Balmoral Cairns Circular

You need to log in as a member of Walkingworld to access the details for this walk. Join or log in above if you are already a member. Access is available to Walkingworld subscribers or you can buy the walk individually for £1.95 once you are logged in.

Queen Victoria had a passion for building cairns all over the Balmoral Estate. This walk visits eight of them. It starts near Lochnagar Distillery and rises and falls quite a lot, sometimes quite steeply. Some of the cairns are enclosed in woodland but others offer some spectacular views up and down Deeside, including good views of distant hills.

This walk is full of history but also offers some spectacular views along the way. It starts near a side entrance to Balmoral Castle and soon rises to Princess Beatrice's Cairn at the side of the track, then continues quite steeply to a pyramid-shaped cairn dedicated to Prince Albert. This is the largest of the cairns and can be seen quite clearly from miles around.

After descending, the path takes a flatter route before rising steeply again to Princess Alice's Cairn. This one is in the woods but the next one (along more level ground), provides a better viewpoint of distant hills. It is dedicated to Prince Arthur. Then, Prince Leopold's Cairn directly overlooks Balmoral Castle and the hills beyond. Close to it and slightly above is Purchase Cairn, which was erected to mark the purchase of the Balmoral Estate. This overlooks fine vistas to the east and north.

Within a short distance there is a cairn just off the main path dedicated to the marriage of Princess Louise. Finally, off the main track is a cairn to Princess Helena. This one is more difficult to spot as it is hidden from view from the bottom. It is another (short) steep climb to reach the top. From there on it is a gradual descent back to the start.

Scotland - Northeast Scotland - Aberdeenshire - Deeside and Glen Tanar


Ancient Monument, Birds, Castle, Flowers, Great Views, Mountains, Wildlife, Woodland