Enjoy a Winter Guided Tour of Balmoral in Aberdeen
Balmoral Castle and Estate is one of the finest places to visit in Aberdeenshire. Surrounded by the glorious scenery of Royal Deeside, Balmoral Castle is the Scottish home of the Royal Family. A winter guided tour of Balmoral makes for a memorable day out for visitors in Aberdeen and the easy access by car from Park Inn by Radisson Aberdeen Hotel will make your stay even better! Check out our tips below and get ready to visit us when the time is right!
A Royal Residence
Balmoral Castle has been the Scottish home of the Royal Family since Prince Albert purchased the estate over 160 years ago. William Smith, City Architect of Aberdeen, worked closely with Prince Albert to design the building. Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone for Balmoral Castle back in 1853, and worked on the extensive project, completed 3 years later in 1856.
Since Queen Victoria’s reign, the castle has passed to each Royal successor. Hence it is now the traditional holiday home for Queen Elizabeth II and the other members of the Royal Family. Today the Royal Family takes a deep interest in the care and upkeep of Balmoral Castle and grounds so much so that each generation made improvements to the estate. The Royal Family is in residence at Balmoral Castle during August, September, and October, at which times the estate is closed to the public. In Late October, November, and December, however, visitors can explore Balmoral by joining one of the winter guided tours.
Tour Balmoral Castle
The Balmoral Winter Guided Tours take visitors around the exhibitions, the Castle Ballroom, and give them access to stroll around the majestic grounds. The Castle Ballroom is the largest room in Balmoral and it has been used as the venue for an annual ‘Ghillies Ball’ every year since Queen Victoria’s reign. Visitors to the great ballroom can admire statues, paintings, castle artifacts and they can also explore the seasons, wildlife, and landscapes of the Balmoral estate while visiting one of the exhibitions. The formal gardens of Balmoral cover 3 acres of land and include a rose garden, a conservatory, and Victorian glasshouses. The Royal Family renovates the grounds regularly and most recently, the Duke of Edinburgh created a water garden and enlarged the flower and vegetable garden.
Upcoming Winter Guided tours will be available on specific dates during late October, November, and early December. The guided tours start on the hour, from 11am to 2pm, and last approximately 1 hour. Visitors should aim to arrive a little early to buy tickets and park their cars. After the tour of Balmoral, be sure to visit the gift shop to purchase unique gifts and souvenirs such as Balmoral crystal, clothing, and even Balmoral whisky! You can also visit a coffee shop on site for some light snacks and refreshments. Visitors can also have access to the grounds, gardens, and exhibitions which are open to the public on a daily basis from March until July.
When in Aberdeen, don’t miss the chance to visit the Aberdeen Art Gallery, the Gordon Highlanders Museum, the Maritime Museum, or the David Welch Winter Gardens in Duthie Park. Aberdeen is a great place to stay when you take a trip to Balmoral, as it is close to many other cultural attractions. If you enjoy your day at Balmoral, be sure to visit any of the other breathtaking castles in Aberdeenshire. You can add the fairytale-like Crathes Castle near Banchory, or the equally stunning cliff-top ruins of Dunnottar Castle to your list. In fact, Dunnotar Castle, along with other surprising locations look eerily similar to the sets of the hit HBO drama Game of Thrones – locations you can visit!
Finish your day with a tasty meal at one of Aberdeen’s many restaurants, like the designer Fusion Bar and Bistro, intimate Rendezvous at Nargile, or the contemporary RBG Bar & Grill. Staying at the Park Inn by Radisson Aberdeen Hotel means you can travel through the beautiful countryside to Balmoral in just over an hour by car. Enjoy a comfortable night’s sleep and a buffet breakfast before heading off to explore the Balmoral grounds and castle.