Balmoral Castle is probably the most famous and well-known estate of the Royal Family of the United Kingdom. As we all know Queen Elizabeth II’s reign is ongoing for more than 50 years. If you watch the Crown series on Netflix you already know that the Queen loves the Balmoral Castle like all other royal family members. Visiting Balmoral Castle would a great holiday option for you. Because you can both witness the history itself and also enjoy the peerless nature of Scotland when you visit Balmoral Castle.
If you want to visit Balmoral Castle where is the Scottish holiday home to the Royal Family you should read this post. I think that it would be helpful for the people who want to visit, to learn a couple of things about this famous and royal place. Before I forget, this unique castle also knowns as a Balmoral Estate. You will information about Balmoral Castle’s history, its relationship with the royal family and is this place is important for them. Also, I give information about Balmoral Tours and how to visit Balmoral Castle. By the way, you can use directly read the topic you want from.
Balmoral Castle History
Well, Balmoral Estate is the home of the royal family since 1852. It was bought by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria. Actually purchase story of the Balmoral Castle has more history than this. In the autumn of 1842, Queen Victoria visited Scotland and it was the first time for her. She mesmerized by the nature of Scotland. She loved the highlands and all the things. Also, she visited Perthshire and Ardverikie during that trip. After the trip, she decided to buy an estate from the Balmoral. Sometime later, they decided to buy the estate at the date of 17 February 1848 and 7 months later, 8 September 1848 they arrived at the Balmoral. The negotiations started immediately and they bought it 22 June 1852 by Prince Albert in the name of Queen Victoria.
Construction of the Castle
The royal family decided to renovate the Balmoral Castle, at that there was no castle at all. Because Balmoral was a little small for them. So they get along with William Smith who was the city architect of the Aberdeen. Based on the desire of Prince Albert they demanded from William Smith to build a big castle where is enough for the royal family. So they started to construct a castle around 100 meters away from the existing building northwest direction.
The first foundation stone of the castle laid down by Queen Victoria herself on 28 September 1853. You can see that stone when you visit Balmoral. Just go to the foot of the wall very next to the west face of the entrance porch. And voila! its there! Don’t forget to share its picture on Instagram with #wecityguide 🙂 The construction of the Balmoral Castle Scotland completed in 1856, just in 3 years. After the finishing of the construction, they demolished the old building. Because of that, we don’t have any pictures of it but you may see a painting of it during your visitation. There is a reminder stone about that demolished building at its old location. You can also see that stone when you visit.
During the reign of Queen Victoria, Balmoral Castle always the favourite of the members of the Royal Family. Castle keeps its importance for the Royal Family the same since the construction of it at first. There were only small modifications and improvements, not new buildings. Today, Queen Elizabeth, The Duke of Edinburgh and The Prince of Wales show very close interest to Balmoral Castle. If you want to learn more about the castle and the estate you may think to buy this book.
Gardens and Grounds
Balmoral is not just a simple castle. There are a couple of other buildings, grounds, and gardens within the border of the whole Balmoral Estate. Today, Balmoral Estate covers an area of approximately more than 200 km square which is approximately equal to 50000 acres. Gardens of the Balmoral were started by Prince Albert at first. Since from Prince Albert and Queen Mary and with also the other various members of the Royal Family took close attention to the gardens. Also, The Duke of Edinburgh added a kitchen garden to the existing ones. It is possible to harvest vegetables between August and October. Yes, these gardens living 🙂
This cottage a historical building of the Balmoral Castle. During the reign of Queen Victoria, she sometimes had breakfast at the garden cottage with the state correspondence. The original garden cottage was constructed with woods for the gardener. The new version of Garden Cottage constructed in 1863. In the year of 1864, Queen Victoria stayed at the garden cottage for a while during her scarlet fever. By the effect of the year wooden cottage collapsed in 1894. The new stone-wood cottage built in 1895 and stands still.
Where is The Balmoral Castle?
If you want to visit Balmoral Castle you should go to the north, to the Highlands of Scotland. Balmoral Castle is located within the border of Aberdeenshire, Royal Deeside. within the very deep hearth of the nature of Scotland. Balmoral Castle is also very close to the Cairngorms National Park. If you visit Balmoral Castle don’t forget to go to the Cairngorms National Park to enjoy the very heart of Scottish nature.
What is Best Way to Go to Balmoral Castle?
IF you are not joining a tour to visit Balmoral Castle and coming in your private car. I will give information about the route from 3 different cities to the castle; Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. If you rent cars from one of the airports from these cities you may also follow the same route.
- Route from Glasgow to Balmoral Castle: 170 minutes, 190 km
- Route from Edinburgh to Balmoral Castle: 155 minutes, 165 km
- Route from Aberdeen toBalmoral Castle: 75 minutes, 76 km
Balmoral Castle Tours
Of course, you may visit Balmoral Castle by yourself. Most of part of the Balmoral Estate opened to the public for visitation. Balmoral is around 160 km away from Edinburgh. Trip to the Balmoral through the very green nature of Scotland will be a relaxing journey for and loved ones. You have different options to go to the Balmoral. Also, you can join one of the different activities to discover the royal family’s favourite estate.
Summer & Winter Tours
There are tours that you can join at any time during the year. You can buy the Balmoral Tour Tickets in advance from the royal family website. Balmoral Tour ticket prices may vary depending on the season but the price is 15 pounds for an adult. Also, you can buy your tickets in advance from the widget below or through the From Aberdeen: Balmoral Castle and Royal Deeside Tour page from GetYourGuide.com.
- Summer Tours
- Between 1st Apri and 2nd August
- Daily basis
- Between 10.00 to 17.00
- Winter Tours
- Between 21st October to 3rd November
- Daily basis
- Between 22nd November to 14th December
- Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday
From Aberdeen: Balmoral Castle and Royal Deeside Tour will take around 7.5 hours and it will start at 09.00 in the morning. You will also have a live tour guide who can speak both English and Dutch. During the Balmoral Castle Tour, you will explore the grounds of castle and estate, enjoy the majestic hill around Braemar and see the Cairngorm from the Queen’s view. This tour will also include direct transportation from Aberdeen to Balmoral. You can check the details from the link above or the widget below.
Each Wednesday afternoon between April and July you can jin the Rangers Walk. Rangers Walk starts from the Carriage Hall Exhibition at 14.00. You will visit the ground and gardens of Balmoral, through some monuments and cairns. Also, you will witness the woodland, wildlife, and nature of Balmoral and its surroundings during the Rangers Walk. Rangers Walk will take approximately around 2 hours. Joining Rangers Walk is totally free but you should pay the estate admission fee at the entrance of the Balmoral Castle. If you want to join the Rangers Walk please read this note.
Balmoral Castle and Estate Facts
- The castle is a very good example of the Baronial architecture of Scots. Castle has two main blocks and a courtyard between those two main blocks. One of these main blocks located in the south-west has the main room and the other one is for the services and other things.
- In total there are about 150 workers at the estate, 50 full-time and 100 part-time.
- Castle was made up of granite. Granite block was quarried from a quarry located within the border of the estate.
- Balmoral Castle and Estate is a living organism. There are moors, forestry, farmland, cattle, ponies and even deers.
- You can a clock tower around 24 meters tall. Also, there are turrets at the south-east corner of the clock tower.
- In total, Balmoral Estate covers around more than 200 km / 50000 acres.
- The buying of an estate by Queen Victoria and the Scottish architectural style of the building directly affected the revival of the Highland culture of Scotland through the United Kingdom.
- You can see the castle at the backside of the 100 Pound banknotes issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland. Castles image added to the banknote in 1987.
- After the death of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria started to spend more time at Balmoral. Even she began to depend on her servant who was John Brown. Even after some time, John Brown became one of the closest friends of Queen Victoria.
- Royal Family used and improved the estate after the death of Queen Victoria.
- Queen Elizabeth was at the Balmoral during the death of Princess Diana in 1997. In the movie of The Queen (2006), another castle used for the film to show the private conservation between Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Also before you finish the reading of this post you can take a look to the video below to live royal nostalgia 🙂
If you planning to visit Balmoral Castle or have you ever visited it please share your thought and question at the comments to help the others. Also, please share your suggestions to improve the content of Balmoral Castle post. Let me remind you once more to visit or at least take a tour through the Cairngorms National Park to see its incredible nature.
FAQs About Balmoral Castle
Balmoral Castle located at within the borders of Cairngorms National Park where is located at the west of the Aberdeen city centre. Balmoral Castle’s exact address is the Balmoral Estates, Ballater AB35 5TB, United Kingdom.
Aberdeen city centre is about 80 km away from Balmoral Castle. Your best option to fly the Aberdeen airport. You can rent a car from Aberdeen Airport or take bus 201 from the city centre to go to Balmoral Castle.
Balmoral Castle has been the Scottish home of the Royal Family since it was purchased for Queen Victoria by Prince Albert in 1852. It is alsowell-known that the Balmoral Castle is the favourite estate of the Queen Elizabeth.
Yes, you can visit Balmoral Castle from April to July. Also, it is better to check it before arrival in case of Royal Family being in the estate.
In total, there are 52 bedrooms in the Balmoral Castle. The total worth of the Balmoral Castle is about 155 million pounds by the Business Insider.