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A is for             Art: The landscape and wildlife provides a lot of inspiration to the area’s artists whose work is showcased in many local galleries, including the Lost,       Butterworth and McEwen Galleries.

B is for             Balmoral Castle: Built for Queen Victoria, the castle is the private residence of Her Majesty The Queen and is open to visitors daily between March and   July.

C is for            Cambus O’ May: Home to a stunning suspension bridge that spans the Dee and also the name of a tasty handmade artisan cheese maker.

D is for            The Dee: Stretching for 87 miles, the river is the backbone of Deeside. It provides salmon fishing, canoeing and kayaking and features beauty spots such as the Linn O’ Dee.

E is for             Equestrian: Trekking along the miles of bridle paths and trails in Deeside is a perfect to way to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the area. The World     Horse Welfare charity has a rehoming centre near Aboyne with a fascinating visitor centre.

F is for             Finzean: The home of Victorian landscape painter Joseph Farquharson, Finzean Estate offers country sports and has a superb farm shop and tearoom.

G is for            Go Off-road: Head for the hills and explore Deeside’s dramatic landscape as part of an organised Land Rover safari and possibly catch sight of red deer   and birds of prey.

H is for            Hill walking: Deeside’s rugged landscape provides varied hill walking for all abilities. Gentle climbs like Scolty, Corbetts such as Kerloch and Munros like Mount Keen deliver breathtaking vistas.

I is for              Indigenous species: The area is home to over 100 species of rare and endangered plants and animals, many of which are indigenous to Scotland. Capercaillie, golden eagles, otters, pine marten, red deer, red squirrels, Scottish crossbill and even wildcats can be spotted in this magnificent landscape.

J is for             Jack and Jill: They went up a hill, but children will enjoy going down to The Den and The Glen which has a large indoor play area and a magical world of fairy tales and nursery rhymes outside.

K is for             King of a castle: On Royal Deeside you can be a king in your own castle and spend a night, or a week, staying in some impressive castles and historic houses.

L is for             Lochnagar: A rugged Munro, a fine whisky and a famed story about an old man penned by Prince Charles, Lochnagar’s beauty has inspired generations.

M is for            Mountain biking: Mile upon mile of trails through the Deeside countryside delivers fantastic routes for mountain bikers of all ages and skills.

N is for            Nine Stanes: One of around 70 stones circles in Aberdeenshire, Nine Stanes, near Banchory, is a 4,000-year-old recumbent stone circle – a style unique to the region. Visitors can journey round these Neolithic sites on the Stone Circle Trail.

O is for            Outdoors: Spectacular scenery and fresh air is in abundance on Royal Deeside giving the ideal conditions for any sport.  Archery, canoeing and kayaking, climbing, field sports, fishing, golf, horse riding, on and off-road cycling, snow sports, water skiing and much more can all be tackled.

P is for             Picnic spots: Pack a flask and some sandwiches as regardless of the time of year Deeside offers plenty of perfect picnic spots. From riverside to lochside, castle gardens to woodland settings, or even watching gliders soar skywards, the choice is yours.

Q is for            Queen Victoria: In 1848, Queen Victoria and Price Albert first visited Balmoral Estate and fell in love with Deeside. Their connection with the area is marked by the Victorian Heritage Trail – it’s a journey through Deeside in the monarch’s footsteps.

R is for            Railway: Step back in time and enjoy the bygone era of train travel aboard the Deeside Railway. Steam and diesel services operate during summer on part of the old Deeside line. Charters and train driving lessons are also available.

S is for             Scott Skinner: Music has always been an important part of Deeside life and the area has produced many talented musicians. One of its most famous is fiddler James Scott Skinner, whose life and works are celebrated in Banchory Museum.

T is for             Tractor driving: If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to get behind the wheel of a tractor you can find out at Deeside Activity Park. It is one of the many varied activities on offer.

U is for            Up, up and away: Take to the sky and experience the thrill of flying. Learn the art of gliding at Deeside Flying Club or enjoying an exhilarating helicopter flight with HJS Helicopters.

V is for             Burn O’ Vat: A geological marvel carved out at the end of the last ice age, Burn O’ Vat is an impressive giant pothole that will amaze all generations.

W is for            Deeside Way: Stretching 41 miles from Aberdeen to Ballater, the Deeside Way is a long distance path that follows much of the old Deeside railway line. Suitable for walkers and cyclists, it’s an excellent backbone from which to explore the area.

X is for             X marks the spot: Explore Royal Deeside using Scotland’s only GeoTour. Let GPS be your guide as your head off on a geocaching adventure to uncover some of the areas hidden gems.

Y is for             Yards of fairways: Deeside boasts some of the finest parkland golf courses in north-east Scotland. From picturesque courses like Banchory on the banks of the River Dee, to the highest course in Britain at Braemar, all present their own unique challenge.

Z is for             Zip wire: Release you inner gorilla and swing through the trees on the Go Ape course at Crathes Castle.

For more information on places to visit, things to do and events taking place on Royal Deeside visit