Renowned for its royal connections, Ballater lies between the meandering River Dee and the steep cliffs of Craigendarroch. The streets were set out in 1800 on a grid system, which may have inspired Ballater's most famous son, Sir Patrick Geddes, to embark on his career as 'The Father of Modern Town Planning'.

An excellent network of paths and tracks lead out of the town, providing a variety of routes to cater for all abilities.

36 miles, 56 km (50mins) west of Aberdeen, on the A93.


  • Accommodation; hotels, B&B's, caravan and campsite.
  • Tourist Information Centre; with free museum display on Queen Victoria's connections with Ballater railway station.
  • Restaurants & Cafes.
  • Bus Station.
  • Cycle hire
  • Toilets
  • For more information click here

Pass of Ballater
Carved out by glacier meltwater after the last ice age, the Pass of Ballater forms a deep cleft through the surrounding granite hills. On its north east side, a good track leads up to the top of Sgor Buidhe, giving fine views of the area, while the south-facing outcrops within the Pass offer excellent year-round rock climbing.

Immediately to the north of Ballater.


  • Car park.
  • For more information on rock climbing in the Pass, see the Scottish Mountaineering Club's (SMC) guidebook, 'Northeast Outcrops'.

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