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Banchory is a town in Aberdeenshire, with a population in 2016 of 7560. It's in the scenic Dee valley 18 miles (25 km) west of Aberdeen, and its main visitor attraction is Crathes Castle. It's also a good base for visiting Balmoral Castle and Cairngorms National Park.

Get in[edit]

See Aberdeen for air, rail and road inter-city transport.

Stagecoach Bluebird Bus 201 runs from Aberdeen Union Square every 30 min to Crathes Castle and Banchory (50 min). Alternate buses continue up the Dee Valley to Ballater and Balmoral Castle, and every couple of hours they reach Braemar.

Get around[edit]

The Aberdeen-Braemar bus connects the valley along A93, but you need a car to explore the area.

Stagecoach Bus 205 makes an hourly figure-of-eight around the village.

See[edit]

  • Banchory Museum, Bridge Street, Banchory AB31 5SX. M F Sa 11:00-15:00. As of Aug 2022, the museum is closed for refurbishment.
  • St Ternan Parish Church was built in 1825. Two cross-slabs in the churchyard are all that remains of the ancient monastery.
  • 1 Scolty Hill is a wooded hill topped by a monument to General William Burnett who fought with Wellington. It may be possible to climb to the viewing platform.
  • 2 Crathes Castle, Crathes Estate, Banchory AB31 5QJ (3 miles east of Banchory), +44 844 493 2166, . April-Oct daily 10:30-17:00, Nov-Mar Sa Su 11:00-16:00. Attractive 16th-century castle with turretted tower, thick walls and ivy growing up the cream walls. Extensive garden with carved yew hedges and colourful borders. You can also hike trails in the large estate. Adult £13, concs £9.50, NTS/NT free. Crathes Castle (Q2748806) on Wikidata Crathes Castle on Wikipedia
  • 3 Drum Castle, Drumoak AB31 5EY (2 miles west of Peterculter). Jun-Aug daily, Apr-May & Sep-Oct Th-M, Nov-Mar Sa Su, all 11:00-16:00. 13th-century tower with 17th- and 19th-century additions (yes, you can see the join) and gardens. Adult £13, conc £9.50, NTS/NT free. Drum Castle (Q1923521) on Wikidata Drum Castle on Wikipedia
  • Castle Fraser: See Westhill for this and several stone circles north of Drumoak.
  • 4 Keith's Tower is not so much a folly as an up-yours: it was built to celebrate victory in a law suit in 1824. At stake was not just land ownership but the Earldom of Peterborough. It's reached by a lane that crosses the Dee by a scenic bridge: in 2021 this is closed to vehicles and it's not known whether access to the tower is permitted.
  • 5 Craigievar Castle, Alford AB33 8JF (Off A980), +44 844 493 2174. Apr-Jun, Sep F-Tu 11:00-17:30; Jul-Aug daily 11:00-17:30. This fairy-tale pink castle has witches-hat turrets befitting Disneyland, though Walt was mostly inspired by Neuschwanstein. Built 1576-1626 in Scottish Baronial style, it has the original carved plaster ceilings and Jacobean woodwork. Admission is by guided tour. There is a small attractive garden and woodland, watch for pine martens. Adult £14.50, child or conc £11, NT/NTS free. Craigievar Castle on Wikipedia

Do[edit]

Banchory Village Hall
  • 1 Royal Deeside Railway, Milton of Crathes AB31 5QH. It operates along a mile of standard-gauge line, a fragment of the Aberdeen-Ballater line that perished in the Beeching cuts. In 2022, a limited service of steam trains run Apr-Sep usually only on Sunday, and "Santa Specials" on Saturdays and Sundays before Christmas. They run hourly 11:00-16:00 from Milton of Crathes west along the riverside to Birkenbaud then return. The railway society hopes to extend the line to West Lodge. Adult £8, child 3-15 £4, concession 65+ £6, family (2 adults, up to 3 children) £20. Royal Deeside Railway (Q7374101) on Wikidata Royal Deeside Railway on Wikipedia
  • Deeside Way is a walking and cycling path from Aberdeen to Ballater along the trackbed of that railway. See Aberdeen#Do for the first section from the city to Keith's Tower (above) in Drumoak. The next section flanks A93 west through Crathes to Banchory, 7 miles. The third section leaves the railway to follow the ridge south side of the river to Aboyne, 13 miles. See Ballater for the final stretch.
  • Golf: Banchory GC is in the village beside the river. Inchmarlo a mile further west is a 9-hole course and driving range.
  • Banchory Sports Village on Provost Webster Rd has a gym and small pool.
  • 2 Belwade Farm (World Horse Welfare), Aboyne AB34 5BJ (6 miles west of Banchory). W-Su 11:00-16:00. Rescue and re-homing centre for neglected and mistreated horses. They also run centres in Somerset, Lancashire and Norfolk. Donations welcome.
  • Deeside Gliding Club is based at Aboyne Airfield, Dinnet AB34 5LB, 12 miles west of Banchory.
  • Banchory Agricultural Show is in July on Bellfield Park.
  • Aboyne Highland Games are held in that village in early August.

Buy[edit]

Tesco east end of the village is open M-Sa 07:00-23:00, Su 08:00-22:00 and has a filling station. There's also Morrison's and Scotmid in Banchory.

The Farmers Market is held in Banchory at Bellfield Park on the third Saturday of the month 09:00-13:00.

There's also one on the fourth Saturday of the month 10:00-14:00 at Church Green, Ballater, and another every Wednesday 10:00-14:00 at Platform 22, Torphins.

Eat[edit]

Craigievar Castle
  • Douglas Arms Hotel, 22 High St, Banchory AB31 5SR, +44 1330 822547. Daily 12:00-14:30, 17:00-21:00. This has rooms, but most visitors come for the restaurant. B&B double £90.
  • The Derbar at 75 High St serves Indian food Tu-Su 16:00-23:00.
  • Mamma Mia at 18 Dee St is open W Th 12:00-20:00, F Sa 11:00-21:00, Su 12:00-18:00.
  • Raemoir Garden Centre has a cafe open daily 10:00-16:00.
  • 1 Buchanan Bistro, Woodend Barn, Burn O'Bennie Rd, Banchory AB31 5QA, +44 1330 826530. Th-Su 10:00-16:00. Organic bistro, of all things, east edge of the village.
  • 2 Scott Skinner's, North Deeside Road, Banchory AB31 5YR, +44 1330 824393. Su-Th 12:00-22:00, F Sa 12:00-00:00. Friendly place, good pub grub, outside dining in marquee, dog-friendly.
  • 3 Falls of Feugh, Bridge of Feugh AB31 6NL, +44 1330 824171. W Th Su 10:00-16:00, F Sa 10:00-15:00, 17:00-20:00. Charming spot by the river.
  • Milton Brasserie, Milton of Crathes AB31 5QH (By Royal Deeside railway station), +44 1330 844566. Daily 09:30-16:00. Delightful spot for lunch.
  • 4 The Cowshed, Raemoir Rd, Banchory AB31 5QB, +44 1330 820813. W Th 12:00-14:00; F 12:00-14:00, 17:00-20:00; Sa 12:00-20:00; Su 12:00-15:00. Serving traditional fare.

Drink[edit]

Crathes Castle
  • There isn't a stand-alone pub, see restaurants and hotels.
  • Distillery: Dark Matter on Burn O'Bennie Rd produce spiced rum. No tours.

Sleep[edit]

  • 1 Feughside Caravan Park, Old Military Rd, Strachan AB31 6NT (jcn with B976), +44 1330 850669. Clean well-run site, 5 miles southwest of village so you need wheels. Tent £25, tourer £28.
  • Silverbank Caravan Site a mile east of town has tourer pitches but no campsite, and Banchory Lodge in the village is just for static caravan lets, no tourers.
  • 2 Burnett Arms Hotel, 25 High St, Banchory AB31 5TD, +44 1330 538725. Fairly basic hotel, central in village. B&B double £80.
  • 3 Banchory Lodge Hotel, Dee St, Banchory AB31 5HS, +44 1330 822625. Smart modern rooms, pleasant riverside spot, the food gets mixed reviews. B&B double £150.
  • 4 Tor-na-Coille Hotel, Inchmarlo Rd, Banchory AB31 4AB, +44 1330 822242. Comfy welcoming place west side of village. B&B double £110.
  • Raemoir House 3 miles north is nowadays an event venue and doesn't run as a hotel or restaurant.

Connect[edit]

As of Sep 2021, Banchory and the approach road from Aberdeen have 4G from EE, O2 and Three, but a very patchy signal from Vodafone. 5G has not yet reached this area.

Go next[edit]

  • Aberdeen is the transport hub and grey granite city to the east.
  • Ballater higher up the valley is near Balmoral Castle.
  • Braemar is gateway to the east side of Cairngorms National Park; then the road winds over the bleak hills into Glenshee.
  • Stonehaven is a small harbour with a castle teetering on the cliffs.
Routes through Banchory
BraemarBallater  W UK road A93.svg E  Aberdeen



This city travel guide to Banchory is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.