It is not that unusual for inspiring monarchs to leave their mark on the land where they once ruled. Scottish place names with royal connections abound, and from the Picts, Scots and Vikings right through to modern times different rulers have brought their regal names to the areas of land where they once held sway. Deeside, particularly because of the association of Queen Victoria, simply became known as Royal Deeside. Historical records show that the area has been a favourite holiday destination of the Royal Family ever since Queen Victoria and Prince Albert first visited and fell in love with the Balmoral Estate in 1848. Since then successive generations of the Royal Family have adopted the area as their tranquil retreat.
Extract from "My Dear Paradise in the Highlands" DVD by Roy Stewart of RSFilms
Visitors today can follow in the footsteps of Queen Victoria taking in the sights and attractions that have been attracting tourists for 150 years. The Victorian Heritage Trail, (brown signposted road signs) were set up specially to promote the area’s Victorian connections for visitors to see and enjoy. In Ballater, not far from the Royal residence of Balmoral Castle you can now also download & follow "Discover Deeside" which is a short augmented reality Queen Victoria trail around the village, which has been developed by Aberdeenshire Council and Ballater Business Association.
Ballater Victoria Week 8th - 16th August 2020
Visit the village during the first week of August and you can take part in all the fun and games of Victoria Week. The festivities originally started in 1987 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Queen Victoria's accession and to raise funds for the refurbishment of the Victoria and Albert Halls, The week brings together numerous sections of the community to enjoy a host of fun activities for all ages. The famous Ballater Highland Games are held annually on the second Thursday in August in Monaltrie Park, Ballater . Find out more from the Ballater Victoria Week events programme. There's lots of things to see and do this summer in Royal Deeside, North East Scotland.
Over the years the week has raised thousands of pounds for local causes and continually seeks to renew and refresh itself by reflecting current trends and initiatives.There's always something to bring a smile to your face from the community, a recent Queen Victoria Flash mob didn't disappoint the visitors!
Queen Victoria reigned from 1837–1901 and in many locations around Royal Deeside you can also see fine examples of Victorian architecture, the architectural revival styles in the mid-to-late 19th century. Some of the tell tale signs include patterned bricks, decorated roof line and slates, bay and sash windows, floor tiles, stained glass, a fireplace in every room, porches or a date stone, which is a stone set in above the door with a name and/or date.
You can find out more about the North East of Scotland from the following tourism destinations and organisations.