Balmoral Castle in Royal Deeside

Places of Interest

So many interesting places to explore … one visit will never be enough

There is so much to see and do around Glenisla and surrounding area that one visit will never be nearly enough time to soak it all in. The area is rich in Scottish heritage sites and home to a large variety of spectacular castles and historic places. There are also many first-class and internationally appreciated distilleries nearby. A little further afield (but still within an hour’s drive of Cairnhill Lodge) are the cities of Perth and Dundee.

Below is just a small selection of some places of interest to visit during your stay. The “Wee Office” and library in the lodge contains information on a myriad of other exciting places, so you should never be stuck for ideas.

Castles and Historic Sites

Glamis Castle (only 16.7 miles away) – The inspiration for Shakespeare’s Macbeth and the childhood home of HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, as well as the birthplace of HRH The Princess Margaret.

Scone Palace (only 31 miles away) – Historic location for the coronation of Scottish Kings (including King Robert the Bruce in 1651) on the Stone of Destiny (which now resides in Edinburgh Castle).

Braemar Castle (only 28 miles away) – The ancestral hunting base for the powerful Earls of Mar, the castle was build in the early 15th century.

Balmoral Castle (only 36.6 miles away) – The Scottish holiday home of the UK Royal Family. It was originally purchased for Queen Victoria by Prince Albert in 1852. Both Queen Victoria and the present-day Royal Family spend their summers in Royal Deeside (as the region around the castle is known) and they get heavily involved in many local activities during their visits – including Prince Charles being guest of honour at the 2019 (150th) Highland Games in Glenisla.

Forter Castle (only 5 miles away) – Built by the Ogilvys of Airlie as a fortified house or ‘Fortalice’ in 1560, the castle stands proud towards the northern end of Glenisla. A great place to visit, but as it is now a wedding venue and location for private functions, you will need to admire it from the outside or from the hillside on Mount Blair.

Cateran Ecomuseum

Glenisla forms a major part of the Cateran Trail – a long-distance way-marked footpath (64 miles) that winds its way through the Perthshire and Angus countryside. The route follows the old drovers network of paths and roads that were used by the Caterans – cattle thieves who raided the local straths and glens from the Middle Ages to the 17th century.

The Cateran Ecomuseuem “is a museum without walls” and is designed to reveal the hidden heritage of this captivating part of Perthshire and Angus by the community who live there. The Cateran Ecomuseum tells the story of its people, places and landscapes.

Museums and Heritage

V&A Design Museum (only 27 miles away) – Located by the waterfront in Dundee, the V&A opened on 15 September 2018. It is the first Victoria and Albert museum outside of London and was deigned by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, whose inspiration for the design came from the towering sea cliffs of Scotland’s north-eastern coastline. HRH The Duchess of Cambridge is Royal Patron to the Museum.

Sitting alongside the V&A Dundee lies the sailing ship RRS Discovery. The Discovery was built in Dundee and carried Captain Robert Falcon Scott and Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton on their first expedition to Antarctica. Another connection between Capt Scott and the Angus Glens can be found in nearby Glen Prosen where Dr Edward Wilson lived. Dr Wilson was the Chief Scientist and Ships Surgeon on the ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition to Antarctica (1910-13). A visit aboard the RRS Discovery is to be highly recommended.

For something completely different, a trip to the Scottish Antiques & Art Centre at Abernyte (only 26 miles away) is great fun and makes for a great half-day out. This is a vast centre comprising a huge number of small boutique-style antique sellers. It will make you wish you hadn’t thrown out your parents’ prized dinner service and back-of-the-cupboard “memorabilia”. The centre also boasts a rather lovely cafe and restaurant.

The Snow Roads

If sightseeing from the comfort of your own car is more appealing then there are some fantastic driving routes worth considering. Perhaps one of the most scenic routes is the Snow Roads. It takes you on a 90 mile journey from Blairgowrie in the south to the traditional highland town of Grantown-on-Spey right in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. It passes through historic Royal Deeside and takes in the highest public road in the UK. There are many attractions along the route, from stunning mountain scenery through to several historic castles.