No trip to Scotland is complete without a visit to one of its magnificent castles, and Balmoral Castle - set on the banks of the River Dee - is one of the best known and most prestigious. The Castle, with its fairytale turrets, is set on 50,000 acres (20,234 ha) of spectacular grounds, and the Royal Family has preserved the surrounding wildlife, buildings and scenery since it was bought by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1852. A visit to the Castle includes access to the gardens, the ballroom and the grounds, but the Queen's Rooms are out of bounds. The Balmoral Castle and its estate are set within the Cairngorms National Park and offer breathtaking vistas of the Highlands. Visitors can also enjoy a Castle tour, which takes in other impressive castles such as Crathes Castle and neighbouring Craigievar Castle.
Address: Ballater, Aberdeenshire
Telephone: (0)1339 742 534
Opening times: Open daily between 1 April and 31 July, from 10am to 5pm. Note that the last recommended admission is at 4pm
Admission: Â£9 (adults), Â£5 (children). Concessions are available, please check the website for details