Balmoral Castle
Balmoral Castle
4
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
This glorious castle is the Scottish home of the British Royal Family. For a few months during the year (usually from April through July), you can explore its grounds, gardens, and exhibitions. Go on one of the waymarked walks or take an audio tour to learn about the area's history. The castle itself is off-limits, save for the ballroom which has been converted into an exhibition space. Before leaving, pop by the cafe for some tea and the gift shop for souvenirs. Explore the estate on a tour of the Royal Deeside, which typically covers all admission fees and transport. – Tripadvisor
Duration: 2-3 hours
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  • Chester S
    Glasgow, United Kingdom493 contributions
    Unwelcoming feel
    Opened for the season the day before we were in the area, so thought we would take the opportunity to visit. Very disappointed as there was not a lot to see, despite the full price of entry being charged. Too early for the gardens to be in bloom and entry to the house only allows you in the ballroom where no photos are allowed. Nice enough shop and restaurant with very smiley staff. Audio guide commentary a bit over the top with guide who loves to roll his r’s. All the windows were internally shuttered, the main door was closed tight. Not a very welcoming feeling about the place. My partner was also none too pleased that Diana never really seemed to have existed despite being the mother of our next King. Plenty photos of the rest including plenty of the Queen Consort, even before her marriage to Charles.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 3 April 2023
  • jackirmic
    Austinmer, Australia681 contributions
    Lovely grounds but limited access to the actual castle
    We booked on line and found admission very efficient. By booking on line you get the audio guide for free. Most of the tour is outside exploring the grounds. Only the ballroom was open with a photography exhibition. It is worth a visit but not as interesting as other palaces or castles we have visited. Don’t expect it to be like Windsor castle.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 11 April 2023
  • ProfessorAbronsius
    144 contributions
    Nice walk
    Never been here before and probably won’t be back. It’s basically just an expensive walk in the grounds as you can only access the ballroom in the castle which is not particularly grand or exciting for that matter. Some ok photos to see but certain royals seem to have been airbrushed from history (no prizes for guessing who). Tip: A visit on a rainy day would be better with an umbrella
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 12 April 2023
  • Ailhlin C
    Aberdeen, United Kingdom51 contributions
    Very expensive for a walk
    If we had understood what we were really paying for we wouldn't have gone. It's a very expensive walk around the grounds, there is one room in the castle that you can actually visit but which I was unable to spend any time in because all the photographs had a really bright lit background which was causing me discomfort and while I will do a separate review the cafe was ridiculously expensive and very non-sustainable which I felt was a real disappointment. As I say, a nice enough walk around but I wouldn't go again and I certainly would not pay that much again to do what we did that are far equally nice but cheaper places to go for a walk
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 14 April 2023
  • kaztin
    Codsall, United Kingdom218 contributions
    Wonderful setting.
    To visit here has been on my wish list for a long time. Parking was easy and we walked up to the entrance gates. Then there’s another walk to get to the castle itself. We had handheld audio devices used to explain the history of the place which was interesting. It’s a lovely setting and the castle is lovely. But…you only get to see one room inside the castle! Just the ballroom…nothing else! We felt a bit disappointed, but it is a private royal residence, owned by the royal family so I guess that is why, but we would have still liked to see more! The cafe is nice and the grounds are easy to navigate as relatively flat. Would recommend.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 23 April 2023
  • Fiona C
    Durham, United Kingdom121 contributions
    In the footsteps of the Royal family
    What a spectacular place! How incredible to walk around the grounds and see the ballroom of this Highland delight. We were welcomed at the gatehouse, we had booked tickets online and got a free handset to enjoy the tour. Walking up to the house the peace and tranquility was very evident, birds were singing and the air so fresh. You are pretty free to roam the grounds at your own pace, and take photos to your hearts' content all except in the ballroom. We were fortunate with the weather, it was dry and that made wandering round so much easier. There is a lot to see so do wear decent shoes. You can even take the dogs, not that we have any. The scenery is stunning and you can even sit by the river which is just so uplifting. The ballroom had a picture exhibition of the Royal family and some clothing which was very interesting, it is a cosy space and must be wonderful to attend balls there. The audio handset which has several languages I believe, has a lot of lovely information and you are directed to which number to press by the map and also there are number points along the way to keep you right. The staff are very helpful and friendly. There is a nice cafe area and gift shop of course and I can recommend the scones!
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 2 May 2023
  • Leanne L
    Sunshine Coast, Australia182 contributions
    A Privilage
    Dont go expecting to peak and poke around ballrooms and bedrooms because thats not what you get here. Its a privilege to be on this family site that’s such a beautiful setting. The audio tour gives you rich and helpful insight into points of interest around the grounds and there are additional walks you can do alongside the river or in the woodlands. I loved the collection of royal family images and a few royal uniforms and dresses on display in the ballroom. The decision to buy or not to buy souvenirs and food & drink is entirely up to each individual. Service was great and our hot drinks and cakes very nice. We wanted to stretch out our time onsite so appreciated our musings in the gift shop that still had some of its royal stables feel and the pipers room (food area) where more royal pictures are displayed around the walls. If you go with the right expectations and time to absorb what this special site offers, you wont be disappointed.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 20 May 2023
  • Hipsy S
    12 contributions
    Nice to have seen the place
    Lovely to have a look around. Unfortunately we didnt have long enough to fully appreciate the gardens etc. The ballroom exhibition was excellent. The shop there is very nicely done. Interestingly, the gardens directly around Balmoral House seemed unkempt and very untidy. loads of weeds.... not quite sure what that was about. definitely the most untidy of all castles we have looked at (apart from the derelict ones of course)
    Visited May 2023
    Written 20 May 2023
  • Vacation25522603671
    1 contribution
    Fantastic day
    Couldn't disagree more with the negative reviews on here . Had a wonderful full day at Balmoral. Wouldn't have expected to be given access to all areas in a Royal house hold but enough to be part of the history of this beautiful castle. Everything is well set out with eating and gift shop facilities at the end. Equally the trails around the estate are wonderful. Highly recommend and will return.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 25 May 2023
  • Ann L
    22 contributions
    Lovely afternoon walking in the grounds
    We just had a great afternoon exploring part of the beautiful Balmoral Estate. We walked up to the Castle, looked at the exhibition in the ballroom, had lunch at the cafe where the food was freshly prepared and tasty. Sandwiches, paninis, scones etc. We then did a 2 hour Rangers Tour with Glenn who was extremely pleasant and knowledgeable. These tours are only on Wednesdays and have to be pre booked but the walking can be done independently, a map is provided. The staff were all very helpful. If you don’t do any of the longer walks you may find it a disappointing visit. It seems that changes are being made by the new King and parts of the Castle itself may be open to the public soon
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 7 June 2023
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4.0
1,688 reviews
Excellent
664
Very good
467
Average
309
Poor
151
Terrible
97

A S
5 contributions
Feb 2024 • Friends
I have always admired Queen Elizabeth II and love Elizabeth Alexandra Mary. Read many books on her and her husband, Philip before visiting to fact check when watching The Crown.

Balmoral truly is beautiful and one may understand better why the Queen loved this family's private residence fondly. It is a huge area and due to time, i couldn't cover all the grounds. Would've loved to see more inside to learn more about her life but it was winter and just to learn on the history on why Prince Albert chose this for Queen Victoria is beautiful.

Don't expect the grandiose and luxe. Despite the size of Balmoral Castle, the simple beauty of Scotland's nature itself is captured in the castle area. The garden is curated by Prince Philip and the team he works with is truly the essence of the late Duke of Edinburgh - practical and with purpose.

The staff shared wonderful warm Scottish hospitality. Would love to be back to visit when the Castle is opened together with the grounds.
Written 16 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BarbaraRiekwel
Coatbridge, UK524 contributions
Feb 2024 • Couples
We visited knowing that only the castle grounds were open. The parking is £5 for the whole day. There are plenty of walks around the grounds so i suspect you can spend quite a few hours here. Nice to see the castle and go for a stroll. We had a wee bite to eat and a drink in the cafe which was ok as well. Enjoyed our visit.
Written 12 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Trip Recommender
Inverness, UK226 contributions
Jan 2024 • Couples
Castle is close but can still roam around the estate. Nice walk in the village and the woods but way too long, too steep, too slippery, dangerous, need to be careful. I would wait to visit the castle when open, but to walk up to see small pyramid s of Albert's, not worth the hassle.
Written 1 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

london057
Dublin, OH695 contributions
Aug 2023 • Family
It is an experience going to His Majesty King Charles III Highland home 🏠. Another thing you only get the ballroom is the only part you can go inside, but this should not stop 🛑 you from going to King 🤴 Charles III’s highland house 🏠. Another the king’s home 🏠 breathtaking grounds. Lastly it is a great 😊 place
Written 16 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jessica W
Chester-le-Street, UK23 contributions
Apr 2023 • Couples
Visited back in April with my partner and our best friends when on a break away for my birthday. We spent the majority of the day walking the grounds and visiting the castle. The grounds were absolutely stunning and bonus for us the weather was gorgeous. Beautiful views and photographs. The audio tour that accompanied us on the walk was excellent at providing details of the royal family and the heritage of the castle. Price was excellent for what you get, only slight disappointed was only 1 room inside the castle being open for viewing. Other than that it was a fantastic day, even the drive up was stunning.

Added bonus, the King himself drove past us on the bridge and gave us a wave, I would happily visit again.
Written 1 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Susan S
Noosa Heads, Australia899 contributions
Oct 2023 • Couples
We were fortunate that during our stay in Braemar that Balmoral Castle was open to the public. It was free entry and access was to the grounds only. It’s such a beautiful castle and you could understand why it was the queen’s favourite. Stunning architecture and beautiful gardens. Well worth the detour to view. Parking I think was £5.
Written 15 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brian M
London, UK1,036 contributions
Nov 2023 • Couples
We were fortunate to visit on a sunny day in November when the trees still had their autumnal colours. The Estate Offices housed a lovely shop resplendent with Christmas decorations and tree plus a range of gifts at varying prices. Next door was a Coffee Shop where we enjoyed very nice Cappuccinos with delicious homemade mince pies - all for just £12.00. One wall had an illuminated montage of the Royal Family through the ages which was fascinating. The walk around the house was most enjoyable in the crisp clear air of the Cairngorms. This was a really good visit - such a pity that none of the house opens to visitors.
One extra note is that drivers with a disabled Blue Badge can park adjacent to the Estate Office thus removing the impossible challenge of a long walk from the Public Car Park near the River Dee
Written 11 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

T W
12 contributions
Nov 2023 • Family
An experience that I will never forget. A certain ambience rests with Balmoral given we only lost our Queen last year. After visiting I can see why she loved it so much. It has a serenity that was beyond compare, private, secluded with views unparalleled. The colours of autumn were out of this world. Never in my life did o think I would spend hours (yes literally) looking at various trees or staring at the hillsides but I did and I loved it. The staff in the cafe and entry gate were lovely, really welcoming. The gift shop sadly not so and feeling very uncomfortable I left quickly. You cannot enter the Castle itself but the grounds were so worth it. Dog friendly if on a lead.
Written 4 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

INEVERUSETHIS
Port Orange, FL225 contributions
Nov 2023 • Couples
We had the chance to stay at the Castle Estate Cottage with some friends. The Karrim Cottage was 4 bedroom and 2.5 bathrooms, which was more than enough space. Plus it had a fully equipped kitchen.
Written 2 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Haniman Hali
Manchester, UK6 contributions
Oct 2023 • Friends
2 weeks ago

NEW

What an absolutely fabulous place. The short time we had walking around was amazing. We are back up for the new year and will be visiting again, hopefully have a quick brew with my mate John.
Written 31 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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BALMORAL CASTLE: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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