Skip to content

Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.

Restaurant
“Michelin star dining in Ballater. Nestled besides the rugged contours of the Craigendarroch Hills, the Rothesay Rooms in Ballater is at the heart of a vibrant and welcoming community. It is a collaborative project between local groups and the outreach programme of HRH The Duke of Rothesay’s charity, in the wake of disastrous floods. In December 2015 Storm Frank battered Scotland and the River Dee, which flows through some of the most scenic parts of the country, burst its banks and decimated local homes and businesses in Ballater. His Royal Highness The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay visited the village, which is just six miles to the east of Balmoral Castle, shortly after the incident and pledged his support to rejuvenate the village. A Ballater Flood Appeal was quickly established and the generosity from companies and individuals in the surrounding area was incredible. In response to such overwhelming support, the idea to create a new eaterie to help rejuvenate the community and drive local business was formed. The project was galvanised further by the Cooperative Group, who kindly offered the use of a former convenience store in the village. The result is a restaurant championing the best in organic, locally-sourced produce. The 40-seat restaurant is located on the ground floor and is perfect for both intimate tables and larger groups. Decorated in the Highland style throughout, the relaxed interior boasts an array of antiques and bespoke wooden tables. The vibrant Duke of Rothesay tartan and soft glow of candlelight provide a charming accompaniment to an elegant meal or post-prandial drink. Since opening in 2016, the Rothesay Rooms has won North East of Scotland Restaurant of the Year Award 2017 and gained entry into the Michelin Guide. In 2019 The Rothesay Rooms was awarded the North East of Scotland Restaurant of the Year for the third year running. ”
  • 7 locals recommend
Bike Shop
“Bicycle rental in Ballater - great if you want to ride along the Deeside Way/”
  • 4 locals recommend
Restaurant
“This is one of my favourite eating places in Ballater. The cakes are amazing.... always fresh and moreish! The pies are absolutely delicious ... chicken and leek, venison and various others. They are huge so if you have a smaller appetite ask for two plates and share.😃 I always have a pie to share but everything else looks equally good.”
  • 4 locals recommend
Coffee Shop
$
“A great cafe with counter service. Excellent scones of the day and soup and panini . Browse in the outdoor store while you wait. ”
  • 3 locals recommend
Grocery or Supermarket
“Sell everything and staff friendly. Also, Cassies round the corner sell everything.”
  • 3 locals recommend
Bicycle Store
“A chance to cycle around Balmoral estate and Royal Deeside. Quality bikes supplied and very knowledgeable staff.”
  • 2 locals recommend
Art Gallery
  • 1 local recommends
Store
“A family run shop which sells high quality gifts, souvenirs and home furnishings, whatever your budget happens to be. ”
  • 2 locals recommend
Route
“Follow the trail up to the top and you will get glorious views of the surrounding vistas.”
  • 2 locals recommend
Bar
“A wide range of meats and eats here. Prices are moderate to expensive. Booking required.”
  • 1 local recommends
Meal Takeaway
  • 1 local recommends
Restaurant
  • 2 locals recommend
Bakery
“Our go to place for Aberdeenshire butteries and home of the world famous Balmoral bread.”
  • 2 locals recommend
Food
“They supply food to the Royals at Balmoral Castle, have amazing white puddings, and also venison (deer) burgers and sausages.”
  • 2 locals recommend
Hotel
  • 2 locals recommend
Candy Store
“This is both a sweet shop selling all the old fashioned favourites and a small factory where you can view the whole process .... you just have to be there at the right time!! Remember ‘Granny Sookers’ ? Soor Plooms’ ? Lucky Tatties? Pineapple chunks? This is the place!”
  • 2 locals recommend