The Great Outdoors

A traditional village steeped in highland heritage…

Braemar – there’s nowhere to beat it!

Surrounded by magnificent scenery and oozing with history – Braemar is a magical village in the very heart of the highlands

Braemar encapsulates everybody’s picturesque ideal of Scotland –castles, mountains, fast flowing rivers, magnificent stags standing atop rocky crags, ancient pine forests – Braemar has all this and more.

Perhaps most famous for the Braemar Gathering, which has enjoyed royal patronage since 1848, there is, however, much more to this fascinating village. The history of the gathering dates right back to the reign of Malcolm Canmore (1058 – 1093). Nowadays, the first Saturday in every September sees the hills come alive to the skirl of the bagpipes as massed pipe bands from around the world congregate to take part in the Braemar Gathering. Caber tossing, highland dancing, hammer throwing, hill races, tug of war – all combine to create a truly magnificent spectacle.

In recent times, Braemar holds the record for Britains’ lowest recorded temperature when the mercury dipped to a chilly –27.2 degrees on January 10 1982.

Robert Louis Stevenson wrote the first part of Treasure Island in a Braemar cottage in August, 1881.

Braemar was the site of the Jacobite uprisings in 1715 and 1745 and it is home to two castles. Braemar Castle, built in 1628 by the Earl of Mar, was burned in 1689 and later garrisoned by government forces in an attempt to keep an eye on the ‘turbulent highlanders’ after the uprisings. The castle is open most days – and it is still possible to see some 18th century graffiti on the interior woodwork. Within Braemar village itself lie the ruined remains of Kindrochit Castle, built in 1390 by Malcolm de Drummond under licence from King Robert II.

Braemar was originally two settlements, Auchendroyne and Castelton, separated by the River Clunie. It stands at the junction of three glens, surrounded by magical mountain scenery and the Rivers Clunie and Dee. Twenty mountains over 3000 feet lie within the vicinity, offering walking, climbing and skiing in winter.