Balmoral Castle is close to Braemar in Royal Deeside and around a one hour drive from Pitlochry. The truly enormous Balmoral Estate boasts many munros and massive expanses of stunning ancient Caledonian Pine forest. At the heart of the estate and on the banks of the River Dee is Balmoral Castle itself. Purchased in the 19th Century by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert it soon became a favourite home and today, the Queen and the Royal Family still spend many weeks a year at Balmoral.
When the Queen is not in residence the Balmoral Estate is open to the public for audio and guided tours, which are excellent. Although you do not get access to the Castle itself you can wander the grounds and gardens and get a great feel for the place. Have a look at the Balmoral website for more information on all the other activities on offer as well as opening times.
Because most of what is on offer is outside, we would recommend visiting in good weather. It is a stunning spot and well worth the trip up through Glenshee and Speyside from Piltochry. On the way you will pass Braemar Castle which is also worth a look.