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Walks around Royal Deeside

Royal Deeside and the Cairngorms offer some of the best and most spectacular walks in Northern Europe.

There are no less than 24 mountains over 3,000 feet in the Braemar area alone! It is a paradise for hill-walkers, covering as it does such renowned hills and mountain names as Lochnagar, Morven, Derry Cairngorm, Beinn and Bhuird and the Lairig Gill. These are not for the faint-hearted, but there are plenty of other walks to suit all abilities and ages. Local company WalkDeeside offer a wide range of quality walking holidays based on Royal Deeside and the Cairngorms, with qualified guides and instructors, NNAS map reading and navigation courses.

All the towns and villages of Royal Deeside – Banchory, Aboyne, Ballater and Braemar – are surrounded by the most beautiful countryside, and each May a walking week is held in which participants can choose between walks of varying degrees of difficulty which are headed by experienced guides. These places also hold Treasure Trails, which are self-guided hunts where participants have to solve clues whilst exploring the area.

Each trail is approximately two miles long and takes between one and a half and two hours to complete. It is an inexpensive afternoon of fun for families and groups, with a £5 fee offering the chance of a £1,000 prize. If you require equipment, there is an excellent range of gear in the Hill Trek Outdoor Clothing Shop in Aboyne and they will give information on local walks. The Upper Deeside Trust (UDAT) has also produced a leaflet detailing some of the walks. Visitor Information Centres are another invaluable source of local knowledge that could lead you to discovering a stunning location off the beaten track that you might otherwise have missed. As you can see, the area offers a range of walks from those that can be undertaken by families with small children, to those that require a high degree of expertise. From a safety aspect it is worth noting that Braemar has a first-class Mountain Rescue Centre.

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