Deeside Tourist Route

Deeside Tourist Route

Length 108 miles / 174 km

This is an enchanting route from Perth to Aberdeen, via the towering splendour of the Cairngorms National Park. The Deeside Tourist Route is an epic drive, passing through the fruit-growing farmland of Blairgowrie, the jaw-dropping National Park and the lush landscapes of Royal Deeside.

Highlights

The Black Watch Castle and Museum

See uniforms, medals and weapons belonging to the iconic Black Watch Regiment.

Discover the story of the iconic Black Watch Regiment, Scotland’s oldest Highland regiment, from 1725 onwards. The fascinating Black Watch Castle & Museum is located in historic Balhousie Castle and showcases fascinating objects associated with regimental life, including uniforms, medals, diaries and weapons. Find out how the regiment came into existence and how its role has evolved throughout the centuries, right up to the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. While you’re in Perth you can explore the exhibits at Perth Museum and Art Gallery, see personal items belonging to John Duncan Fergusson, the celebrated Scottish colourist, at the Fergusson Gallery or catch a live performance at Perth Concert Hall.

Scone Palace

Tour the opulent rooms, browse precious treasures and stroll around the star-shaped maze.

For anyone in the area a visit to Scone Palace is a must. This magnificent stately home is the former home of the Stone of Destiny and nearby Moot Hill was the crowning place of Scottish kings. Robert the Bruce was crowned at Scone in 1306. See a replica of the Stone of Destiny, tour the opulent rooms, browse precious treasures and head out for a stroll in the grounds, where you can try your luck at negotiating the star-shaped Murray Star Maze. You might see red squirrels as you wander too! You could also enjoy a day at the races at nearby Perth Racecourse.

Blairgowrie Golf Club

Choose between three stunning golf courses and enjoy a round.

Keen golfers shouldn’t miss the opportunity to play a round at stunning Blairgowrie Golf Club, which is home to the James Braid designed Rosemount Course, challenging Landsdowne Course and charming 9 hole Wee Course. Warm up on the driving range and putting green before heading out onto the course of your choice to test your accuracy on tree-lined avenues. Other golf courses nearby include Dalmunzie Golf Club, Alyth Golf Club and Strathmore Golf Centre, also in Alyth.

Mar Lodge Estate

Follow a trail and look out for majestic red deer, golden eagles and pine marten.

Encompassing almost seven percent of the stunning Cairngorms National Park, Mar Lodge Estate covers 29,000 hectares (290 km2) and includes 15 Munros (mountains over 3,000 ft). Stretch your legs on a stroll around one of the trails and soak up the magnificent scenery in the National Park. Keep your eyes peeled for majestic red deer, golden eagles and pine marten as you wander too. Also in the Cairngorms National Park, look out for Glenshee Ski Centre, where you can hone your snowsports skills in the winter months, and Braemar Castle, which has stood since 1628 and boast a fascinating history.

Royal Lochnagar Distillery

Discover how whisky is made and uncover the distillery’s royal connections.

Follow the path of the River Dee to Royal Lochnagar Distillery and book onto a tour of this picturesque Highland whisky distillery. Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert, were reportedly keen whisky drinkers and visited the distillery in 1848 for what would be its first ever tour. They enjoyed the whisky so much Victoria granted the distillery its Royal Warrant shortly afterwards. On your tour you’ll learn about the whisky making process, see all the equipment and can even enjoy a free sample at the end. Nearby why not visit Balmoral Castle, which was built by Victoria and Albert and is now owned by Her Majesty The Queen, or Crathie Kirk, which is often visited by the Royal Family during their stays at Balmoral.

Cambus O’May Cheese Co

Learn about the traditional art of cheese making and try samples.

Stop off at the Cambus O’May creamery to learn about the traditional art of cheese making. Hear about the original recipes and traditional methods that go into making the cheese and peek into the aging rooms where the wheels of cheese rest until they are perfect. Afterwards sample the three cheese varieties, Cambus O’May, Lairig Ghru and Lochnager, and choose your favourite. You can even buy some to enjoy later – the perfect treat after a day’s sightseeing. Why not pair with oatcakes and a glass of wine?

Muir of Dinnet National Nature Reserve

Step inside the Burn o’ Vat – a giant pothole in the earth.

Stretch your legs or stop for a picnic at the stunning Muir of Dinnet NNR. Located in the Cairngorms National Park, the reserve includes woodland, heathland and a sparkling loch to explore. There are four great trails to choose from, including an easy 1.3 km stroll to arguably the reserve’s most famous feature – the other-worldy Burn o’ Vat. This giant pothole was carved out during the Ice Age and you can step inside for up-close views of the immense chasm. Other trails include the Loch Kinord Trail (6 km), Parkin’s Moss Trail (3 km) and Little Ord Trail (4 km).

Go Ape at Crathes Castle

Test yourself on tarzan swings, zip wires and rope ladders.

Tarzan swings, zip wires and rope ladders – just some of the obstacles you can tackle on this tree top assault course. Located in the grounds of Crathes Castle, if you’re looking for an active adventure Go Ape is perfect – you’re guaranteed to make lifelong memories. You can also enjoy a tour of Crathes Castle, which was built in the 16th century and boasts period rooms, towers and beautiful gardens to explore. Nearby the Royal Deeside Railway will transport you back in time with a steam train ride along the line formerly used by Queen Victoria and the Royal Family on their visits to Balmoral.

Drum Castle

Explore a 13th century castle.

Granted to William de Irwyn by King Robert the Bruce in 1323, Drum Castle’s origins date back to medieval times. See with your own eyes how this fascinating castle has been expanded over the centuries – from the original square tower of the 13th century, to the Jacobean mansion house and later Victorian additions. Owned by the Irvine family until 1975, there are plenty of antiques, treasures and mementos of family life to discover inside too. Afterwards smell the luscious perfumes in the Garden of Historic Roses and take a stroll through the ancient oak woodland in the Old Wood of Drum.

His Majesty’s Theatre

See a show, enjoy a meal or tuck into a luxurious afternoon tea.

Although Aberdeen is famed for its silvery granite buildings, His Majesty’s Theatre has to be one of the most impressive. Opened in 1906, the theatre’s majestic façade is perfectly complemented by its opulent interior. Book tickets to see a show or enjoy a meal in the 1906 Restaurant. You could even pop in for a luxurious afternoon tea to really indulge. Other attractions in Aberdeen include the Gordon Highlanders Museum, Union Square Shopping Centre, Aberdeen Maritime Museum and St Machar’s Cathedral in historic Old Aberdeen.

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