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Balmoral is a 50,000 acre estate and the private Scottish home of the British Royal Family. It was purchased from the Farquharson family by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria in 1852, close to the Highlands they both loved. The current castle, a classic example of Scottish baronial architecture, is new - Victoria and Albert had it constructed between 1853 and 1856; the old castle was then demolished. There is limited public access to the grounds, gardens and exhibitions (including access to the castle ballroom only) between spring and early summer, when the Royal Family is not in residence. Apart from the ballroom, the castle is not open to the public. Cottages in the grounds can also be hired.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral on 8 September 2022. She had habitually spent her summers there, with her husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh (until his death in 2021) and family. The Queen and the Prince spent their last, 73rd, wedding anniversary there in 2020. It was a place of happy memories for the Queen, from the time she first visited her grandparents, King George V and Queen Mary, there when she was a small child.
The Queen accepted Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s resignation and invited his successor, Liz Truss, to form a government at Balmoral on 6 September 2022, just two days before Her Majesty’s death.
The Royal family often worship at nearby Crathie Kirk and are familiar faces in the village of Ballater.
This is a growing listings directory – over 950 entries have been listed as of September 2022.
Entries have links for further information, such as opening times and entry fees.
If your favourite attraction is not listed yet, and you have a good quality digital photograph of it that you are able to freely send, please get in touch.