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Any suggestions on things to do.

Hi we are a group of 20+ all from the same family staying near balloter for four days from tomorrow. There's a real mix of ages from 3months to 15 in kids then adults too. Looks like the weathers not going to be great:0(

Thought of taking them to aboyne swimming but any other suggestions would be very much appreciated thanks in advance for replying x

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1. Re: Any suggestions on things to do.

If its rainy, a castle is always good to do and there are some very nice ones around. Braemar Castle is to the west of Ballater, and Crathes and Drum castles are to the east (near Banchory - a little bit of a drive). Drum Castle is my personal favourite and generally is a bit quieter than Crathes. Balmoral is even nearer - doesn't do a lot for me personally (you don't get access to much of it so I don't consider it great value for money) but if you like the royal thing...

There is also an outdoor tree-top climbing thing at Crathes Castle (http://goape.co.uk/) - never been on it but it's meant to be good for children - I'd check the website to make sure it's open though. I can't imagine a bit of rain would be a deterent.

The Falls of Feugh at Banchory are good for watching leaping salmon - there always seem to be at least a few around. This is easy to get to - just go over the River Dee on the main crossing heading south in Banchory - the bridge over the Feugh is about 2 minutes up the road - turn left over the bridge and there is a car park about 1 minutes walk away.

In Ballater itself there is a small museum at the old railway that is worth a look around - Ballater is a lovely little town to walk around as well with various interesting little shops (I would defiantely say the most pictureque of the Deeside towns).

If you fancy a short walk (if the rain holds off) then Dinnet just to the east is very nice (there is really good junk shop on the main road as well). Head 10 km back along the A93 and turn left at the A97 at Dinnet - there is a car park about a kilometre up the road. If you go left, there is about a 10 minute walk to the Burn o'Vat, which is an impressive glacial feature (basically a huge bowl carved out of the rock - a little bit of a scramble at the end - decent boots advised). If you go right, there is a good walk around Loch Kinnord.

Deeside also has quite a few decent art galleries if you like that sort of thing.

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2. Re: Any suggestions on things to do.

You picked a good time to visit, but not weather-wise. :-( Ballater Victoria Week has just started and further information can be found here http://www.victoriaweek.org/ don’t forget to look out for the scarecrows as you walk round the village!

Ballater Highland Games takes place this Thursday and this is the website for times and events www.ballaterhighlandgames.com/index.html

Balmoral Castle is now closed to the public, but Braemar Castle is open at weekends and one day in the week. Further information can be found on the website http://www.braemarcastle.co.uk/

Two other websites for information about Ballater and the Royal Deeside and Cairngorms area are http://www.visitballater.com and http://www.discoverroyaldeeside.com/ The Royal Deeside site has a list of top ten things to do which may be of interest, including some good walks.

The Deeside Activity Park may offer something for the more adventurous in your group if they want to try 4x4 off-road, paint balling, target shooting and the like http://www.deesideactivitypark.com/

I would also recommend you take a drive into Braemar and visit The Linn of Dee and The Linn of Quoich. Good places for a picnic if the weather stays dry long enough and lovely walks to be found in both areas. Another good place for a really long leg stretch is a circular walk of Loch Muick near to Ballater.

Have fun :-)

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