Braemar is a delightful village set in the heart of the Scottish Highlands and the Grampian Mountains. The village is a gateway to Cairngorms National Park, where you can discover wild and rugged scenery. It’s one of the largest national parks in the United Kingdom and offers outdoor activities galore, including hiking, mountain biking, wildlife watching and snow sports.
The park is studded with more than 20 munros, the Scottish name for mountains more than 914 metres high. Carn nan Gabhar is the tallest peak in the park and commands far-reaching views over the Highlands. Lowland trails wind through native Scottish pine forests.
Learn about the art of whiskey making at the Royal Lochnagar Distillery. The distillery has been bottling single malt Scotch whisky since 1845 using crystal-clear mountain spring water. Tours take you behind the scenes of the distillery and into the filling store, warehouse and tasting room.
After a day of sightseeing, return to the village for dinner and drinks at a local pub. Fill up on Highland classics like haggis served with mashed potatoes and turnips. Save room for cranachan, a tasty Scottish dessert made with fresh raspberries, heavy cream, oats, whisky and honey.
Braemar is in Aberdeenshire, a 1.5-hour drive from Aberdeen and 2.5 hours from Edinburgh. Local buses run between Braemar and Aberdeen in three hours.