Balmoral: A Happy Birthday on the Queen’s Estate

When planning out this Scotland trip, I pondered how I wanted to celebrate my birthday.   I decided to concentrate on visiting Balmoral , one of the Royal Family’s  private estates.   The Castle was built by Queen Victoria and has been passed down to each monarch with Queen Elizabeth II being the current owner.  The Ballroom of the Castle and the grounds are open to the public from spring until late summer, when the Queen comes and stays from August to October.  Balmoral also offers estate tours in a Range Rover that takes you farther into the estate grounds.  The Range Rover Safari was a great choice! I shared a ride with a mother and daughter from Nova Scotia and our wonderful driver and guide, John.  I felt a bit like an intruder as I pulled up to the grand gates and explained my purpose to a voice coming from the brass box, low and behold, the gates opened and I drove in.  I found my way through the woods to the estate office where I was greeted and given vip parking! I met John and we were off to explore the beautiful Balmoral Estate, inspite of the gloomy and cold weather.

I followed up my Balmoral visit with a visit to the Royal Lochnagar Distillery.  They did not allow you to take pictures inside, but the tour was fun and a distillery tour is a must when visiting Scotland!

It was the perfect way to celebrate my birthday in Scotland! 

 

 Roaming Rich and our very Scottish guide John.    

Roaming Rich and our very Scottish guide John. 

 

 Some Bamoral beauty!

Some Bamoral beauty!

 Stunning highland scenery!

Stunning highland scenery!

 We were taken out to the Honaka Cabin, a gift to the Queen from Finland. The Royal Family uses the cabin often for cookouts. 

We were taken out to the Honaka Cabin, a gift to the Queen from Finland. The Royal Family uses the cabin often for cookouts. 

 One of the many deer on the estate.

One of the many deer on the estate.

 Balmoral Castle. 

Balmoral Castle. 

IMG_0965.JPG
 I also toured the Royal Lochnagar Distillery! 

I also toured the Royal Lochnagar Distillery! 

 Roaming Rich at the entrance to Balmoral  

Roaming Rich at the entrance to Balmoral  

Richard Fletcher