Hotel review: Scotland's Banchory Lodge lies on the banks of the River Dee to the east of Balmoral

Hotel review: Scotland’s Banchory Lodge lies on the banks of the River Dee to the east of Balmoral

Given that A-roadways in Scotland can be so narrow they have passing destinations, you can think about just how rustic B-roads there can get.

I turned on to just one in the Cairngorms Countrywide Park on a Friday evening recently and didn’t see yet another auto for 50 percent an hour – and passed by means of woodlands so historical and pristine I wondered if we’d been warped into Middle-earth.

Our place was Banchory Lodge, a hotel that lies just over and above the park’s eastern border in a locale that entices on several levels.

Banchory Lodge lies by the River Dee, just beyond the japanese border of the Cairngorms National Park 

First of all, the Georgian lodge sits, enchantingly, on the banking companies of the River Dee, going through absent from the town of Banchory and out in the direction of rolling forested hills.

Then there’s the proximity of a host of sensational sights.

For starters, Balmoral – the Scottish house to the Royal Spouse and children – is just 45 minutes by vehicle to the west within Cairngorms National Park. My companion, a few-yr-aged daughter and I expended a superb afternoon there, gallivanting all over the encompassing woodland – the place we noticed a pink squirrel – ambling by the high-quality vegetable backyard garden, which was just about cartoonishly bountiful, and peeking inside of the understated Castle Ballroom, the only space you’re permitted inside of.

Ted's room was a ‘Top Notch Terrace Room’ (pictured) - 'and there was much that was indeed top-notch'

Ted’s home was a ‘Top Notch Terrace Room’ (pictured) – ‘and there was substantially that was without a doubt best-notch’

The terrace of the Sitooterie, which unfortunately partially blocks the river view from the ground-floor 'Top Notch' rooms

The terrace of the Sitooterie, which sadly partly blocks the river watch from the ground-flooring ‘Top Notch’ rooms

Ted enjoyed 'gold-standard fish and chips' in Banchory Lodge's restaurant

Ted enjoyed ‘gold-typical fish and chips’ in Banchory Lodge’s cafe

Balmoral - the Scottish home to the Royal Family - is just 45 minutes by car to the west of Banchory Lodge

Balmoral – the Scottish dwelling to the Royal Spouse and children – is just 45 minutes by auto to the west of Banchory Lodge


The most thrilling way of reaching Scotland from England is undoubtedly by train. Our journey to Banchory Lodge begins with the 9am LNER Azuma from Kings Cross to Edinburgh.

The Royal Border Bridge at Berwick-upon-Tweed

The Royal Border Bridge at Berwick-on-Tweed

On the way we take in some amazing sights from our seats – the outstanding York station, the outstanding Durham Cathedral and the placing Angel of North, just in advance of Newcastle. The arrival into the station there is spectacular, with incredible views of the city and the River Tyne as the practice crosses the mighty King Edward VII Bridge.

An LNER Azuma passes Alnmouth

An LNER Azuma passes Alnmouth

As the educate hurtles even more north, we gaze at the coast at Alnmouth, location Lindisfarne Castle on Holy Island and are then hypnotised as the educate crosses the Royal Border Bridge (which is really a few miles south of the border) prior to pulling up in Berwick-upon-Tweed station. Soon after this, awesome sights of rugged coastline continue to keep us transfixed prior to the teach arrives at Edinburgh Waverley. Six minutes early.

We get to Perth (where by we pick up a retain the services of car or truck) by using a ScotRail HST services by means of the showstopping Forth Bridge. Unforgettable. On the way residence, we capture a direct LNER Azuma company from Perth to Kings Cross, which does not go alongside the Forth Bridge, but does skirt earlier the awe-inspiring Stirling Castle. 

Other close by attractions of outdated consist of Crathes Castle and the fairytale-esque Craigievar Castle.

Aberdeen, in the meantime, lies just 19 miles to the east. There you can location dolphins from the harbour and admire the works on display at the renowned Aberdeen Art Gallery.

We fuelled up for our excursions with breakfasts at a table overlooking the river. The look at was exceptional and the fare was hearty, although the rustic aspect was lowered by the company-station-model packets of honey that accompanied the porridge.

Lunchtime fuelling came courtesy of the hotel’s out of doors dining thought – The Sitooterie – which has seating more than a patio region and four funky wooden sheds for non-public eating ordeals.

These are truly superior entertaining and the barbecue-style grills, salads, tacos and flatbreads served by the outdoors kitchen area significantly filling.

We ordered chilled crayfish and lobster taco, ‘togarashi’ chicken, and lemon pepper mackerel with apple, cucumber and watermelon and could hardly move later on.

Flavour-clever it was a little bit two-dimensional, but there was no arguing with the value. Most of the dishes were below a tenner.

The major-developing cafe cooking in the night amazed, however. I experienced gold-typical fish and chips and my lover loved her Shetland scallops. In addition, the services was impressively zippy and chirpy irrespective of the cafe staying whole to bursting.

Our space was a ‘Top Notch Terrace Room’ and there was significantly that was indeed top-notch. But some factors were being far more ‘middle to decreased-middle notch’.

The very first-rate bits? The very comfy bed, in particular the lavish pillows, the funky flamingo wallpaper, the Art Deco drinks trolley, the distressed industrial-stylish Tv cupboard and the sheer spaciousness of it all.

And there had been plug details by the mattress. Thoughtful.

But the entrance conclude of the place was a bit gloomy and the feng shui of the lavatory felt misaligned – although lying down the loo was in my discipline of eyesight if the toilet door was open up and in line of sight to the French doors.

The shower, in the meantime, experienced a sluggish-draining plug and while using the rain shower fixture was pleasurable, the hose could not muster significantly far more than dribbling water.

The key space had a definite boutique feel to it, but the toilet, though clean up, felt bland and funds by comparison.

The website home billing also left me a tad miffed. ‘Great sights of the River Dee’ are promised and French doorways ‘you fling open on to your terrace straight out to the River Dee’.

Probably this was penned by an estate agent, due to the fact the ‘your terrace’ element of the equation was basically an open up patio shared with a few other rooms (even though every single space has its personal table and chairs) and the check out a hedge amongst this and the Sitooterie, its parasols and the vehicles in the car or truck park further than. (Through our visit, it was full – Banchory Lodge is quite common.)

The Sitooterie has seating over a patio area and four funky wooden sheds (two pictured here) for private dining experiences

The Sitooterie has seating about a patio location and four funky wood sheds (two pictured in this article) for private eating activities

For unimpeded views of the bubbling torrents, book a first-floor river-view room, recommends Ted

For unimpeded sights of the effervescent torrents, book a first-flooring river-check out room, endorses Ted

Fairytale-esque Craigievar Castle is one of the many local attractions

Fairytale-esque Craigievar Castle is 1 of the lots of regional points of interest

Sixteenth-century Crathes Castle and its glorious grounds are mere minutes from Banchory Lodge

Sixteenth-century Crathes Castle and its wonderful grounds are mere minutes from Banchory Lodge

We could see the river, but only just.

For unimpeded sights of the bubbling torrents, e-book a to start with-ground river-look at room.

Still, we liked our keep at a lodge that is reasonably priced and in, certainly, just one of the country’s most Dee-lightful spots. 

Travel FACTS 

Ted was hosted by Banchory Lodge, Dee Street, Banchory, AB31 5HS. Rooms get started from £125. Check out for a lot more information and facts, call +44 1330 822 625 and email

Score: Hotel review: Scotland's Banchory Lodge lies on the banks of the River Dee to the east of Balmoral

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LNER operates 50 %-hourly departures between London King’s Cross and Edinburgh, in each instructions, during the day. The journey from metropolis to city can take just about 4 several hours. When booked immediate on the net at, advance fares begin from £54 return in Conventional and £136 return in to start with course. A family members return ticket costs £169 for up to two grown ups and 4 small children to journey (all topic to availability).

LNER also operates a single direct services a working day amongst London and Inverness by using Perth. 

For data on ScotRail expert services take a look at delivers vehicle rental from in excess of 160 international locations in the globe, with 60,000 pickup places in the Uk. For additional information, check out 

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