Location & Local Info
Situated in the village of Strathdon, home to the famous Lonach Highlanders, Tornashean is a large holiday house, perfect as a base for exploring this land of rich heritage and spectacular landscapes. There are numerous castles to visit in the vicinity, relics of a bygone era - particularly impressive is the 15th-century fairytale castle of Craigievar. Royal Deeside, home to Balmoral, is a short drive away, as is the regal spa town of Ballater (the jewel of the Cairngorms). Having provided the royal household with basic provisions, the local shops at Ballater display crests above their doorways, and the elegant station, which once greeted Queen Victoria on her first visit to Deeside, now functions as a tearoom.
Distances to nearby cities, towns and services: Aberdeen is 45 miles away and takes just over one hour to get there. Inverness is about 65 miles and takes approximately one hour and 25 minutes. Aberdeen Airport (Dyce) is just north of Aberdeen City centre and is very easy to get to without having to go into any part of the city - it takes about one hour.
Soon to be seen in the major new film 'Mary Queen of Scots' more info »
Pubs & Restaurants
Allargue Arms Hotel
Corgarff (Cock Bridge) - Well stocked bar & good bar menu.
Approx 7 miles.
Tel: 019756 51 410
The Colquhonnie Hotel, Strathdon
Bar meals and a good dinner available. 2 miles.
Tel 019756 51 210
Traditional Inn with cosy bar and woodburner. Very good restaurant with excellent and creative menu using local produce.. 11 miles down the A 944 towards Aberdeen. You must book!
Tel: 01975 571227.
The Clockhouse Restaurant,
Very good food and atmosphere Open April to October. 14 miles.
Tel: 018075 80 378
Goodbrand & Ross Giftshop,
Great for soup and sandwich lunches. 6 miles. AB36 8YL Strathdon.
Tel: 01975 651433
Tornashean is about one hour's drive from the East coast where there is a good beach at Balmeddie (just north of Aberdeen) and a similar distance from Stonehaven (via Banchory) where there is a wonderfully atmospheric ruined castle - Dunnotar, which is perched on the cliffs.
Beaches in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire & Moray »
Balmedie Beach: One of Scotland’s longest beaches it stretches south for 14 miles from the mouth of the River Ythan to the River Don at Aberdeen. The easiest place to reach the beach is from the Balmedie Country Park, 8 miles north of Aberdeen and signposted off the A90.
Close to the historic village of Findhorn, this is one of the most popular beaches on the Moray coast. It is a good place to see seals hauled out at low tide on the sandbank at the mouth of the River Findhorn. The top of the beach is shingle, so at high tide there is little sand exposed.
At the back of the beach near its western end there is an impressive a line of large concrete tank-traps and the occasional pillbox erected at the start of World War II when it was thought that the Germans might invade the country. Further east, where the beach has been eroded, the seaweed covered pillboxes sit tilted an odd angles some 30 metres from the shore.
Well worth a visit, and close to the beach, is the Findhorn Heritage Centre. The village itself has a couple of good pubs, a restaurant and a café.
Shopping & Local Amenities
The nearest town for food shopping which also have banks, tackle shops, hotels, restaurants and gift shops is Ballater (16 miles) on Deeside. Nearly every shop here is "by Royal Appointment" as Balmoral is very near.
Other towns include Grantown on Spey (40 minutes) , Huntly (40 minutes) where there is a good Somerfield supermarket and Alford (30 minutes) where there is quite a good large Co-op.
The Spar shop at Bellabeg (half a mile down the road) is quite a surprising Aladin's cave and has most things including a post office.
The nearest petrol is now at Glenkindie (15 mins towards Aberdeen). Quite a few local petrol stations have closed within the last few years and it is best to keep your tank quite full as there is now no petrol available between Grantown on Spey & Glenkindie - almost forty miles!
A new Garage opened by Bruce Mackie in Roughpark: telephone: 07703 520 349 - emergencies and reapairs (no fuel).
Simon Baker has opened a wee shop in Roughpark and will make luxury leather goods to order, repairs also available. Tel: 019756 51213
Simon Baker Casemakers website »
The Lost Gallery, established in 1994, is set deep in the beguiling tranquillity of Glen Nochty, a delightful drive through the woodland that surrounds Upper Donside.
Today, the Lost Gallery is one of the most interesting and unusual venues in Northern Scotland, with an excitingly eclectic selection of paintings, sculpture and photography.
Modern Art Gallery, Strathdon, Aberdeenshire
Lost gallery website »
The McEwan Gallery, a family business, specialising in quaility paintings of the last three centuries, was founded over forty years ago.
Although dealing primarily in works by Scottish artists, including contemporary examples, the Gallery also carries a small selection of English & Dutch works.
Ballater (A939), Aberdeenshire, AB35 5UB -
McEwan Gallery website »
Castles & Gardens
Aberdeenshire is absolutely riddled with many historic and important castles: Balmoral, Corgarff, Kildrummy, Crathes, Craigevar, Dunnottar, Castle Fraser, Fyvie and Drum to name but a few. It undobtedly has the biggest concentration of castles in the country and is a castle buff's paradise.
For more information about historic attractions including castles and stately homes in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray visit:
Places for Children
"Landmark" at Carrbridge (50 minutes) just the other side of Grantown on Spey is a fantastic place to take children of all ages for a day out. It has been going many years and has nature trails and lots of water slides and tasteful amusements for children as well as a restaurant.
Landmark Forest Adventure Park »
Only 45 minutes from the centre of Aberdeen we offer activities ranging from quad biking round our mud-splattered course and kart racing on our asphalt racing circuit, to hitting the bullseye on our fully automatic archery range and breaking a clay at our clay shooting facility. In addition, we also offer 4x4 offroad driving, paintball, and rifle target shooting amongst others. A restaurant and Farm Shop area also on site
Deeside Activity Park »
Visit the website for information on theme parks, animals & nature, museums, water fun and play centres, history, beaches, transport, arts and crafts and all general kids fun in the area.
The Cairngorms National Park is the largest national park in the UK and is one of the country's most special and cared for landscapes with a wide variety of traditional and unique villages and communities. The website is your gateway to the Aviemore and Cairngorms, Angus Glens, Atholl and Glenshee, Tomintoul and Glenlivet and the Royal Deeside and Donside areas - see more at: visitcairngorms.com