The Victorian village of Ballater sits in the heart of Royal Deeside, Scotland at the eastern gateway to the Cairngorms National Park. It is 43 miles (69km) west of Aberdeen and 8 miles (13km) from the Queen’s summer home of Balmoral Castle.
In the early 14th century the Ballater area was part of the estates of the Knights of St John, but the settlement did not develop until around 1770. First as a spa resort to accommodate visitors to the Pannanich Mineral Well, located on the hillside on the opposite side of the river Dee, then later upon the arrival of the railway in 1866 it was visited by many tourists taking advantage of the easier access.
Ballater railway station was closed in 1966 but remained in use as a visitor centre with an exhibition recording the village’s royal connection until 2015. Unfortunately in May 2015 the station was destroyed by a fire. However, work has started to reconstruct it to its former glory, and it is due to re-open as a visitor centre in 2018. Many buildings date from the Victorian era and the centre of the village is a conservation area.
Now in the 21st century, the Visit Ballater website welcomes new and old visitors to the village and wants to help you to plan and maximise your time in the village. If you cannot find what you are looking for or would like to suggest ways on which your experience can be improved, please do contact us on Secretary@VisitBallater.com.
Whether your visit is short or long, your first or a return, in the spring, summer, autumn or winter, everyone in Ballater welcomes you and hopes that you have a wonderful time with us.
To find out more about the history of Ballater please visit the Ballater Local History Group website.
Ballater can be reached by car or public transport. We are 17 miles east of Braemar on the A93, or 40 miles west of Aberdeen. A regular stagecoach bus (201/202/203) travels through Ballater (to Braemar) from Aberdeen. Journey time from Aberdeen approx. 2hrs. Aberdeen can be reached by bus, train or air.
Travelling in winter? Travelling over The Lecht or Glenshee? Before you travel check out the snow gate webcams situated about the Cairngorms which will show you if a road is open to traffic or temporarily closed due to snow.