Royal Deeside

A name applied to the middle reaches of the valley of the River Dee in Aberdeenshire since the 1850s when Balmoral Castle became a favourite residence of Queen Victoria. Craigowan Lodge is another Royal residence on the Balmoral Estate, while Birkhall lies within its own estate 6 miles (10 km) to the east. The Royal family also leased Abergeldie Castle for a time. The subsequent development of the railway into Deeside brought tourists to settlements such as Banchory, Aboyne and Ballater, although the it never reached Braemar the most westerly of the villages of Royal Deeside. Much of the area lies within the Cairngorms National Park.

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