BanchoryAberdeenshire. It's in the scenic Dee valley 18 miles west of Aberdeen, and its main visitor attraction is Crathes Castle. It's also a good base for visiting Balmoral Castle and Cairngorms National Park.
See Aberdeen for air, rail and road options. An hourly Stagecoach Bus 201 runs up the Dee valley from Aberdeen (Union Square) to Crathes Castle, Banchory, Ballater, Balmoral Castle and Braemar.
The bus serves the valley, along A93, but you really need a car to explore the area.
phone: +44 844 493 2166address: Crathes Estate, Banchory AB31 5QJAttractive 16th C castle with turretted tower, thick walls and ivy growing up the cream walls. Extensive garden with carved yew hedges and colourful borders. You can also hike pre-marked trails in the large estate.
address: Drumoak AB31 5EY13th-century tower with 17th & 19th C additions (yes, you can see the join) and gardens.
address: Bridge Street, Banchory AB31 5SXWill teach you more about Banchory’s history.
phone: +44 844 493 2174address: near Alford, AB33 8JFThis fairy-tale pink castle has the sort of turrets you thought only existed at Disneyland. Fitting elegantly into the rolling landscape, it was completed in 1626. It has the original carved plaster ceilings and original Jacobean woodwork. You are shown round by a guide. There is a small but lovely garden.
address: Milton of Crathes AB31 5QHThis operates along a mile of standard-gauge line, a fragment of the Aberdeen-Ballater line that perished in the Beeching cuts. Trains run April-Sept on Sat, Sun and some Weds, mostly diesel-hauled but with steam Sundays in summer (also steam "Santa Specials" near Christmas). They run hourly 11:00-16:00 from Milton of Crathes west along the riverside to Birkenbaud then return; the railway society hopes to extend the line to West Lodge.
address: Aboyne AB34 5BJRescue & re-homing centre for neglected & mistreated horses - they also run centres in Somerset, Lancashire and Norfolk.
- Deeside Gliding Club is based at Aboyne Airfield, Dinnet AB34 5LB, 12 miles west of Banchory.
- Banchory River Festival (incorporating St Ternan’s Fair) was held in mid-June to 2017. It was cancelled in 2018 and its future is uncertain.
The Farmers Market is held here 3rd Saturday of the month 09:00-13:00 at Bellfield Park.
There's also one on the 4th Saturday of the month 10:00-14:00 at Church Green, Ballater, and another every Wednesday 10:00-14:00 at Platform 22, Torphins.
address: 22 High StDoes good meals and is nice for coffee or afternoon tea.
phone: +44 1330 824944address: 25 High StIsn't what it was, but they still do a traditional High Tea. 18 bedroom hotel and coach house restaurant.
Banchory Lodge HotelOffers full dining in the dining room, or bar lunches in the lounge. Surroundings are quintessentially Scottish and food is usually pretty good.
address: Crathes,, Banchory AB31 5QHhigh-class dining.
address: RaemoirVery nice, and even more quintessential! Also has 18 bedrooms.
Garden Restaurant & Raemoir CafeGarden centre with cafe and foodhall.
Banchory West ChurchIf you find yourself in Banchory on a Friday morning, nip round the corner at the church in the High Street and go in through the hole in the wall to find a down-to-earth authentic Scottish church coffee morning, complete with tray-bakes and chat, with procceeds going to charity.
phone: +44 1330 824393address: North Deeside Road
phone: +44 1330 822625address: Dee St
phone: +44 1330 824 944address: 25 High St