Depart hotel this morning and travel into the heart of the Cairngorms National Park.
There will be a visit to Balmoral the main holiday home of the royal family in Scotland since the 19th century when it was purchased for Queen Victoria by Prince Albert.
The gardens, which were started under the supervision of Prince Albert, have been expanded and improved by successive members of the Royal Family. Between 1923 and 1925 Queen Mary devised the charming garden, with a semi-circular wall of rocks surrounding a fountain. The gates to this garden bear the monograms GR and MR. The formal gardens, covering some three acres, also contain a range of Victorian glasshouses and the conservatory, which displays flowering pot plants throughout the year. A water garden has been formed to the West of the main garden in the trees between Garden Cottage and the West Drive.
Continue this afternoon to Crathes Castle Standing against a backdrop of rolling hills and set within its own glorious gardens, Crathes Castle is every inch the classic Scottish tower house. Built in the 16th century, it is an intricate maze of turrets, towers, oak panels and painted ceilings, many of which survive beautifully to this day.
Inside you’ll find a labyrinth of cultural history, from family portraits to fine antique furniture. The walled garden is a wonderful jungle of history, split into eight sections that encompass every green delight imaginable, a sculpted topiary, soft herbaceous colours and modern exotic blooms. The massive yew hedges are thought to have been planted as early as 1702.
Continue to Aberdeen for your overnight stay.
Overnight at Jurys Aberdeen (B/-/D)