GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Balmoral Cairns

5 miles (8 km)

This walk visits a series of stone cairns on the estate of Balmoral Castle in Deeside. The cairns commemorate members of the British royal family and events in their lives.The circular walk runs for about 5 miles with nice woodland trails and fine views over the Deesidehills from the high points. You can start from the castle itself or from nearby Crathie.
The majority of the cairns were erected byQueen Victoria in the 19th century. They commemorate the marriages of Victoria's children, of thePrincess Royal(toFrederick, Crown Prince of Prussiain 1858),Prince Albert Edward,Princess Alice, Princess Helena,Princess Louise, Prince Arthur,Prince LeopoldandPrincess Beatrice. The most striking cairn is the large pyramid erected by Victoria in memory of her husband Prince Albert after his death in 1861. In 2012 an additional cairnwas erected and unveiled by the Queento mark herDiamond Jubilee.
To continue you walking in the area head south and try the climb to Lochnagar. From the summit of the hill there's fabulous views back down to the Balmoral Estate and over the Cairngorms mountains. The walk starts from the Balmoral Estate Visitor centre where you can also pick up trails around the lovely Loch Muick. Near here there's also mile of fine walking trails in the Corrie Fee Nature Reserve. The reserve is rich with wildlife and also includes beautiful alpine flowers with rare mountain willows clinging to the steep crags of the bowl shaped valley.
Before you go please check the Balmoral Estate website for the best times to visit as it's not advised to do the walk when the the royal family is in residence.

Balmoral Cairns OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Balmoral Cairns Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

Head into nearby Ballater and you could pick up the popular 7 Bridges Walk. The circular walk explores the area around the town visiting a series of old bridges.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Cairngorms Walks page.

Cycle Routes and Walking Routes Nearby


Purchase Cairn, Balmoral Estate - - 36256

Purchase Cairn, Balmoral Estate. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert had this cairn erected on their new estate to commemorate its purchase in 1848. The grounds to the S of the castle have several such cairns set on high points for various occasions.

Leopolds Cairn, Balmoral Estate - - 36258

Leopolds Cairn, Balmoral Estate. Erected in 1882 to celebrate the marriage of Prince Leopold. The site overlooks Balmoral Castle, which can be seen just to the left of the cairn.

Cairn for Prince Albert Balmoral

Cairn or pyramid commissioned by Queen Victoria for Prince Consort Albert, Balmoral Estate, Ballanter, Scotland

Duchess of Kent's Cairn on Sgor an h-Iolaire - - 1099870

Duchess of Kent's Cairn on Sgor an h-Iolaire. Not on the route but located just to the east of the estate. There are a number of substantial cairns on the hills around Balmoral, mainly from the 19th century, which are dedicated to members of the royal family. This one is named on the Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 map as the "Duchess of Kent's Cairn". Presumably the Duchess was Queen Victoria's mother. She spent several autumns at nearby Abergeldie Castle from 1850 until her death in 1861.

Balmoral Castle, Scotland

Balmoral Castle

Close-up of the inscription (OpenBenches 2617)

Close-up of the inscription: 1910 - 1936. To the memory of his majesty King George V. Erected in humble loyalty and affection by employees and tenants on Balmoral Estate


GPS Files

GPX File

Balmoral Cairns.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Download Linked File)

Memory Map Route

Balmoral Cairns.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Download Linked File)