Ballater

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Coordinates: 57°02′41″N 3°02′58″W / 57.0448°N 3.04942°W / 57.0448; -3.04942

Ballater
Scottish Gaelic: Bealadair
Ballater is located in Aberdeen
Ballater
Ballater
 Ballater shown within Aberdeenshire
Population 1,446 [1] (2001 census)
est. 1,520[2] (2006)
OS grid reference NO369958
Council area Aberdeenshire
Lieutenancy area Aberdeenshire
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BALLATER
Postcode district AB35
Dialling code 01339
Police Scottish
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine
Scottish Parliament Aberdeenshire West
List of places
UK
Scotland

Ballater (Scottish Gaelic: Bealadair) is a burgh in Aberdeenshire, Scotland on the River Dee, immediately east of the Cairngorm Mountains. Situated at an elevation of 213 m (700 ft), Ballater is a centre for hikers and known for its spring water, once said to cure scrofula. It is home to more than 1500 inhabitants.

Glenmuick Parish Church, in the square.

History[edit]

The medieval pattern of development along this reach of the River Dee was influenced by the ancient trackways across the Grampian Mounth, which determined strategic locations of castles and other Deeside settlements of the Middle Ages.[3]

The old railway station now used as a visitor and exhibition centre.

In the early 14th century, the area was part of the estates of the Knights of St John, but the settlement did not develop until around 1770; first as a spa resort to accommodate visitors to the Pananich Mineral Well, then later upon the arrival of the railway in 1866 it was visited by many tourists taking advantage of the easier access thus afforded.

Ballater railway station was closed in 1966 but remains in use as a visitor centre with an exhibition recording the village's royal connection. Many buildings date from the Victorian era and the centre of the village is a conservation area.

Royal connection[edit]

Balmoral Castle, the British Royal Family's holiday home, lies approximately 12 km west, and the family has visited the town frequently since the time of Queen Victoria. Birkhall lies about 2 km south-west of Ballater. The Victoria Barracks is used by the Royal Guard for the castle.

Local stores had for decades Royal Warrants bestowed upon them. Five years after the passing of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, who had granted them, the warrants lapsed and, to the chagrin of many townsfolk and especially shop owners, were removed.[4] Several shops still display the arms marking the royal warrant.

Climate[edit]

A Met Office weather station collects weather data at Balmoral, just over 7 miles to the west of Ballater. Like the rest of Scotlnd and the British Isles, Ballater experiences a maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters. Its upland position means temperatures throughout the year are cooler than lower-lying areas, and snowfall more plentiful during winter months.

Climate data for Balmoral 1971–2000, 283m asl, Extremes 1960–
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 15.8
(60.4)
13.9
(57)
17.8
(64)
22.7
(72.9)
25.3
(77.5)
28.3
(82.9)
29.0
(84.2)
29.5
(85.1)
25.4
(77.7)
20.9
(69.6)
17.3
(63.1)
13.7
(56.7)
29.5
(85.1)
Average high °C (°F) 4.6
(40.3)
5.0
(41)
7.0
(44.6)
9.6
(49.3)
13.1
(55.6)
15.8
(60.4)
18.2
(64.8)
17.5
(63.5)
14.1
(57.4)
10.7
(51.3)
7.0
(44.6)
5.2
(41.4)
10.65
(51.18)
Average low °C (°F) −2.0
(28.4)
−1.9
(28.6)
−0.3
(31.5)
0.8
(33.4)
3.2
(37.8)
6.2
(43.2)
8.3
(46.9)
7.8
(46)
5.9
(42.6)
3.3
(37.9)
0.2
(32.4)
−1.3
(29.7)
2.52
(36.53)
Record low °C (°F) −23.5
(−10.3)
−19.5
(−3.1)
−18.2
(−0.8)
−10
(14)
−6.7
(19.9)
−3.3
(26.1)
−1.0
(30.2)
−3.0
(26.6)
−4.8
(23.4)
−7.8
(18)
−16.7
(1.9)
−22.7
(−8.9)
−23.5
(−10.3)
Precipitation mm (inches) 96.72
(3.8079)
59.04
(2.3244)
65.26
(2.5693)
57.92
(2.2803)
57.31
(2.2563)
52.76
(2.0772)
51.09
(2.0114)
58.75
(2.313)
75.3
(2.965)
93.3
(3.673)
84.89
(3.3421)
80.56
(3.1717)
832.9
(32.7916)
Source: Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute/KNMI[5]

Attractions[edit]

Ballater is a centre for tourism in Royal Deeside, with the Cairngorms and Balmoral Castle nearby. There are two bike hire shops in the village.

The old Ballater station, containing Queen Victoria's waiting room, is now a visitor centre with a replica royal carriage.[6] Balmoral Castle is a 10 minute drive from the village.

There are many walks from the village. For the easy going walker, there is Craigendarroch, a small, peculiarly shaped hill near the village. About 12 km (7 miles) south-west of Ballater is Loch Muick. From there experienced walkers can head up the prominent mountain, Lochnagar. Ballater is the home of many challenging walks due to the abundance of Munros in the area.

The River Dee flows through Ballater, and is famous for salmon fishing.

Events in the town include:

  • The Ballater Walking Festival each May attracts many hillwalkers of all levels.[7] Participants are guided through the hills and valleys of the eastern Cairngorms.
  • The Ballater Boules Challenge, on alternate Sundays from November to March each year, provides an alternative sport when the weather is not cold enough for the traditional game of curling.[8]
  • Victoria Week, held annually in August, is a celebration of Ballater's connection with Queen Victoria and Balmoral Castle.[9]

The village has its own 'tongue in cheek', on-line newspaper, the Ballater Bugle.[10]

Recently five Ballater residents refurbished the Automobile Association's Patrol Box at Cambus O'May, one of only an estimated 8 to 10 such historical call boxes remaining in situ in Great Britain.[11]

Transport[edit]

There is a bus garage located near to the village centre which provides an hourly public service to Aberdeen's Union Square bus station.

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Comparative Population Profile: Ballater Locality". Scotland's Census Results Online. 29 April 2001. Retrieved 31 August 2008. 
  2. ^ "Mid-2006 Population Estimates" (Microsoft Excel). General Register Office for Scotland. Retrieved 21 October 2008. 
  3. ^ C. Michael Hogan. "Elsick Mounth, The Megalithic Portal". ed. A. Burnham. Retrieved 13 August 2008. 
  4. ^ "Town loses Queen Mother Warrants" BBC report, 31 December 2007
  5. ^ "Balmoral averages and extremes". KNMI. Retrieved 2 November 2011. 
  6. ^ "The old Royal Station at Ballater". Royal Deeside. Archived from the original on 24 July 2008. Retrieved 13 August 2008. 
  7. ^ "Ballater Walking Festival". Royal Deeside. Retrieved 13 August 2008. 
  8. ^ "Ballater Boules Challenge". Retrieved 13 August 2008. 
  9. ^ "Queen Victoria: Spirit Of Ballater". Retrieved 13 August 2008. 
  10. ^ Ballater Bugle website
  11. ^ "The Start of it all". Saving AA Box 472 Campaign website. Retrieved 30 August 2009. 

External links[edit]