Things To Do in Royal Deeside, Ballater


We host open Scottish music sessions every other Wednesday at The Deeside Inn. 

Everyone is welcome to come along – either to sit back and relax as a spectator or bring an instrument along and join in.

We are building up a monthly programme of fantastic live music.  For more information please contact The Deeside Inn directly on 01339 755413 or email the hotel at:


You could stay with us for weeks on end and never run out of new walks to enjoy.  Royal Deeside has been described as a walker’s paradise – there are gentle walks around the glens of the River Dee and plenty of big hills including one of the most famous Munros Lochnagar.  If you want to be adventurous but don’t want to go it alone there are many experienced local guides.  For more information please contact the hotel directly on 01339 755413 or email the hotel at:


Mountain Biking

This part of the world has won awards for being one of the best regions for mountain biking.  The terrain is challenging and the scenery stunning.  We are very fortunate to be located directly opposite Cyclehighlands – Aberdeenshire’s leading cycle centre.  You can hire high performance bikes from as little as £22 for a half day and you will be given route cards, maps and plenty of good advice.  A guiding service is also available.  For more information contact Cyclehighlands on 01339 55864.


Go Ape

This fantastic tree top adventure is situated in the grounds of Crathes Castle approximately 30 mins drive away from The Deeside Inn.  The admission price is £30 per adult and £24 per child.  For more information visit their website (


Wildlife Watching

The BBC’s latest Winter Watch was filmed in and around the Cairngorms, with much of the footage coming from nearby Mar Lodge Estate.  The estate covers over 30,000 hectares of some of the most remote and scenic landscape in Scotland.  At Mar Lodge and various other estates in the area including Glen Tanar, Glenmuick, Balmoral and Invercauld there are opportunities to see red deer, red squirrel, grouse, pine martens, otters and even golden eagles.  Don’t leave home without your binocular.  Our team at The Deeside Inn will be able to point you in the right direction.  There’re also a number of very experienced guides in the area who will, for a very reasonable fee, help increase your chances of spotting the “big five”!



The River Dee is the most famous salmon fishing river in the world with as many as 250 anglers on the river each day during the season.  Hiring someone to take you fishing for the day is less expensive than you would think.  There are many great ghillies in the area who will happily teach you all you need to know to land your first big catch.  For more information contact The Deeside Inn on 01333 755413 or email the hotel at:

For an interesting afternoon out visit Finzean Estate, former home of Victorian landscape painter Joseph Farquharson.  There’s a fantastic farm shop and an award winning tea room.

Consider hiring a local wildlife guide for the day – they will be worth every penny. Take a walk down Ballater’s main street and see how many shops have the Royal warrant displayed outside. Ask our team about the best places to wild swim in the area. 

For great music sessions go to The Aberdeen Arms in Tarland on a Tuesday night and, in the summer months only, the Coilacriech Inn on the Braemar Road. Visit John Brown’s grave in Crathie Churchyard.