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NATURE

The area around our Guest House is a nature lovers paradise.  We regularly see jays and red kites from the dining room window and you don’t have to travel any great distance to see a huge range of species of mammals, reptiles, insects, birds, fungi and plants – both high mountains and coastal habitats are in easy reach.  Steve is a nature lover as well as holding a doctorate in Botany and will happily point guests towards any particular species they wish to see.  Some local highlights include red squirrel, adder, Scotch argus butterfly, osprey, crested tit, Scottish crossbill, red kite, capercaillie, snow bunting, ptarmigan and golden eagle.  The nearby National Nature Reserve at Loch Kinnord holds a latest sightings board which is excellent for orientating yourself locally.  The stunning Glen Tanar is also not to be missed.  We also provide details of a number of local walks in the guest book to make the most of your stay.

 

Having rivers in abundance means there are spectacular waterfalls nearby, those at Linn o’ Dee and the Falls of Feugh being particularly good, the latter where you can watch salmon leaping to reach their breeding grounds further upstream while the local herons do their best to thwart their attempts.  For an unusual experience try the Burn o’ Vat accessed from the Muir of Dinnet car park – a huge natural cavern gouged out by the stream which you can walk into.

 

For those who enjoy their science a little more distant the skies above Ballater are particularly dark and excellent for stargazing.  Large parts of the Cairngorms National Park are dedicated as a dark skies park, the areas around Corgarff Castle and Tomintoul being excellent if you wish to use a telescope to see deep into the night sky.  In winter there is a good chance of seeing an aurora from close to the village – advice can be given on how the activity might be on any particular night.

 

Useful links

https://www.rspb.org.uk/

https://scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/

https://www.nature.scot/

https://www.visitcairngorms.com/things-to-do/nature-wildlife/dark-skies-park/

https://www.visitcairngorms.com/

https://www.visitabdn.com/

 

Example driving times:

Cambus o’ May woodlands 10m

Muir of Dinnet NNR & Burn o’ Vat 10m

Falls of Feugh 35m

Linn o’ Dee 40m

Tomintoul 40m

Bennachie Centre 55m

Ythan Estuary 1h10

SWT Montrose Basin 1h10

RSPB Loch Garten 1h10

Loch an Eilein 1h30

Cairngorm car park 1h35