Look out from the Castle and the view extends across Royal Deeside from the park and estate woodlands. Through the trees you can see a glimpse or two of the silvery river Dee, then across extensive forests on the lower hills beyond. Above them the heather moors extend to the high tops. The view peaks with craggy Dark Lochnagar, made famous by Lord Byron's poem, which is at the heart of Her Majesty The Queen's Balmoral Estate. It is a vast panorama that changes by the minute and of which one never tires. The joy is that one can roam across most of this land which is almost entirely privately owned, and enjoy ancient Caledonian Pines, dark lochs, pure rivers and burns where salmon come to spawn, and fill your lungs with the freshest cleanest air. With a careful tread you can spot the rare otter, pine marten, and herds of red deer. Sharp ears will often hear a Golden Eagle long before you see them. As for Red Squirrels you should be able to see them easily as they come to our feeder just outside the kitchen.
Deeside isn't just an immersion into nature's glory. Cultural traditions are deeply rooted. Doric, the language, poetry and music are alive. Nearly every village has its own Highland Games. Granite walls surround the fields, granite forms the old cottages, houses and mighty, often legendary castles, and granite standing stones and mysterious circles, from 4,000 years ago, abound. A stone axe found on Kincardine Estate shows man was shaping the land 6,000 years ago and we like to think we, as successors to the hundreds of generations that separate us from the owner of that axe, care for the land every bit as much.
Culture, heritage, landscape and tradition combine in a warm embrace to make Royal Deeside a magical home and destination. Add the legendary homely hospitality of Kincardine Castle and you're transported - a little bit of heaven - was what one guest called it. Queen Victoria would have understood, she fell deply in love with this valley and wrote "all seemed to breathe freedom and peace . " We know what she meant and that still applies today. Come and share that peace and freedom.