August in Scotland is traditionally the busiest time of year for visitors and quite often it is hard to find the accommodation of your choice without having booked well in advance. Unsurprisingly, this is because many international Visitors like to take advantage of the best of Scotland’s weather and of course the tradition of an August holiday.
Just looking at the news at the chaos at many airports currently suggests to me that spending August in Scotland starts to look extremely attractive for many guests.
Talking to many of our guests I find that many of our guests enjoy spending a quiet day with us as they find they have planned too much to do on their trip. I think we have all done that and of course, we all want to see everything but sometimes it is worth remembering you are on holiday so plan some relaxation and plan some walking.
This is all possible because thankfully there is so much to explore in Scotland and what opportunities this presents to find so many undiscovered treasures. One such treasure that was discovered many years ago by Queen Victoria is Balmoral Castle Estate. Normally during August the Castle is closed to visitors and even though the Queen will spend longer in Scotland this year a lot of the Grounds will still remain open.
The Balmoral Estate is a beautiful 90-minute drive from us and since you have super long daylight hours during August in Scotland this is a wonderful time of year to visit the Estate.
This is where having the time and opportunity to explore really pays off. In spite of having visited the Balmoral Estate many times during my life, I had never made the time nor the opportunity to explore the Cairns Walk and the Grounds. The Cairns Walk is a delightful ramble throughout the Forest above the Castle. Spend as long as you like, take a variety of routes suitable for all levels and explore as many Cairns as you can.
To be fair in order to do this walk justice ideally you should book yourself tickets for the Castle Grounds and take advantage of the colour-coded map provided by the Estate.
If you are unfamiliar with the term Scottish term of Cairn. By definition, a cairn is a group of stones that have been placed on top of one another to form a mound. The term is derived from the Scottish Gaelic word “carn”.
Carrying a stone from the bottom of the valley to be placed on top of an existing cairn has become part of Scottish folklore and custom. Over time, cairns have grown into large mounds and are an intriguing and curious sight. An ancient Scottish blessing, “Cuiridh mi clach air do charn” means “I will put a stone on your cairn”.
In the instance of the Balmoral Cairns, the purpose of the cairn is to commemorate the memory of a loved family member. Cairns can be found throughout Scotland acting as memorials or by climbers to mark their success at reaching the summit of a Munro. They can also be used as waymarkers.
The largest and highest Cairn is Prince Albert’s spectacular Pyramid. My advice is don’t miss the older and smaller Prince Leopold’s Cairn and it sits overlooking the Castle itself. To truly appreciate the hidden beauty of these Cairns take a trip to Craithes Church and look up the mountainside to view the Cairns – don’t be surprised if you cannot see them I couldn’t and yet the views from these Cairns are truly amazing.
Once you have explored all the Cairns then visit the Castle Gardens and the Tearooms.
So August in Scotland:
is not just about exploring Cairns, it is also about finding some special time for yourself, just getting away and having a break. We have lots of walking, Castles, Beaches, and Golf Courses all just waiting for you.
Even just this week I had guests tell me I had sent them on the most interesting walk they had ever been on all along the Moray Coastline with fascinating rock formations, amazing birdlife, dolphins and historic viaducts.