AA Box 472 - The Old Royal Station - Sir William Cunliffe Brook's horse trough - Sir Allan Russell MacKenzie Memorial - Balmoral Estate - Royal Lochnagar Distillery -  Cambus O' May Quarry

AA Box 472

AA Box 472 on the South kerb of the A93, approx 4.5 miles East of the village of Ballater, 250 yards East of the Cambus O’ May Hotel entrance and approximately 175 yards West of the B9119 turn off, has been a famous landmark for travellers between Aberdeen and Braemar for well over 60 years and is situated in the heart of Royal Deeside, famous for its close connections with the British Royal Family and Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in particular. Over those years the box has survived all the extreme weather the North East of Scotland could throw at it. For further information, please visit AA Box 472. Photo by Deeside Images.

The Old Royal Station

The Old Royal Station in Ballater's Station Square. Ballater Station was at first a simple booking office on a single platform. In 1886, the Royal Waiting Room was built to a design approved by Queen Victoria. Having fallen into disuse after the closure of the railway the station was refurbished for use as an area office by the local District Council.


On May 12, 2015, the Station was destroyed in a fire. Ballater is looking forward to the rebuild of its Station by the end of 2017! The shops have moved elsewhere but the Station Restaurant will remain along with a beautiful Visitor Centre. The Ballater Library will be moving from the Victoria and Albert Halls just opposite the Station. Click here for a summary of the history of The Old Royal Station.

Sir William Cunliffe Brook's horse trough

Ballater Local History Group offers another free visitor attraction! Renovation of the horse trough on the Glen Tanar Estate began 30th May 2015. Visit the newly renovated historical Victorian water trough that commemorates the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria (1897).


Initial work began with voluntary 'work parties' employed on the basic hard tasks in early June. As work progressed, the quality work of the stonemasons' inscriptions on all three of the visible sides became apparent, all completed in a magnificent font and still in a very readable condition. Here is a poster displayed in the Ballater area in July 2015. Photo by Deeside Images.

Sir Allan Russell MacKenzie

Sir Allan Russell MacKenzie was the 2nd Baronet of Glenmuick. He was born on 29th March 1850 and died at the age of 56 on the 19th August 1906. He succeeded to the title of Baronet in 1890 upon the death of his Father, Sir James Thomson MacKenzie, the 1st Baronet of Glenmuick.
Sir James Thompson MacKenzie, or "James Thompson" as he was originally called, was born the son of a small Aberdeen shopkeeper who went to India and made his fortune. On his return he apparently doubled it through shrewd investments in the City and then decided to purchase a Scottish estate, Glenmuick. He became a very close friend of King Edward VII.


Sir Allan was well thought of by the local residents of Ballater and helped financially on many projects around the village. The Ballater Local History Group feel that they would like to repay Sir Allan for his generosity over the years and decided that they would bring the Mackenzie 'Come & Rest' seat back to life again almost 110 years later.

Balmoral Estate

Purchased by Queen Victoria, the Balmoral Estate has been the Scottish Home of the Royal Family ever since. The Castle is an example of Scots Baronial architecture and is classified by Historic Scotland as a category A listed building.
Enjoy access to the formal and vegetable gardens, the wildlife, Balmoral and audio visual exhibitions together with the largest room in the Castle, the Ballroom. Other rooms within the Castle are not available to the public as these are Her Majesty The Queen's private rooms.


The grounds, gardens and exhibitions are open from April until the end of July each year. Visitors are able to view the Castle Ballroom, the largest room in the Castle, used for a number of formal occasions when Her Majesty is in residence. This is a rare opportunity to see many original pieces of fine art and treasures which normally reside within the private rooms of the Castle.


An audio tour is included in the admission price and guides visitors around the formal and production gardens as well as a number of other exhibitions located within the stable block. We have a spacious self service cafe and gift shop selling a wide range of Balmoral souvenirs.


For further details please visit

Royal Lochnagar Distillery

Neighbouring Balmoral Castle, Royal Lochnagar is the perfect place to discover how Scotch Whisky is made. Watch as our team of operators tend to our traditional mashtun, gleaming copper stills and fill casks at our traditional distillery, which retains much of its original charm. The tour ends with a dram of the award-winning Royal Lochnagar 12 Year Old Single Highland Malt.


Royal Lochnagar Distillery one of the jewels in the Royal Deeside crown is situated beside her Majesty the Queen’s Scottish Home, Balmoral Castle at Crathie half way between the villages of Ballater and Braemar.


Open all year round with tours available every day. For further details please go to

Cambus O' May Quarry

A popular spot today near the 'Royal Warrant' village of Ballater, is the now disused Cambus O' May Quarry favoured by many climbers from around the world wishing to ascend the quarry's steep walls.


Below the imposing quarry walls could be found the original Scotch Derrick crane used between 1850 and the 1930's to extract the famous and greatly sought after grey granite used to build many of the homes in the village.


Visit the Scotch Derrick website for more photographs and details of the Scotch Derrick and all the hard work put into preserving this part ofBallater's local history. Now located on the A93, Tullich Road, approximately 150 yards East (Aberdeen side) of the junction with Bridge Street and the Royal Bridge. Photo ©Deeside Images.