Balmoral Cairns Circular

  • Distance

    6 miles

    Equivalent of walking up the Eiffel Tower 30 times

  • Duration

    2 hours

  • Difficulty


  • Terrain

    Paths and tracks. Can get a little steep in places.

  • OS grid reference


  • Calories burned


    Enough for a post-walk plate of pasta

Route Info

This is a lovely historical walk around the Balmoral estate. It takes in a number of impressive cairns, many of which were erected in honour of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

To start this walk, park up in the pay & display car park in Crathie and head over the Brunel-built bridge. Follow the road left from the castle entrance, past the golf course, and turn right when signed for the Royal Lochnagar Distillery.

As well as great views of Balmoral Castle itself, you’ll look out over Deeside and wander past a number of delightful cottages. It is recommended that you do not walk this route whilst the Royal Family are in residence, which is usually Easter, Christmas, August and September, to respect the privacy of the residents.

Kit List

  • Good quality walking boots
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Camera
  • Daysack
  • Map of the route

Did you know?

The massive pyramid-shaped cairn was erected by Queen Victoria following the passing of her husband, Prince Albert.

Route Highlight

Looking down onto the stunning Balmoral Castle.

Where to stop

Just up the road from the route start/finish are three B&Bs - Copper Beach, Tomidhu Steading and Cairngormlight - which would be ideal if you wanted to make a weekend of it and visit the castle itself.