|Population||1,446  (2001 census)|
est. 1,520 (2006)
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
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.
The medieval pattern of development along this reach of the River De was influenced by the ancient trackways across the Grampian Mounth, which determined strategic locations of castles and other Deeside settlements of the Middle Ages.
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. The old visitor centre was substantially damaged by fire in May 2015 but has subsequently been restored and reopened.
Balmoral Castle, the British Royal Family's holiday home, lies 7 miles (11 km) west, and the family has visited the town frequently since the time of Queen Victoria. Birkhall lies 1 mile (1.6 km) south-west of Ballater. Victoria Barracks is used by the Royal Guard for the castle.
For decades, local stores had Royal Warrants bestowed upon them. Five years after the death of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, who had granted them, the warrants lapsed and, to the chagrin of many townsfolk and especially shop owners, they were not renewed. Several shops still display the arms marking the royal warrant.
A Met Office weather station collects weather data at Balmoral, just over 7 miles to the west of Ballater. Like the rest of Scotland 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–|
|Record high °C (°F)||15.8
|Average high °C (°F)||4.6
|Average low °C (°F)||−2.0
|Record low °C (°F)||−23.5
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||96.72
|Source #1: Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute/KNMI|
|Source #2: Met Office for December record high|
The old Ballater station, containing Queen Victoria's waiting room, was for many years a visitor centre with a replica royal carriage. However, the building was almost completely destroyed by fire in 2015. The rebuilding of the station and adjoining visitor centre is currently underway, and is expected to be completed in December 2018.  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 Munroes in the area.
There are many well-mapped cycle routes from Ballater into the surrounding areas, including the Deeside Way and a number of popular mountain biking trails. The forests at Cambus o'May have trails for experienced riders.
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. 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.
- Victoria Week, held annually in August, is a celebration of Ballater's connection with Queen Victoria and Balmoral Castle.
The village has its own 'tongue in cheek', on-line newspaper, the Ballater Bugle.
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.
There is a bus garage located near to the village centre which provides an hourly public service to Aberdeen's Union Square bus station. The bus company was granted permission to build a new site at Pannanich Road in December 2014. In April 2015 the bus station was re-opened as a Co-Operative supermarket.
- "Comparative Population Profile: Ballater Locality". Scotland's Census Results Online. 29 April 2001. Retrieved 31 August 2008.
- "Mid-2006 Population Estimates". General Register Office for Scotland. Archived from the original (Microsoft Excel) on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2008.
- C. Michael Hogan. "Elsick Mounth, The Megalithic Portal". ed. A. Burnham. Retrieved 13 August 2008.
- "Ballater iCentre, Ballater – VisitScotland iCentres". Retrieved 2018-10-31.
- "Town loses Queen Mother Warrants" BBC report, 31 December 2007
- "Balmoral averages and extremes". KNMI. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
- "Exceptional warmth, December 2015". Met Office. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
- "The old Royal Station at Ballater". Royal Deeside. Archived from the original on 24 July 2008. Retrieved 13 August 2008.
- "Ceremony marks rebuilding of Ballater Station after fire". BBC News. 8 February 2017.
- "MTBtrails.info". www.mtbtrails.info. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
- "Ballater Walking Festival". Royal Deeside. Retrieved 13 August 2008.
- "Ballater Boules Challenge". Retrieved 13 August 2008.
- "Queen Victoria: Spirit Of Ballater". Retrieved 13 August 2008.
- Ballater Bugle website
- "The Start of it all". Saving AA Box 472 Campaign website. Retrieved 30 August 2009.
- "Ballater set to get new bus depot - Cairngorms National Park AuthorityCairngorms National Park Authority". cairngorms.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-07-29.
- yunorisson BALLATER BUZZ NEWS CHANNEL (2015-04-02), Ballater, Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, UK New Co Op Opening, retrieved 2016-07-29
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Ballater.|