and local coffee houses boasting a wide range of home baking and locally sourced delicious produce. Sarah will be delighted to let you know her favourites!
Distilleries and Whisky Trails
Our clean clear springs and moorland peat help to produce the perfect dram. Come and sample our local ‘water of life’ at Royal Deeside’s Royal Lochnagar Distillery next to Balmoral Castle, Fettercairn distillery at the foot of the Cairngorm mountains or not far away there’s Dalwhinne, Glenlivet and Tomintoul.