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Ballater is a small town in Royal Deeside and the Cairngorm National Park. In the 14th century the land was owned by the estate of the Knights of St John, but a settlement wasn’t properly established until 1770, first as a spa town and then as a tourist destination. It is now a mecca for outdoor sports, and also for enthusiasts of the Royal Family – Balmoral is just 7 miles west. It is worth visiting Glenmuick Parish Church and the restored railway station, which was the terminus of the Aberdeen to Ballater line which closed in 1966.
Today the village is a key destination with the Cairngorms National Park and a centre for many outdoor activities. The cycling in the Dee Vallaey is moderately easy going, but both the region's ski centres are within reach here and Ballater is a great choice for a weekend cycling break.
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Ballater can be very busy on a summer weekend. There is parking behind the Church in the village Square. There is further parking on the west side of the village centre that is signposted from Bridge Street (the main street through the village). Ballater is the main visitor hub on Deeside and you'll find a number of shops, cafes and restaurants as well as hotels and B&Bs. The village also has two bike shops.