10 fascinating facts from the heart of Royal Deeside

Royal Deeside is a wonderful place to visit, with a Royal past and fascinating history.

Not only does it embrace the Royal heritage, Doric language and highland games, there’s so much to see and do.

The valley of the River Dee rises high in the Cairngorm Mountains and runs east to its mouth at Aberdeen, and flows through some of Scotland’s most beautiful scenery.

Here’s 10 fascinating facts you may not know.

On 28 September 1853, Queen Victoria laid Balmoral Castle’s foundation stone.

The real Macbeth was defeated and killed at Lumphanan in 1057.

In 1840 just 271 people lived at Ballater. But once Victoria bought Balmoral, its population rose, hitting 1,256 by the time she died in 1901.

Balmoral Castle has appeared on the reverse side of £100 notes since 1987.

Walkers Shortbread began in Torphins in 1898 after Joseph Walker opened his first bakery here.

From 1939 to 1946, Royal Lochnagar Distillery was closed to preserve barley for food during the Second World War.

Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Treasure Island in Braemar in 1881.

Lord Byron spent his childhood recovering from scarlet fever on a farm south-west of the village of Dinnet.

The tower house at Drum Castle dates back to the 13th century and is said to be one of the oldest surviving structures of its kind in Scotland.

The pinewoods of Royal Deeside make the area one of the last places you can find large numbers of red squirrels.