Horse and Coaches to Horsepower in Royal Deeside

Known as the oldest village in Royal Deeside, it has a long and illustrious history. For centuries it overlooked one of the most important fords across the River Dee, as it lay on the direct route north from the Cairn O' Mount road.  

In 1296, Edward I of England's 35,000 strong army not only crossed the River Dee here they also camped around the village, consuming an entire year's supplies of food and drink in a single day!

It was also the most direct drove route for cattle moving from northern Aberdeenshire down to markets further south. However when the Dee was in spate the drovers had to wait. Other travellers could make use of a ferry some 300m upstream from the ford. 

A ferry was still in use as late as 1937 but a flood wrecked and washed it away. The fare was 2d and last crossing of the day was at 10.00pm.

The village is remarkable in having very few buildings less than 100 years old. The former Hotel was built as a coaching inn in the 1830s. In summer it was a staging post on the horse & coach service to Braemar & Balmoral. In winter Kincardine O'Neil was often the end of the service from Aberdeen.

Maryculter Carriages

The 26-mile journey from Aberdeen to Kincardine O'Neil could take between 8 and 11 hours depending on the weather.

Jump forward to the present day and you will see that Kincardine O Neil has swapped coach and horses for horsepower of a totally different kind.

Set in the grounds of the wonderful grounds of Kincardine O Neil Castle Estate, the Royal Deeside Speed Festival will be held on the 20th of August.

The Castle boasts a 3,000-acre estate, including woodland, a walled garden – and a magnificent driveway, which will play host to the Speed Festival’s hill climb event. If you can't make a  visit on Sunday, then why not check out the next "Pop Up Cafe" on Friday the 1st September. More details on Kincardine Castle can be found HERE.

Royal Deeside Speed Festival Sunday 20th August 

This is the second year of the festival and if last year was anything to go by, when some 8,000 visitors enjoyed the sights and sounds on show, then 2017 is gearing up to be a great event too. In their words “the event is not just for petrol heads but also has static displays, attractions and stalls, giving everybody plenty to see and do” Click Here to book your ticket

One thing is for sure the 1830’s horse and coach service will not be operating!

However if you have a love of horses and their welfare why not check out Belwade Farm and their daily workshops that run throughout the summer. Open Wednesday - Sunday from 11 am.

Belwade Farm, Aboyne

Furthermore if you would like to take a step back in time and enjoy a private tour by horse and carriage then please feel free to get in touch as we work with the Maryculter Carriages company who can take you out for a 1/2day tour along some quiet roads with stunning Royal Deeside views.



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