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Transport help to and from Braemar

Hello! We are planning to visit the Braemar Gathering in September of 2020. We will be coming from the United States. I'm looking for help with a few items regarding transportation. Any advice on which airport is best to fly into? And then, advice on best way to get to Braemar from that airport? We aren't sure if we should try to rent a car, or if there are better ways. We plan to stay in or around Braemar for the most part, but any additional information about transportation around that area would be so lovely. Are there taxis to get around the general area, or would renting a car really be best? Thank you!


  • fishyprofishypro Member ✭✭✭
    Hi @dolsen9 , I would suggest that you fly in to Aberdeen airport if it is possible. From there it is one road all the way to Braemar. A hire car would be perfect. If you are planning on staying around Braemar, be aware that apart from walking / hiking it is limited to what you can do. Braemar is a tiny village where a car is not needed to get around unless you wish to visit the next town of Ballater or Balmoral Castle etc. If you wish to stay in Braemar I suggest that you try and book your accommodation now. The small town soon fills up. I am based in Pitlochry and we fill up for the Braemar games and we are 1.5 hours drive away.
    Pitlochry holds the Scottish Highland Games Final 1 week after Braemar.
    Hope that helps a little
    Best regards
  • dolsen9dolsen9 Member ✭✭
    Thank you @fishypro! We haven't yet decided what to do besides the games - do you have any tips on what else we should do in/around the area if we were to rent a car? Should we stay a night or two in Aberdeen? Anything special in that area? We are the types of travelers that enjoy sleepy little towns, visiting local pubs, etc. But if there are any other recommendations you have, that would be most helpful!
  • fishyprofishypro Member ✭✭✭
    Hi @dolsen9 I would recommend that you stay in Banchory where there are a few nice castles and gardens to visit. Then head on to Braemar.
    Best regards
  • dolsen9dolsen9 Member ✭✭
    Wonderful - thank you again @fishypro !

  • HorizonsHorizons Member, VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    To add a touch to @fishypro the Speyside region isn't very far from Braemar with the lovely village of Tomintoul just about an hour's drive. Worth checking out Tomintoul and Glenlivet if you have an interest in checking out some top-notch whisky and distilleries.
    I'm Anirudh, an Indian travel blogger who has explored a lot of Scotland by public transport. My blog. Find me on Facebook | Instagram

    Best of Scotland in 1 week itinerary (fully by public transport)

    My Scotland travels (includes EdinburghSkye, HarrisMullArranOrkneyLoch Lomond, Islay, Oban, DunoonSpeyside)

  • VisitScotlandJulieVisitScotlandJulie Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Hi @dolsen9

    There are some spectacular driving routes in the region that you can dip into or mix 'n' match:

    The Castle Trail 

    The Coastal Trail 


  • dolsen9dolsen9 Member ✭✭
    Thank you for the tip, @Horizons ! I love Glenlivet scotch - and I didn't realize it was nearby!
  • dolsen9dolsen9 Member ✭✭
    Thanks you @VisitScotlandJulie !!! Such wonderful ideas and lovely areas to explore. Can't wait!
  • YourScotlandTourYourScotlandTour Member ✭✭✭
    Hi Dolsen, I'm based in the area and would suggest for the day of the games, if you can get accommodation there do so. 

    Have a look at flying into Aberdeen a few days before, a day / night in Aberdeen. 

    Then explore around the city - there's tons to do and see.

    The day of the games head to Braemar and dump your bags at your accommodation.

    The following day, follow the snow roads (A93) through to Pitlochry and the central highlands or head north (A939) to Speyside for whisky... 

    You don't say how many is in your group or how long you're coming for but there's a starter for 10 :-0)
    Bespoke tours.
    Whisky, Castles and Food a speciality.
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