Braemar Caravan Park

+ what’s nearby

Information
Glenshee Road
Braemar
Aberdeenshire
AB35 5YQ

Tel:013397 41373

Email: info@braemarcaravanpark.co.uk

Website

Situated 0.5 mile from the centre of the village of Braemar, Royal Deeside, at the heart of the Cairngorms National Park and catering for touring caravans, motorhomes and tents and six Camping ‘Fog’ Pods. Braemar Caravan Park and Camping Pods. This is the perfect base for walking, hiking, cycling, photography, Snowsports, history, arts and crafts and much more.

Braemar Caravan Park is operated by Invercauld Estate, the custodians of over 200 square miles of spectacular landscapes within the Cairngorms National Park, managed for wildlife, sport, recreation and community.

 

Facilities2
Facilities

Tents, Motorhomes, Caravan & Camping Pods

  • On site Shop
  • Calor Gas available
  • 86 hard standing touring pitches with electric hook-up
  • Please note, pitches 24 – 29 are slightly smaller than other pitches and are more suitable for campervans and small motorhomes. These pitches are not large enough for a larger caravan with awning and car.
  • 11 grass tent/touring pitches with electric hook-up
  • Space for around 12 small tents without electric hook-up
  • 6 camping pods
  • Heated toilet and shower blocks – free hot showers
  • Dish washing areas
  • Wi-fi available, supplied for a charge by Camping Connect
  • Laundry, boot wash and drying room
  • Information room and book exchange
  • Chemical disposal points
  • Drive over motorhome service point
  • Ski lockers
  • Dogs welcome.
  • Play area

 

Getting there

Braemar lies on the A93, linking Perth and Aberdeen.

From the South: It is 50 miles north of Perth. From Perth the road climbs steadily until it reaches Glenshee Ski Centre before descending to Braemar. Braemar Caravan Park is on the left just after the snowgates as you enter the village.

From the East: It is 59miles From Aberdeen. Follow the A93 through Banchory and Ballater, and follow the signposts to Braemar. Drive through the village on the A93, the Caravan Park is on the south of the village on the right before you reach the snow gates.

From the North: You might be coming from Inverness or Aviemore via the A9, then follow the A95 until you reach Grantown-on-Spey. Then it’s the A939, also known as the Old Military Road, until you reach the A93 as above.

 

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What's nearby

The village of Braemar is a 0.5-mile walk from the campsite. The village is surrounded by mountains where the Dee valley and Glen Clunie meet. In winter this is one of the coldest places in the country with temperatures as low as -29°C being recorded. So, what does Braemar have to offer? Well, there is –

Treasure Island Cottage is a small, very attractively-converted old stone cottage situated quietly on a side lane near the centre of Braemar which has the distinction of being the house where Robert Louis Stevenson wrote some of his famous book ‘Treasure Island’ way back in 1881.

Kindrochit Castle. This ruined Castle dates back to the 14th century, but it probably stands on the site of an 11th-century wooden fortification built by Malcolm Canmore. Malcolm’s fortification was a rudimentary timber structure. The castle was rebuilt in stone during the reign of King Robert II (1371-1390), when it may have been used as a royal residence.

Or Braemar Castle. Built in 1628, then burned in the Jacobite Rising of 1689 and rebuilt. The castle is an almost perfect example of a Scottish fortified tower house. It is a possession of the chief of Clan Farquharson and is leased to a local charitable foundation and is open to the public.

The Braemar Gathering. There have been Gatherings of one sort or another at Braemar since the days of King Malcolm Canmore, nine hundred years ago, the Gathering has been run in its present form since 1832. Held each September, at the end of the Highland Games season, this event attracts athletes from all around the world and is attended by members of the Royal Family. I also competed at the Braemar Gathering 17 years ago, in the sprints. I mention more about this in the ‘Read about our trip’ section below.

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Braemar itself is full of charm, as well as B&B’s, hotels, souvenir shops with a Scottish theme, restaurants and pubs. Which suggests a bustling tourist village and it definitely has a certain highland charm but its location has to be its main tourist attraction. A location that offers a variety of out activities, surrounded by stunning scenery. Here are some examples of what you can expect: –

Walking. Braemar is one of Scotland’s highest villages and a superb centre for hillwalkers. There are about 40 Munro’s (mountains over 3000 feet) which can be accessed from Braemar and they include 4 of the 5 highest mountains in the UK. Another famous mountain, Lochnagar, lies on HM Queen’s Balmoral estate. There are also several easy walking loops close to the campsite.

Wildlife Watching. Red squirrels, Red Deer and Golden Eagles can be observed in several locations near Braemar. Otters are sighted at various places along the River Dee and River Clunie.

Creag Choinnich Nature Trail is an interpretive trail for children and families to follow, trail leaflets can be picked up from local outlets. On the trail are interpretation posts, information boards and hides laid out along the trails.

Morrone Birkwood (birchwood) is a nature reserve in a beautiful setting above the village on the side of Morrone Hill, with open aspects looking north to the Cairngorms. Ecologists say it has a close resemblance to the woodlands of parts of Norway and is a reminder of how large tracts of upland Scotland would have looked in earlier times.

Cycling. There is plenty of choice for all levels and interests. Mountain Biking is an obvious natural cycle activity in this part of the world but you will also find opportunities to road cycle as well as family friendly off-road routes. You will be spoilt for choice!

Winter Sports. Glenshee Ski Centre is a short drive from Braemar Caravan Park, and is Scotland’s largest winter resort.

Golf. Braemar Golf Club is adjacent to Braemar Caravan Park, so is in easy walking distance from the site. Braemar is the highest 18 hole golf course in Scotland at around 1,100 feet above sea level.

Fishing. The River Dee is one of the most famous salmon rivers in Scotland. The best of the fishing is in the lower sixty miles of river Dee, from Ballater down to Peterculter, to the west of Aberdeen, although there is some excellent fishing on the higher beats up as far as Braemar.

 

Read about our trip

Our trip to Braemar wasn’t planned, in fact we were having a great time wild camping at a beach called Kingsbarns which is about 9 miles from the famous golfing town of St Andrews. We have a separate section within our website dedicated to wild camping and Kingsbarns is mentioned there. Suffice to say, it is a special place and we had a lovely stay.

So why did we end up in Braemar? Well we generally don’t have a planned route and prefer to follow the sun. Which was a bit difficult on this occasion as it was now October and Scotland doesn’t have a lot of sun in October. What we did know was that, where we were, the weather was about to chance and not for the better. A quick check on the weather app and it looked like Braemar, which has a reputation for being one of the coldest places in the UK, was actually looking good. That was all we needed to know, Braemar here we come.

It is about 73 miles from Kingsbarns and includes some of the most scenic roads in Scotland. Driving through the villages of Blairgowrie and Bridge of Cally, you can see the mountainous Cairngorms National Park in the distance in front of you and you quickly realise that you are driving into a stunning part of the world.

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The drive to Braemar brought back some vivid memories for me. It had been 17 years since I had last visited Braemar but the memories were as fresh as yesterday. It had been an exciting and unique trip for me.

At that time, I was a keen athlete and now in my late 30’s. My transition from senior athlete to masters, over 35’s, had been good for me. I was now winning more races, including an indoor Scottish 60m and an indoor British 200m. I was also competing in the highland games circuit but found that I didn’t win as many races, possibly due to the handicap system but also because I found it difficult to run as fast on rough park grass. That said, I loved competing and it was a great day out. I had always planned on competing at the Braemar Gathering but for various reasons, including end of season injuries, I never had. Finally, in September 2003 I was fit and able to go.

The Braemar Gathering, is always held on the first Saturday in September in The Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park in Braemar. In 1826, the name of the Society was changed to the Braemar Highland Society and in 1866, Queen Victoria ordered that the title “Royal” should be added to the name of the Society. The venue is a perfect setting, giving the feeling of a packed sports stadium with the crowd cheering as they encourage the athletes. There is also the opportunity to place a bet on your favourite athlete. I often wondered who bet on me that day – maybe the Queen!

I’m not a big fan of the royal family, if I’m honest, nor was I a big fan of the then prime minister Tony Blair but I had to accept that their arrival certainly added to the atmosphere and I suddenly realised that I would shortly be racing down the home straight in full view of them. I just hoped that I would have a good race and not fall, as is very common when sprinting over uneven grass.

One other thing that has stayed with me was an accident involving the starter. He was an elderly man and looked every part the old highlander. With his long bushy eyebrows, kilt, tartan jacket and hat with a feather in it. He also had an old musket type gun that appeared to be loaded with gunpowder and when fired, it sounded like a canon going off with smoke everywhere. This practice may have changed now, due to health & safety but at the time it clearly helped create that authentic bygone era. I’m not sure exactly what happened but, on this occasion, the starter went through his usual routine. Calling the athletes to ‘TAK TE YIR MARKS’ in a loud official Scottish accent. The athletes were now in position, waiting for the gun to go off and off it went but not in its usual perfect bang but more like an explosion. I watched in stunned surprise as the elderly starter fell backwards due to the force from a starter gun that had clearly been packed by too much gun powder, or whatever it is that is used. The incident happened not too far away from the Queen and I can only imagine the panic from her security staff as they tried to make sense of the bang as well as  seeing an elderly highlander falling onto his back in a puff of smoke with his legs in the air and the content of his kilt on show to the Queen and the Prime Minister! Thankfully the starter was unhurt and was able to continue with his responsible job, which included staring my race. I didn’t win but had a great experience.

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With that memory still in my thoughts, we finally reached Braemar and drove into Braemar Caravan Park. The campsite wasn’t too busy, due to the time of year and we were directed to a nice spot by a friendly member of staff. The facilities are well maintained, clean and have everything you should need. We would highly recommend a stay here!

It was perfect for our plans, which were to enjoy a stroll around the village, take in a local walk and revisit the scene of my participation in Braemar’s Gathering.  

After a short walk from the campsite, we were soon in the heart of Braemar and we just decided to walk around aimlessly. It’s not a big place so you will quickly find your bearings and no doubt stumble across interesting shops, monuments and pubs, which Braemar has plenty of.

That said, we did struggle to find a quiet dog friendly pub but eventually stumbled across The Invercauld Arms Hotel, an ancient and impressive looking building that since 1700, it has been hosting guests in Braemar. They were also dog friendly and more than happy to welcome us for a drink in their tartan carpeted bar.

Suitably refreshed, next up was The Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park for my trip down memory lane. The park is open to the public and has a visitor centre, which has an entry fee but the park is free to enter and that’s all I was interested in. As soon as I stepped inside, I had Goosebumps and was instantly taken back to that day in September 2003. It felt nice to know that I had competed here and although I didn’t win, I had played my part in a special day.

We were now ready for a walk and discovered a path adjacent to The Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park which was well sign posted and looped uphill, passed Braemar Duck Pond and then downhill toward the River Dee. We eventually arrived at the quiet and scenic Linn Dee Road, which took us back into Braemar.

Although the weather had been kind to us with clear skies, it was starting to get cold and Braemar has a reputation for being very cold. So, we headed back to Dora, our Autosleeper Duetto campervan, switched on the diesel heating and relaxed with a glass of wine. It had been a perfect day and Braemar played its part.

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