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Local Area

~ Aboyne

Aboyne is a charming village on the River Dee, set in the magnificent back drop of Royal Deeside and lies at the edge of the Cairngorms mountains.

The village has a varied selection of shops and places to eat, a theatre and swimming pool. Hill Trek and Monkey Business, two shops situated in the village, will provide outdoor clothing for all weathers and age groups for those who have come unprepared. A fantastic butcher, supermarket and general store will serve all your catering requirements. The large village green is the venue of the annual Highland games and also the focus of the Aboyne and Deeside Festival held every July.

~ Eating out


The Black Faced Sheep in the village is excellent and has a great emporium of gifts and goodies. The Corner House is a family friendly tea shop for light snacks and gifts. The Finzean Farm Shop, which is only 5 miles away, have a fantastic selection of local Scottish produce, crafts and fabulous home cooked food. The Deeside Activity Park has delicious home made burgers, soups, and mince and tatties (slow cooked beef and mashed potatoes) and wonderful baking. Great for kids! The farm shop stock the Cairnton Farm prize winning beef. Further a field in Ballater, Rock Salt & Snails and The Station Restaurant are great favourites. The Station has great hand made chips with the freshest fish from Arbroath and great daily specials. In Banchory you have The Raemoir Hotel with delicious bar food from David …The Scottish Chef of the year and his team, affordable and extremely good. As is Buchanans Restaurant which has great coffee and light lunches at the Woodend Barn Arts Centre.


The Boat Inn is just 10 minutes walk and do good pub grub. For more of an occasion The Raemoir Hotel and The Darroch Learg Hotel serve excellent food. The Raemoir Hotel, Banchory, has been Scottish Country House Hotel of the year consecutive years running. Julie and Neil will give you a warm welcome to their wonderfully Scottish Georgian hotel which has a very homely feel. The food will not disappoint…. excellent, and not Edinburgh prices! The Darroch Learg Hotel is a delightful combination of romantic formality and peaceful indulgence. We love it so much we had our wedding here! Food is very good and Fiona and Nigel will be perfect hosts. Great wine menu too. Lochnagar Indian Brasserie in Ballater, delicious Indian cuisine, well deserved after a day on the river or a mountain climb. Station Restaurant is open during the spring/summer months and serve very good bistro food. Try one of their cinema dinner evenings. Latest cinema releases with a three course meal and a bottle of wine. Buchanans is a favourite with the Banchory locals, which is always good to know. Very good Bistro food.

~ Eating In

Local Produce

I know you are on holiday but the following is a helpful guide to the best places to find local Scottish produce. The Coo hoose has a well equipped kitchen and has some great recipe books for inspiration. Finzean Farm shop, from which you can obtain game from the estate, beef from there farm, Ingrims pork, great selection of grocery products and fresh vegetables. John Troup butcher, Aboyne – Great beef, pork and lamb. Pies are excellent for an easy tea. Speak to Allan and say I sent you. Sherridans Butcher, Ballater. By Royal appointment. Great for game, beef and sausages of all flavours made on the premises. George Strachans, Aboyne. By Royal appointment, this grocer shop can be found in Aboyne and Ballater and has great selection of Scottish Whisky and produce. Deeside Activity Farm Shop, Aboyne. The Cairnton Farm Beef will not disappoint and they also stock Ingrims pork sauasages and bacon products. Dee Larder in Ballater has a great selection of cheese, preserves, and fresh herbs. They will also make takeaway sandwiches. Chambers Bakers in Banchory and Ballater; a must try is their Balmoral Bread, my kids love it! Also good for picnics with a very retro selection of cakes, tray bakes and freshly made sandwiches. Also try their steak scotch pies, just the job after climbing a Munro. Raemoir  Garden Centre in Banchory has a great deli selection, very good cheese, cold meats and homemade ready meals. Visit The Creel, Banchory for the best fish straight from Arbroath and Montrose.
Fish – There are many fish vans that flee about Deeside on a regular daily base that come from Arbroth, Montrose and Gourdan on the coast. They stop and sell from the back of their van, so keep a look out!

~ Outdoor Activities

Salmon & Trout Fishing

Salmon fishing on the River Dee is internationally famous as the top Spring Atlantic Salmon River in the world during February – May. It has some of the best beats in Scotland, and all set in the stunning scenic back drop of Royal Deeside. All the Beats along the Dee are fly based and have a catch and release policy only. Visit www.fishdee.co.uk and for more information and to book fishing. There are some fabulous stocked Trout Lochs. Have a look at the Glen Tanar website as they have the most picturesque loch with two boats and four rods. Tullich Fishery just outside Ballater is great too, with the mountain of Lochnager as a back drop, it’s perfect for beginners and has a pool for kids to have a go too. Rods for hire. Aboyne Loch is open all year for coarse fisherman.

Aboyne Golf Course

You will find over 50 great courses in Aberdeenshire, catering for both the novice and more experienced golfer. Aboyne can boost two golf courses. Aboyne Golf Club, is a well maintained 18 hole Parkland course with spectacular views and well stocked pro shop. Speak to Steven Moir, the club pro, for trolley and club hire.

Deeside Activity Park

Deeside Activity Park offers a range of outdoor activities including: quad biking, kart racing, archery, clay pigeon shooting, 4×4 offroad driving, paintball, and rifle target shooting. Great fun for all ages. Farm shop and restaurant, with indoor play barn and outdoor all-weather sledging slope.

Walking & Hill Walking

The area is a walkers paradise and offers some of the best walking in Scotland. There is no less than 24 Munros (mountains over 3,000 feet) in the Braemar area alone. The Ballater Walking Festival in May is a major annual event, and The Active Aboyne Festival in September has a large number of hill walking and outdoor activity events. Walk Deeside is a local company that offers outdoor activities and guided hill walking holidays and Running The Highlands offers training weekends, tailored running weekends and quirky guided runs.


3 of Scotland’s 5 major Snow Centres and within easy reach of Aboyne. The Lecht is 45 mins (28 miles), Glenshee is 1 hour (43 miles) and the biggest, Cairngorm is less than 2 hours away (66 miles).

Deeside Gliding Club

If you fancy taking to the air, Deeside gliding Club is located near Aboyne and is reowned for being the foremost wave soaring site in the British Isles. the UK altitude record of 38,600 feet was set in a glider flown from the club.

Horse Riding

Glen Tanar Equestrian Centre offers safe, quality riding along some of the most stunning country side on Deeside. For all abilities and ages. Trek up mountains, along riverside and through ancient Caledonian woodland. Spectacular views and scenery to be enjoyed.

Water Skiing

Aberdeen Water Skiing Centre operates on the Loch of Aboyne and catering for all levels and ages, from beginner through to national competition level. April – October. Visitors welcome Saturday and Sunday afternoons… booking required.


Deeside is surrounded by terrain suitable for all abilities. Explore forest trails, single track desents and quiet roads. The IMBA has recently awarded Scotland the worlds’ top mountain bike destination for the second year running. Cycling Highlands, in Ballater, specialise in bike hire, guiding and corporate events. They are also the largest bike shop in Aberdeenshire. Speak to Richard the owner for more information or visit their website. Recently opened is a mountain bike park in Aboyne, situated in Bell Wood Forest on the out skirts of the village. With ‘pump track’, a down hill section, and jumps area.

Castles, Scottish History & Culture

Z-plan Scottish Castles, beautiful walled gardens, art galleries, the granite city …Aberdeen, and much more.
Please use the folowing to plan your tour
~  www.nts.org.uk   (National Trust for Scotland)
~  www.historic-scotland.gov.uk
~  www.snh.gov.uk  (Scottish National Heritage)
~  www.visitscotland.com
~  www.aberdeen-grampian.com

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