The Auld Kirk B&B and Coffee Lounge
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The Auld Kirk B&B and Coffee Lounge

Traveller (137)
Afternoon Tea at The Auld Kirk
Dining (30)
Room & Suite (11)

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About

4.5
#1 of 3 small hotels in Ballater
4.7 of 5 bubbles
Location
4.6 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
4.6 of 5 bubbles
Service
4.4 of 5 bubbles
Value
The Auld Kirk is a fine example of an early Victorian Scottish Free Church building that is set in the heart of Royal Deeside, within the Cairngorms National Park. Constructed from local granite, the Auld Kirk sits on the western edge of the historic village of Ballater, looking onto Craig en Darroch (the hill of Oaks), on the road towards Braemar. With 7 en-suite bedrooms (one of which can also host a 3rd person), the whole place was completely redecorated in early 2022 to give the place a bright and airy feel.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Street parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Wifi
Free breakfast
Taxi service
Non-smoking hotel
Outdoor furniture
Bar / lounge
Coffee shop
Restaurant
Breakfast available
Breakfast buffet
Complimentary Instant Coffee
Complimentary tea
Outdoor dining area
Special diet menus
Wine / champagne
Room features
Housekeeping
Telephone
Wardrobe / wardrobe
Bottled water
Clothes rack
Iron
Flatscreen TV
Complimentary toiletries
Private bathrooms
Room types
Landmark view
Non-smoking rooms
Family rooms
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Historic Hotel
Business
Languages Spoken
English

Location

31 Braemar Road, Ballater AB35 5RQ Scotland
Getting there
Somewhat walkable
Places to stay are graded on a 0-100 scale. The higher the grade, the easier it is for travellers to find restaurants and things to do within walking distance.
Grade: 74 out of 100
74
Dyce Airport
33.6 mi
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Dundee Airport
41.4 mi
See all flights
285Reviews0Q+A23Room tips

Reviews
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Detailed Reviews
Wilton2 wrote a review May 2021
Edinburgh, United Kingdom346 contributions235 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This B&B has a fabulous coffee shop. When we ate there it was under Level 3 restrictions and the place was spotless with excellent controls in place.
We had afternoon tea (must be ordered in advance) which cost £19pp.
Everything is freshly made and presented on a traditional 3 tier cake stand. Helen cares so much about what she produces which shows in the delicious food on offer. There were so many highlights - coronation chicken croissant, brioche bun with ham & chutney, various pastries and delicious cakes. In particular the meringue with salted caramel was fantastic. The blueberry scone was one of the best we have ever tasted. The edible chocolate pot filled with liquor to finish was excellent.
Helen produces a fabulous afternoon tea which is super value and one of the highlights of our week in Ballater.
Well done Helen and thank you.
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Date of stay: May 2021
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
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.
Response from Kevin Smith, Owner at The Auld Kirk B&B and Coffee Lounge
Responded 10 May 2021
Hi Wilton2, many thanks for your lovely review. We're so glad that you enjoyed your Afternoon Tea with us and we hope to welcome you both back here again in the future. Kevin & Helen
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Weeish wrote a review Sept 2020
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Lovely welcome by lovely people. All facilities were spotless. Great attention was made to social distancing and hand sanitiser was available in public areas.
Breakfast was outstanding, a terrific selection to choose from including freshly made scones, muffins and croissants.
Staff were friendly and attentive. Great stay.
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Date of stay: September 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
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.
Response from Kevin Smith, Owner at The Auld Kirk B&B and Coffee Lounge
Responded 9 Sept 2020
Hi Ishbel, many thanks for your very kind review. We're pleased you enjoyed your stay - and breakfast - and look forward to welcoming you back to The Auld Kirk in the future. Keep safe, Kevin & Helen
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EdnaMinerva wrote a review Sept 2020
Aberdeen, United Kingdom59 contributions21 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
On arrival we were greeted by Helen, one of the proprietors, who explained the COVID rules and history of the building. Our bedroom and en suite were perfect, beautifully furnished and decorated.
Breakfast in the dining room was a feast for the eyes with most items baked or prepared by the proprietor to a high standard. The waitress was attentive and cheerful. We were disappointed, due to commitments ,to be unable to have a light lunch or afternoon tea on our visit
The sitting room was furnished by large comfy sofas and has recently had a bar added. Decor and paintings enhanced the appearance of this room.
We were delighted with the high standards and hope to return soon
E&M Burr
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Date of stay: September 2020Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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.
Response from Kevin Smith, Owner at The Auld Kirk B&B and Coffee Lounge
Responded 5 Sept 2020
Hi Mr & Mrs Burr, it was a pleasure having you stay with, thank you for your very kind review. We're glad you enjoyed your stay and we'd love to welcome you back to The Auld Kirk in the future. Keep safe, Kevin & Helen
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Clarabella1111 wrote a review Jul 2022
Dunfermline, United Kingdom30 contributions46 helpful votes
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
The Auld Kirk is a worthy winner of the Unique B and B award displayed in the dining room. It is a stunning renovation of an old church with many original features incorporated into the new building. Helen and Kevin have very high standards and nothing is too much trouble for them to ensure their guests have an enjoyable stay. The rooms are beautifully decorated and we really appreciated the twin sinks in the bathroom. Breakfasts were excellent and hygienically presented on cake stands rather than as a buffet. We very much hope to return and partake of the Afternoon Tea we missed out on this time and whose reputation is locally renowned! A beautiful B and B in a wonderful area.
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Date of stay: July 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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.
Response from Kevin Smith, Owner at The Auld Kirk B&B and Coffee Lounge
Responded 18 Aug 2022
Hi and thanks for your wonderful review, it is very much appreciated. We're glad you enjoyed your time here and we hope to see you back for that Afternoon Tea sometime in the future. Kev & Helen
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Lorna Forbes wrote a review Jul 2021
Mintlaw, United Kingdom2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
The minute you set foot inside The Auld Kirk Ballater you are met with a warm welcome by Helen and Kev. The rooms are immaculate with small touches that make them even more unique. The 1st class breakfast is cooked to order , well presented and served by friendly staff with a special mention to Lisa who shows a genuine interest in all the guests. I would thoroughly recommend this little gem of a B&B which also has an amazing coffee shop with freshly home baked cakes and daily lunch specials also available.
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Date of stay: June 2021Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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.
Response from Kevin Smith, Owner at The Auld Kirk B&B and Coffee Lounge
Responded 13 Jul 2021
Hi Lorna and many thanks for your lovely review. We're so glad you enjoyed your stay....and breakfast, and we look forward to seeing you back at The Auld Kirk soon.....so does Nellie! keep safe, Kev & Helen
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bunnySouthport wrote a review Aug 2022
Southport, United Kingdom1,425 contribution372 helpful votes
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I very rarely give 5 stars but this hotel thoroughly deserves the accolade as it was superb. The owners have worked tremendously hard in paying attention to every detail which was exceptional quality.
The little touches of quality ( even Crystal glasses for water !! and the measures of whisky) were so so appreciated. The decor was such quality from the smart tvs to the cups used in the rooms. The beds were so comfortable , the breakfast was superb and nothing was too much trouble for the amazing staff. Not forgetting the remnants of the old church were preserved and incorporated into this wonderful hotel
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Date of stay: August 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: You can only check in from 4 to 7
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.
Response from Kevin Smith, Owner at The Auld Kirk B&B and Coffee Lounge
Responded 30 Aug 2022
Hi and thank you so much for your lovely review. We're glad you enjoyed your stay with us and would live to welcome you back in the future. Take care, Kev & Helen
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Rooney-Swindon wrote a review Jul 2021
Swindon, United Kingdom133 contributions52 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This was our 14th B&B while touring Scotland and it was absolutely the best! Helen and Kev are fantastic hosts who truly love what they do. They want you to not only enjoy their hospitality but also get the best out of the area while you visit, so they are very happy to share their knowledge, help with restaurant bookings (including the golf club where they are members) and so much more.

Our room was beautifully decorated and comfortable. The en-suite had a great shower and Scottish toiletries were provided. Breakfast was a feast with so much choice. In addition to the cereals, porridge and cooked breakfast options, on the table there was fresh fruit, pastries, yogurts, blueberry scones... the list goes on.
Helen is a great cook and breakfast was always beautifully presented and wonderfully tasty.

We cannot recommend the Auld Kirk highly enough and are already planning a return visit next year.

Thank you Helen and Kevin for making us and all your guests so welcome. Staying at the Auld Kirk was such a joy and one of the highlights of our trip.
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Date of stay: July 2021
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
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.
Response from Kevin Smith, Owner at The Auld Kirk B&B and Coffee Lounge
Responded 14 Jul 2021
Hi Elizabeth, thank you so much for your wonderful review. It was real pleasure having you both stay with and we are so glad you enjoyed The Auld Kirk and your stay in Ballater. Keep in touch and we'd love to welcome you back here in the near future, Kev & Helen
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Jonathan W wrote a review Aug 2020
Aberdeen, United Kingdom194 contributions89 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
As a couple we have been here for lunches and afternoon tea. My wife and her ‘crafty gang’ also love afternoon tea here.
We had two friends visiting and brought them here last Wednesday, we were not disappointed! Between us we enjoyed Cottage Pie, Steak Sandwich, Pasta Bolognese and Garlic Mushrooms on toast, all were of excellent quality both ingredients and presentation.
The cakes were very good too!!
All the Covid regulations were followed to the letter and we all felt safe dining here.
Plus! Our friends kindly purchased an afternoon tea voucher for us as a thank you for showing them around Royal Deeside which was their first visit,but not their last!
Thanks to all concerned at the Auld Kirk for an excellent lunch experience.
See you again very soon.
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Date of stay: August 2020Trip type: Travelled with friends
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.
Response from , Owner at The Auld Kirk B&B and Coffee Lounge
Responded 20 Aug 2020
Hi Jonathan, many thanks for your kind review. We’re so glad you enjoyed your lunch, certainly looks like you had the full experience! We look forward to welcoming you for that Afternoon Tea. Keep safe and see you soon, Kevin & Helen
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Karlien K wrote a review Aug 2020
The Hague, The Netherlands284 contributions136 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
We arrived at 15.50 and were welcomed by Helen with the words 'You are too early, the check in is at 4.' Not a very warm welcome, I would say and also quite late for a check in. But luckily Kevin showed up with all smiles to tell us that our room was ready. He invited us in the lounge area, where he had built a bar all by himself. Unfortunately we were not allowed to sit here in the evening: the place was fully booked and there was not enough space to keep 2 meters distance between all the different guests.
Kevin gave us some tips about places to eat in the evening and how to get to the river Dee for a nice late afternoon walk.
The room as well as the bathroom were nice and spacious.
Breakfast the next morning was very nice with lots of choices. Apart from one thing: the coffee... I know I'm picky when it comes to drinking a good cup of coffee, preferably cappuccino. But this was absolutely the most horrible coffee I've ever drunk, it smelt and tasted burned (as if the coffee pot has been on the heating plate for hours). And honestly, I don't understand this: why do you serve this kind of coffee when you have a great espresso machine exposed? Their excuse was that they don't serve cappuccino's for breakfast, because the machine needs 15 minutes to heat up. Well, I would suggest to heat up the machine the first in the morning to pamper your guests with a nice cup of coffee!
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Date of stay: August 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
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.
Response from , Owner at The Auld Kirk B&B and Coffee Lounge
Responded 20 Aug 2020
Hi Karlien, many thanks for your review. Our recollection was that you arrived at 14.50, and as we had a full coffee lounge, Helen was busy looking after other customers. Our check-in is from 4 as we have much more stringent cleaning requirements due to Covid 19 and can’t guarantee an earlier check-in. That said, we were happy to check you in early. The bar area is out of use at the moment as it would have to be open to more people than we can accommodate, again, due to Covid restrictions. We do have to take issue on the coffee at breakfast. We can absolutely state that the coffee is fresh-brewed each morning minutes before our guests join for breakfast. We’re sorry that it wasn’t to your taste, but we have had no complaints ever from anyone else. We don’t use the coffee machine at breakfast, not because it takes 15 minutes to heat up, but because it is not practical to offer the whole range of coffees to ALL of our guests at breakfast. All of that, said, we’re glad you enjoyed your room and the comfort of the bed. Keep safe, Kevin & Helen
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Neil C wrote a review Sept 2022
Scarborough, United Kingdom35 contributions8 helpful votes
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Our group arrived on motorcycle’s on a wet Thursday evening to be greeted? at the door by one of the owners we stayed in the foyer and took off our wet over gear. Boots and helmets left in the hall we was taken to another room by the other owner she kindly booked a table at an Indian restaurant for us and then gave the group a lecture about sub-letting our rooms to news reporters as it was the day of The Queens death. A lady member of the group walked in and when the hostess saw the died hair question her aggressively “Oh that could be a problem does that bleed” (apparently they have white sheets) 🤔she was visibly upset and left the room apologies made but damage done I’m afraid. When returning to the hotel from the restaurant she got upset again not wanting anymore confrontation with the owner’s.
On a positive note breakfast was served by a very pleasant lady who could teach the owners a thing or two regarding customer service.
Top tip if it’s raining or ride a motorcycle or have coloured hair stop away.
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Date of stay: September 2022
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
2.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
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.
Response from Kevin Smith, Owner at The Auld Kirk B&B and Coffee Lounge
Responded 13 Sept 2022
Hi and thanks for your review. There are several points that we feel that we need to respond on. Your arrival did coincide with an absolutely horrendous day, weatherwise. We appreciated that you had spent a long day on your motorbikes and were wet through and met you at the door with towels to help you dry off, and we also offered to dry anything you needed in our dryers - no mention of that in your review. Once you had dried off, Helen invited you into our lounge, where we greet all of our guests and tell them a bit about the building, breakfast etc as well as the local area. Coming to an area like Ballater at the height of the season and not making a booking for dinner when there are 8 people, was a little shortsighted, but Helen ensured you did get a reservation and didn't go hungry. Helen made comment about the number of press and journalists who were looking for accommodation, who had requested that we 'bump' guests to allow them to report on the Queen's death. Clearly this wasn't something we would contemplate and would never use the term 'sub-let' in regards to any of our rooms. The young lady with the blue hair was clearly upset when she arrived, I myself asked her if she was OK, to which she replied, she was tired and wet and wanted to go to her room. Any reference Helen made to her hair related to the blue dye running down her face (an issue for our daughter who has red hair a couple of weeks previously, with which Helen was trying to empathise). And there is no 'apparently' about our white sheets, as you very well know. I'm not sure what the issue was when you returned from the restaurant as we weren't there when you came back, although she did rudely ignore any attempt to interact with her the following morning. As for raining, riding a motor bike or having coloured hair, we have many returning guests and family who actually have combinations of all three, none of whom have ever had an issue at The Auld Kirk. And glad you enjoyed your breakfast!
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Traveller wrote a tip Apr 2023
7 contributions1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Book early as it is very popular"
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bunnySouthport wrote a tip Aug 2022
Southport, United Kingdom1,425 contribution372 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"You can only check in from 4 to 7"
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Localtravellers wrote a tip Aug 2022
Blairgowrie, United Kingdom76 contributions21 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Make sure you book well in advance"
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Tony P wrote a tip Jul 2022
Edinburgh, United Kingdom11 contributions8 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Unable to comment upon hotel facilities but if catering is anything to go by hotel guests are in for a treat!"
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Annesquirrel wrote a tip Jul 2022
Ayrshire, United Kingdom649 contributions143 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Plenty of onstreet parking."
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PRICE RANGE
£185 - £188 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
LOCATION
United KingdomScotlandAberdeenshireBallater
NUMBER OF ROOMS
7
Prices are provided by our partners, and reflect nightly room rates, including all taxes and fees known to our partners. Please see our partners for more details.
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THE AULD KIRK B&B AND COFFEE LOUNGE - Updated 2024 Prices, Reviews, and Photos

Frequently Asked Questions about The Auld Kirk B&B and Coffee Lounge
Which popular attractions are close to The Auld Kirk B&B and Coffee Lounge?
Nearby attractions include Old Royal Station (0.2 miles), The Balmoral Bar (0.2 miles), and Dee Valley Confectioners (0.2 miles).
What are some of the property amenities at The Auld Kirk B&B and Coffee Lounge?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, free breakfast, and an on-site restaurant.
What food & drink options are available at The Auld Kirk B&B and Coffee Lounge?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at The Auld Kirk B&B and Coffee Lounge?
Yes, free parking and street parking are available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to The Auld Kirk B&B and Coffee Lounge?
Conveniently located restaurants include The Balmoral Bar, Rothesay Rooms, and The Bothy.
Is The Auld Kirk B&B and Coffee Lounge located near the city centre?
Yes, it is 0.3 miles away from the centre of Ballater.
Are there any historical sites close to The Auld Kirk B&B and Coffee Lounge?
Many travellers enjoy visiting Crathie Church (0.9 miles).
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