Top 10 Things to do in Ballater, United Kingdom (UK)

November 17, 2017 Merry Kessler

Ballater in United Kingdom (UK), from Europe region, is best know for Bodies of Water. Discover best things to do in Ballater with beautiful photos and great reviews from traveller around the world here!
Restaurants in Ballater

1. Loch Muick

Glen Muick, Ballater, Scotland
Excellent
83%
Good
15%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 426 reviews

Loch Muick

Reviewed By johnhouston2 - Knaresborough, United Kingdom

Even on a dull day, this is a fantastic place to come. The drive along the glen is great, with stunning views round every corner, and the car park at the end is pretty spacious - although I'm not sure how well it copes in the summer. The cost for a car is £4 for the day.
The visitor centre has lots of useful information re what you can expect to see in the area, as well as a hot drinks machine, and there are also public toilets nearby.
The various walking trails cater for every level of fitness and range from gentle strolls to more challenging mountain trails. We like the one that goes along the side of the loch, and tend to take the high path, i.e. With the loch on your right hand side as you walk. The track is well-kept and the going pretty easy, and the great thing with walks like this one is that you only need go as far as you want.
The path does go all the way round the Loch and the total distance is 8 miles, so you should allow three to three and a half hours to do it - or a wee bit longer if you stop for a picnic.
We've been to Loch Muick a couple of times now and, quite simply, couldn't come to Ballater without visiting this beautiful place.

2. Burn O'Vat

B9119, Dinnet, Ballater, Scotland
Excellent
66%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 90 reviews

Burn O'Vat

Reviewed By johnhouston2 - Knaresborough, United Kingdom

Although your road map (and Trip Advisor) might suggest that Burn o' Vat and Muir of Dinnet are two separate places, the fact is that there is one car park at Muir of Dinnet and the Burn o' Vat is one of the walks on offer from there.
The Burn O' Vat walk is very short and will take you to an area where you can glimpse the waterfall through the cleft in the rocks. Many reviewers will tell you that you can then clamber over the rocks to get to the actual waterfall, and while this is true, it depends very much on how nimble and surefooted you are.
The other alternative is to follow the path up the hill to the viewpoint.

3. Royal Lochnagar Distillery

Royal Lochnagar Distillery Royal Lochnagar Distillery Balmoral, Ballater AB35 5TB, Scotland +44 1339 742700
Excellent
71%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 408 reviews

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.

Reviewed By brianstewart854 - Ballater, United Kingdom

Our guide Eric was very entertaining, the tour lasts for about 45-50 minutes. Being a small distillery you get to see all the workings clearly. Near the end we get to smell different barrels of whisky, it's fascinating to see difference they make. The wee dram at the end was lovely. I'll be back when I'm in the area again.

4. Muir of Dinnet National Nature Reserve

Dinnet, Ballater, Scotland +44 1339 881667
Excellent
72%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 82 reviews

Muir of Dinnet National Nature Reserve

Reviewed By thetravellingmanUk - uk

Visited the Muir of Dinnet National Nature Reserve with my wife late last Saturday afternoon.
Free parking, an interesting Visitors Centre, toilets, Seating and picnic areas, but most of all four different walks to choose from.
The Burn O' Vat walk is on the same side of the road as the car park and Visitors Centre. We did this walk first and I have reviewed it separately.
The other three walks are accessed from the other side of the road. One can choose from the Loch Kinord Trail which is the longest at 3.7 miles, the Little Ord Trail which is 2.5 miles long, or the Parkin's Moss Trail at 1.9 miles.
Having arrived late afternoon, and already completed The Vat Trail, late afternoon was turning into early evening so we made do with the shortest trail and walked the figure of eight Parkin's Moss route.
This was a nice relaxed and peaceful walk, we met a dog walker and another couple but apart from that we had the place to ourselves to take in and enjoy the beauty of nature. Nothing too strenuous, some fairly gentle slopes and the paths were mainly gravel, narrowing down quite considerably at times, and in places giving way to a sea of purple heather. (this was during our September visit). Part of this walk includes a boardwalk.
To sum up - an all round enjoyable experience. Would definitely recommend The Vat Trail too. We would have liked to have spent longer taking in the other two walks on offer but time was against us on this occasion. If you like peace, quiet, tranquillity and nature then I'm sure you will enjoy your visit here, also, allow yourself plenty of time.

5. Glenshee Ski Centre

Cairnwell, Braemar AB35 5XU, Scotland +44 1339 741320
Excellent
45%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
5%
Terrible
6%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 175 reviews

Glenshee Ski Centre

Reviewed By Exploress1 - Aberdeen, United Kingdom

I travelled with friends who had some / little ski experience who hadn't skied in Scotland before. We all decided to have the 4 hours beginner lessons (£60) which we thought was good value. We started off at the Dink-Dink which uses the rope tow and all was well. Basic snowplough learnt and we have lunch break after the 2 hrs lesson. After lunch we went up the Claybookie Poma. The poma was (too) fast and there was also a dip just as you leave and all of us fell...even what looks like experience skiers after us fell too.
As we had an instructor, we now know you could ask the operator to slow it down. Why the operator did not slow it down after seeing the multiple 'car crash' is beyond us. Upon finally reaching our destination (gate / opening no. 2) it is quite a steep run for beginners and after couple of runs, we decided to head down to Dink-Dink for more practice! All in all, everyone was very helpful and friendly and I would recommend taking the 4 hours package if you haven't skied before as I couldn't do snow plough turns confidently after only 2 hours lesson. We had so much fun, we have decided to now try the Lecht!
Parking wasn't too bad but most people commented that it was exceptionally quiet Saturday.
Our ski with boots + pole hire was also pretty quick and easy but one of our hired ski was sticking to the snow badly and again...thankfully our instructor had a candle with him and he was able to wax it. We now know to carry a small candle stick as it'll be a pain to head back to the hire place once you're on the slopes. We paid just over £100 for 4 hrs lesson + beginner's ski pass + ski & pole hire and spent about 8hrs at Glenshee.
Food and drinks are quite expensive but it is to be expected. There is a note stating that you're not allowed to bring packed food into the cafe area but there are benches outside and you could easily get back to your car if it's not parked too far to grab a quick bite.

6. Balmoral Castle

Ballater AB35 5TB, Scotland +44 1339 742534
Excellent
40%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
19%
Poor
9%
Terrible
5%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 1 reviews

Balmoral Castle

Balmoral is the Scottish home of the British Royal Family. The Castle Ballroom, Gardens and Exhibitions are open from the 29th March until the 31st July. 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. In 2013 visitors area able to enjoy an exhibition of photographs of the Royal Family by Cecil Beaton. The exhibition is organised by the Victoria and Albert Museum London and contains over forty fascinating images. Other displays include a native wildlife exhibition, a look at the Royal Yacht Britannia, a year in the life of Balmoral and our Balmoral audio visual presentation. We have a spacious self service cafe and gift shop selling a wide range of Balmoral souvenirs. Walks and trails are waymarked on the estate so visitors can enjoy a leisurely riverside walk or more strenuous exploration of the many commemorative cairns located within the grounds.Please note that Balmoral closes to visitors on the 31st July. The room open to visitors in the Castle is the Ballroom. Other rooms in the Castle form part of Her Majesty's private residence and as such are not open to the public.

Reviewed By Sindy M - Belvidere, Illinois

There are so many nice and accurate reviews on here, that I feel that I do not need to ramble on. This place is smaller than we thought. My friend is handicap, so they let us drive right up & through the gates, to the visitor's center parking. She had to walk a short distance, but was able to get a motorized wheelchair that they provided free of charge. It fit everywhere we went. The Walker's shortbread cookies with a hot beverage was a nice touch as November in Scotland is not warm! The guides were very nice & informative. So glad they had at least one day/week, in the winter, that one can visit.

7. Ballater Golf Club

Victoria Road, Ballater AB35 5LX, Scotland +44 1339 755567
Excellent
68%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 78 reviews

Ballater Golf Club

Founded in 1892, this scenic 18-hole golf course offers its toughest challenge on its opening six holes, which include two difficult par threes.

Reviewed By Glasgow1900 - Glasgow, United Kingdom

Played here a couple of days ago and was pleasantly surprised. Course in great condition despite the devastation last December. Everyone is recovering in Ballater following the storm / flooding and there's still evidence of that. It's work in progress but the golf club looks great, fairways and greens in lovely condition. I'll definitely be back next year.

8. Craigendarroch

Ballater, Scotland
Excellent
54%
Good
44%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 36 reviews

Craigendarroch

Reviewed By Barrington55 - Maidstone, Kent

Stayed there recently and we had a lovely room. Everyone was very helpful including removing a Wasps Nest after my Daughter was stung. The ground are well maintained and the whole area is beautiful. The bar is not too pricey and the music on Friday was very enjoyable.

9. Cambus O'May Forest

north side of the A93 between Ballater and Dinnet, Ballater AB35 5SD, Scotland
Excellent
63%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 27 reviews

Cambus O'May Forest

Reviewed By Leslie L

We had a leisurely stroll trough the Cambus O'May forest this morning. We took the blue trail which was the shortest walk available around only one lochan. There were also more challenging red and yellow trails. The red trail goes around two lochans. It was very refreshing and the gorse and broom were in full bloom adding a bright yellow splash to the green forest. The lochan was very shallow and not much to look at. Overall, I enjoyed the walk. A nice family outing.

10. Ballater VisitScotland iCentre

Cairngorms National Park Authority, Albert Memorial Hall, Ballater AB35 5QB, Scotland +44 1339 755306
Excellent
86%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 26 reviews

Ballater VisitScotland iCentre

Reviewed By thetravellingmanUk - uk

We popped in here last Saturday afternoon whilst spending a few hours in the area. We were interested to know what was going on in the village and were informed that it was the 'Muckle Fest'.
The lady in the Ballater VisitScotland iCentre was very pleasant, helpful, and able to give us the information we required about the village and surrounding areas.
The iCentre is currently in temporary accommodation within the Albert Memorial Hall due to the previous building being destroyed by fire back in May 2015, but is in the process of being rebuilt.

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