This morning, we departed our Birnam lodgings and progressed as follows:

To Braemar in the Grampian Region of Northern Scotland for a brief stop and then east, past Braemar Castle, tracking the River Dee to the Royal Lochnagar Distillery which was awarded a Royal warrant by Queen Victoria. At Royal Lochnagar the group was provided with a tour of the distillery and a sample of the 12 year old malt.

Royal Lochnagar Distillery, Deeside

Royal Lochnagar Distillery, Deeside, Scotland

 

Whisky Tasting, Royal Lochnagar

Whisky Tasting, Royal Lochnagar, Scotland

Next to nearby Balmoral Castle. Which was purchased by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and has been under ownership of the Royal Family ever since. Aided by favourable weather we toured the extensive gardens and the Castle ballroom. We also had lunch here.

Balmotral Castle, Deeside

Balmotral Castle, Deeside, Scotland

 

Balmoral Castle, Deeside

Balmoral Castle, Deeside, Scotland

Next, a short trip to nearby Crathie Kirk the foundation stone of which was laid by Queen Victoria. Then a short walk across the road to the burial place of Queen Victoria’s Highland servant, John Brown.

Grave of John Brown, Servant of Queen Victoria

Grave of John Brown, Servant of Queen Victoria, Crathie, Scotland

Crathie Kirk, Deeside

Crathie Kirk, Deeside, ScotlandInspecting John Brown's Tombstone, Crathie, Scotland

 

Next, back to Braemar where the group availed of a short shopping and tea break before we embarked on the drive back to Birnam through stunning Highland scenery with flocks of sheep covering the landscape.

We returned to Birnam about 6.00pm in time for dinner.

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