Balmoral Castle is only open from April to July each year, due the the Royal Family being in residence, and a few weeks ago I was staying near by so I thought I'd pop along and have a look. It's really geared up for tourists, providing a little bus from the ticket office to the main entrance where audio guides can be collected to take around with you. I meandered around the grounds following the route and exploring the gardens (working on the principle I'd soon be moved on if I strayed somewhere I shouldn't)!
The larger glass houses couldn't be entered but seemed to be full of flowers and these are used in the Castle when the family are in residence. Gardeners may be pleased to note that the Queen also has greenfly on her plants!
|The Deer Larder|
The Balmoral Estate is still a fully working enterprise with deer to be managed, salmon fishing on the river and a few holiday cottages available for rent. Not to forget the huge enterprise of being a visitor attraction as part of the Victorian Heritage Trail in Royal Deeside.
|Bluebells in the wooded areas beyond the arches|
I did like the Garden Cottage which had been used as a hospital in the past, and here I could peer through the windows and admire the furnishings and grandeur of how the other half lives! Around the back of the cottage are the water gardens - an area that seemed devoid of other visitors!
|Chimney pots on Garden Cottage|
The Castle is a fairly stunning building and I would have loved to have a look inside but only the ballroom was open to visitors and this is full of displays on the Royals. No photography is allowed inside for security reasons! But a small sunken square formal garden provided a nice photograph (everyone walked around the top) but no signs said I couldn't go in it.
|Part of the formal gardens in front of the Castle|