Seventh Banff Conference on
**The organizing committee reserves the right to cancel a tour if numbers are not met.
Coach will depart from Old Aberdeen and collect at Copthorne and Marcliffe at Pitfodels, returning to Marcliffe, Copthorne and Old Aberdeen (subject to demand).
Your outbound journey heads west along the north bank of the River Dee, passing the Marcliffe at Pitfodels shortly before the first visit, to Drum Castle and Garden of Historic Roses.
Drum Castle represents 4 eras of castle construction. The oldest part is the Tower, or Keep, which dates from at least 1280, and could well be older – you will have the chance to hear the evidence and decide for yourself! The Jacobean extension was added early in the 17th century, with alterations in the Georgian period, and final additions during Queen Victoria’s reign. The visit to the Tower is not recommended for those who suffer from claustrophobia – or vertigo! It is, however, well worth it, although the other parts of the castle also give a fantastic insight into the life of the Irvines of Drum, who owned the castle from 1323 until the late 20th century, when it was gifted to the National Trust for Scotland.
Following the visit to Drum, you will head west, following the road driven by HM Queen Elizabeth when she herself comes for her own holiday to Balmoral Castle. Ballater is the nearest village to Balmoral, and you will have time here to have lunch (choosing from a wide choice of cafes, pubs, restaurants and shops offering sandwiches) and also browse in shops bearing the Royal Warrant crests – these are the suppliers to the Royal Castle.
After lunch, you will continue to Balmoral Castle itself, where you can visit the Ballroom exhibition, carriage exhibition in the Stable block, or just wander in the magnificent grounds and gardens which truly are fit for a Queen!
You then continue west to the picturesque village of Braemar, so beloved of Queen Victoria, the first British monarch to “discover” Deeside. You will have some time free here to browse the shops and exhibition about the village and its famous Highland Games, which take place on the first Saturday of September each year.
The return to Aberdeen will follow the same route back to just beyond Ballater, and then will follow a different road, in Queen Victoria’s footsteps through Tarland, with a chance to appreciate the “Queen’s View” (weather permitting), and Echt.
COST: £34 per person
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