There are more castles per acre in Aberdeenshire than anywhere in the UK. Expect towering turrets, thick stone walls and dramatic settings. Then hop on a railway fit for a Queen! Royal Deeside Railway has served the Royals travelling to Balmoral which you’ll also enjoy a visit to.
Detailed Overview


4* Mercure Aberdeen Ardoe House Hotel & Spa

This hotel is housed in a 19th century mansion, set in 30-acres of countryside. The spacious and stylish en-suite bedrooms have a TV, hairdryer and tea/coffee facilities. Relax in Soapies lounge bar or enjoy award-winning cuisine at Blair's restaurant. Leisure facilities include an indoor pool, sauna, spa bath and gym. Mercure

Inspired by nearby Balmoral Castle, The Scottish Baronial style chosen for Ardoe House was a popular style, first created for a house built for the famous writer, Sir Walter Scott, whose works fired up renewed passion for Scotland.

• En-suite bedrooms • TV • Hairdryer • Tea/coffee • Bathroom products • Safe deposit box in room • Telephone • Business Desk • WIFI/Internet Access • Indoor heated pool • Sauna • Fitness centre • Spa bath • 2 restaurants • 2 bars • 80 exquisite varieties of Scottish Whisky on offer in the bar • 30 acres of luxurious Scottish gardens and grounds • 


Price includes

  • 2 nights dinner, bed & breakfast in an overnight hotel

  • 3-course menu with 3 choices per course

At Resort Hotel

  • 4 nights dinner, bed & breakfast

  • Welcome tea/coffee

  • 3-course menu with 3 choices per course

  • Tea/coffee after dinner

  • Entrance to Drum Castle

  • Entrance to Crathes Castle & Gardens

  • Return train ride on Royal Deeside Railway

  • Guided tour to Royal Lochnagar Distillery & tasting

  • Entrance to Balmoral Castle

  • Porterage

Tour Itinerary
Day 1

We make our way northward to the overnight hotel.

Day 2

Continuing north, we arrive at our hotel, where we enjoy tea or coffee with time to settle before dinner.

Day 3

Drum castle
There are more castles per acre in Aberdeenshire than anywhere in the UK and today we visit the Medieval Drum castle, one of the oldest tower houses in Scotland. While the High Hall is an example of Medieval architecture, the original house dates from the Jacobean and Victorian periods.
We spend the afternoon in nearby Aberdeen. Lined with classic granite buildings and ships that dock right up against the city-centre streets. Explore Old Aberdeen, with its cobbled streets, mature trees and 15th century fortified cathedral. Or walk down to Footdee - known locally as Fittie - a quirky fishing quarter at the water's edge, with squares of tiny cottages, flower-filled gardens and brightly painted outhouses, their eccentric decorations drawing on the city's seafaring history.

Day 4

Crathes Castle & Gardens & Royal Deeside Railway
Today we visit Crathes Castle with its turrets, gargoyles and the ancient Horn of Leys being just a few of the fascinating features of this beautiful home. We then make our way to the Royal Deeside Railway at Milton of Crathes train station where we board our train for the 2-mile return journey. The railway is unique in having served all British monarchs, from Queen Victoria to Queen Elizabeth II, their families and foreign visitors travelling to Balmoral. After our journey we enjoy free time in the nearby town of Banchory before returning to our hotel.

Day 5

Royal Lochnagar Distillery & Balmoral Estate
Travel through the magnificent scenery of Royal Deeside to the Royal Lochnagar Distillery for a guided tour and tasting. Then head to the neighbouring Balmoral estate, which is nestled in the shadows of Lochnagar. Bought by Queen Victoria in 1848, the estate has been the Scottish home to the British Royal family ever since. The estate comprises over 50,000 acres of heather clad hills and ancient Caledonian woodland, and in her journals, Queen Victoria describers Balmoral as 'my dear paradise in the Highlands'.

Day 6

After breakfast, we retrace our steps south to our overnight hotel.

Day 7

We continue the journey south, back to the local area and home

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