Let’s all go to Braemar! Bra-marrr (in my best Scottish accent). Braemar is the home of the Highland Games, surrounded by stunning nature and close to Balmoral. If it’s good enough for the Royal Family, then it’s good enough for me. Visiting Braemar Scotland in winter was a wonderful experience, let me take you through the best things to do in Braemar.
- The best things to do in Braemar Scotland
- Visit Braemar Village
- One of the best things to do in Braemar is get active
- Balmoral Pyramids – a fascinating hike in Braemar
- Play Golf at Braemar Golf Course
- Best Hikes in Braemar
- Best Hikes in Braemar: Linn of Dee Circuit
- Best Hikes in Braemar: Climb Morrone
- Best hikes in Braemar: Loch Callater
- Wild Swimming in Braemar
- Accommodation in Braemar
The best things to do in Braemar Scotland
Visit Braemar Village – best things to do in Braemar
Braemar Village is quite upmarket. It’s got a mountain village vibe as its one of Scotland’s highest towns, so there are lots of hikers pottering around. There are a few restaurants and bars that are all friendly, reasonably priced and serve substantial food.
The fanciest in town is, The Fife Arms, which has a number of different wonderfully curated areas that you can eat and drink and a few tables outside. I’d recommend taking one of the outdoor spaces so you can watch all of the luxurious sports cars pulling in.
Be sure to visit the beautiful chocolate shop on the high street, but watch out for the fairly limited opening hours. They shut the shop regularly to replenish their stocks.
I’d also highly recommend the butchers shop on the High Street, the ice-cream they sell is outrageously creamy and the meat fresh and plentiful. Rumour has it that they supply Balmoral.
One of the best things to do in Braemar is get active
In the area surrounding Braemar, there’s lots to do if you enjoy an active adventure. My favourites are below:
Balmoral Pyramids – a fascinating hike in Braemar
Balmoral Castle is just down the road (about 20 mins) from Braemar. If you have a car and you’re in the area, I’d highly recommend a visit to Scotland’s very own Pyramids! Start in Balmoral, where you can grab a coffee just outside the main house. Then take the meandering track, along the way you’ll see the Balmoral golf course (we can only dream to play it!)
Allegedly, the Cairns (Pyramids) were built by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in dedication to the marriages of their children. There is a fascinating history attached to these structures which you can learn about as you explore.
It’s quite a steep climb and can get muddy, so hiking boots or wellies are a must. The full loop is around 6 miles, but you could shorten this if you’re low on time and return once you’ve seen the Prince Albert Pyramid (which is the main event). this is one of the more unusual sites when visiting Braemar, Scotland
Play Golf at Braemar Golf Course
This is a small golf course, but it’s wicked fun to play. There are some choppy water obstacles and some very satisfying shots to make as a result. It’s also quick to get around as it’s a quiet course.
Best Hikes in Braemar
There are lots of options in and around Braemar. It’s near the Cairngorns, but you don’t have to go that far to enjoy a good hike.
Best Hikes in Braemar: Linn of Dee Circuit
I’d recommend the Linn of Dee circuit, which is around 4-5km and relatively flat. It’s around a 10 min drive from Braemar, worth it for the waterfalls and stunning riverside scenery you’ll find on this walk. Look out for the Bothy’s on route too!
Best Hikes in Braemar: Climb Morrone
My second favourite hike is to climb Morrone. This is a 650m ascent that starts in the town, just behind the Highland Games arena. It’s a fairly easy path to climb, clearly way marked and will take you to the peak which affords marvelous views back over the Cairngorns and of Braemar town. It will take around half a day and make sure you dress for the weather, it can set in at anytime! An important mention when visiting Braemar, Scotland.
Best hikes in Braemar: Loch Callater
Finally, you could walk around Loch Callater. A short drive away from Braemar (around 5 miles) will take you to the Loch. Walking around the Loch is an absolute treat, if you go early in the morning you might see mist rising over the water. The waterfalls peaking out of the hills around the loch are also a delight. This is not an easy walk, it’s rocky in places and takes around 3 hours.
Wild Swimming in Braemar
Brace yourself. Whilst on the Linn of Dee walk you’ll notice that there is a winding and invitingly clear river running through. It’s not for the fainthearted, but a quick dip will get the blood pumping! Ice ice baby.
Accommodation in Braemar
Accommodation in Braemar is not easy to come by, but there are a few options.
For a budget stay , Braemar Youth Hostel is a fabulous option. A former shooting lodge, with plenty of space to enjoy the surroundings.
Cranford Guest House is a perfect little B&B, guests love the homely feel here at this accommodation in Braemar. Perfect for a couple taking a few days in the area.
Braemar Apartments are probably the best place for a family to stay in the area. With plenty of space and a modern interior. Book in advance to avoid disappointment.
You can also consider accommodation near to Braemar. Here are the best picks:
Dalmunzie Castle Hotel – fancy staying in a castle in Scotland? Sounds idyllic to me. The castle is located not far from Braemar in Blairgowrie. With an 8.4 rating on Booking.com, guests love the castle setting and location.
Howe of Torbeg are stunning lodges in nearby Ballater. Outdoor fans will love these wonderful and cosy lodges, perfect to retreat to after a day of hiking in Braemar.
Macdui Mar Lodge Estate is in Ballater, not far from Braemar. What could be more Scottish than staying on an estate? Guests adore this place, giving it a 9.2 rating on Booking.com.
Would you prefer a tour?
If you’d prefer a tour to visit the surrounding area, including Balmoral, you can arrange a day trip from nearby Aberdeen.
Most of our planning is done using other blogs, but you can’t beat a guide book at the bottom of your case. Find them here on Amazon.
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