Walk: In Royal footsteps to Balmoral's Cairns

[Prince Arthur's Cairn, Balmoral]

Crathie's enormous car park only makes sense during the summer holidays, when Balmoral Castle draws in huge numbers of tourists. To escape peak season crowds, head instead to the estate surrounding the residence. Here, the Royal Family have erected several impressive cairns on the hills either side of Dubh-chlais valley. These ranging from the dainty (Purchase Cairn) to the gargantuan (Prince Albert's Cairn), often accompanied by excellent views over the castle itself and Deeside. Almost like a treasure hunt - or a geocaching route but with much larger objectives...

[Crathie Kirk]

Name: Walk: In Royal footsteps to Balmoral's Cairns ★☆☆
Length: 10 km / 6 miles
Ascent: 350 metres
Main summits: Creag a' Ghobhainn (390 metres); Creag an Lurachain (442 metres)
Points of interest: Crathie Kirk; Balmoral Cairns
Start / finish: Car park at the A93 / B976 junction at Crathie, G.R: NO 263949 / person enjoyable suave
Anything else: Estate may not be accessible if the Royal Family is in residence at Balmoral Castle.

Route: Car park & Crathie Kirk - Easter Balmoral via path & footbridge over River Dee - Rhebreck - Princess Helena's Cairn - Princess Louise's Cairn - Purchase Cairn - Prince Leopold's Cairn - Prince Arthur's Cairn - Creag a' Ghobhainn - Princess Alice's Cairn - Creag an Lurachain - Prince Albert's Cairn - Princess Beatrice's Cairn - Easter Balmoral - return to start by outward route
Terrain: Steep paths and good tracks throughout.
Wildlife today: Nope...
Weather today: Sunshine but a couple of rain showers, temperatures in single figures.

[Good views over Deeside (and later Balmoral Castle) from the higher parts of the route]

Route credit: Walkhighlands (modified)

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