Balmoral Castle & Boat of Garten

Balmoral Castle is the Queen’s private retreat in the Scottish highlands. Originally purchased by Queen Victoria who spent a great deal of her time there. The tour is 95% outdoors, showing you some exhibits in the stables then leading you on an audio self-guided tour.

The gardens are exquisite and the estate house is far off the main road, offering true privacy. The one room available to view is the ballroom.


On the way back to the car park, we walked down a trail by the river rather than following the prescribed path. I can see why the Queen utilizes it as a retreat, it felt as though we were miles from everyone and it truly provided an escape from every day life.

We were staying in Boat of Garten that evening. The drive to the town provided a beautiful quilt-like landscape with patches of various foliage lining the rolling hills.

Our hotel was divine (although mildly confusing when it came time to finding our room in the labyrinth leading to the rooms. We made a dinner reservation upon check in (if you’ll remember from an earlier post, reservations are required at most Scottish inns). While dinner was quite good, the best part was my drink. My drink of choice recently has been an old fashioned. This bartender made the best old fashioned I had ever had! I think it was the raw chunks of sugar versus just a crushed sugar cube. 

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