Braemar :: Royal Deeside :: Scotland
Braemar, or Braigh Mharr in Gaelic (which finally died out locally as a spoken language about 1900), is not only redolent with Scottish history, but is a land of superlatives. It is the highest and most mountainous parish in the UK, with each of its 182,000 acres being more than 1000ft above sea level (the Post office, in the village centre, is at 1110ft).
The area contains within its borders some 24 Munros, or mountains of over 3,000ft, with three over 4,000ft. It is also the only parish in the country to border with four of the old counties (Banffshire, Inverness-shire, Perthshire and Angus). It has the highest 18-hole golf course in the country, and shares with Perthshire the Cairnwell Pass, at 2,100ft the highest through road in the country, which on the Braemar side passes through the Glenshee Ski Centre.
For the visitor interested in wildlife, Braemar has long held great attractions. There must be few villages where one can take an early morning walk along the village main street and have a good chance of meeting, one after the other, a magnificent 13 pointer stag, a shy roe deer, red squirrels stealing nuts put out for the birds, a cock pheasant strutting in all his finery, and a big brown hare timidly exploring the possibility of access to some of the gardens, while overhead golden eagles and buzzards sail silent, missing nothing.