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Make sure you collect the codeword for the Geotour Passport to earn your Silver and Gold Geocoins!
Welcome to the Explore Royal Deeside GeoTour with the chance to earn a trackable geocoin by finding 20 special caches hidden among dozens of caches in mini-trails around castles and lochs, in forests and glens, and along the Deeside Way. To be eligible for one of the gold or silver geocoins you must collect a codeword from each cache, and earn bonus points. Full details are on the GeoTour Passport, which you can download here. The Explore Royal Deeside GeoTour stretches from Drumoak in the east to Braemar in the west. An area steeped in history with spectacular scenery, threaded by the River Dee.
Braemar Castle was built in 1628 in a commanding position overlooking the River Dee. There are wide sweeping views up towards the mountain passes of Glen Clunie and the Lairig Ghru and down towards Deeside. Originally primarily a hunting lodge (deer, wild boar, even wolves that haunted the ancient forests) it was owned by the Earls of Mar, hence the name Braemar, which translates as the ‘hills of Mar.’ The castle was an excellent place for the Earl to survey his domain and all who passed through it.
The castle, an L-shaped tower, replaced the much older Kindrochit Castle, built by Malcolm Canmore in the 11th century. The ruins of Kindrochit, which is now thought to be the oldest stone-built castle in Scotland, can be seen opposite the butchers in Braemar village.
Since 2007, the castle has been operated by the community of Braemar on a 50 year lease from the Farquharsons of Invercauld. The Board of Directors of Braemar Community Ltd manage the castle on behalf of the village and volunteers act as guides, work in the shop, tend the garden and look after the myriad jobs that running a 17th century castle involve.
Jacobites: Braemar’s Risings is a new exhibition for 2015. The Jacobites were a rebel force in Britain in the late 17th and 18th centuries. They supported King James II, who had been deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and tried unsuccessfully to restore his family to the throne. This exhibition tells the local story of the Jacobite Risings, from 1689 to 1745 and concentrates on the failed 1715 Uprising. The Castle has a rich Jacobite history, and was used by both sides in the rebellions. See previously unseen documents from the Farquharson archive, Jacobite weaponry and dress up as an 18th century highlander.
The exhibition is included in the admission price to the castle.
Castle open April – October, cache available all year.
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum