At the heart of the Cairngorms National Park lies Mar Lodge Estate, a restored Victorian sporting lodge set in 29,380 hectares of wilderness, heather and ancient pine. Visited by nobility since the medieval period, Mar Lodge Estate is now recognised as one of Scotland’s most important conservation sites. From significant archaeological finds, to rare wildlife, and four of Britain’s highest mountains, the estate is a jewel in the crown of one of the country’s most iconic landscapes. Secluded in the pine woods of Mar Lodge estate, Creag Bhalg ref 30187 and Claybokie ref 30188 are two delightful properties connected via an illuminated woodland path and make fantastic bases to enjoy this magnificent Highland paradise; Claybokie (ref 30188) is a miniature lodge furnished in classic antique style offering the quintessential country retreat. Creag Bhalg (ref 30187) is named after the nearby hill that rises between Linn of Dee and Linn of Quoich. Set among Mar Lodge’s pine woodland, this exclusive Highland hideaway has been furnished in true country sporting style, with wood panelling and open fires. With uninterrupted views across the River Dee and Glen Eye, the privacy of both Claybokie and Creag Bhalg with their old-world glamour and contemporary facilities make them an unparalleled base for a clan gathering. Bynack (ref 30458) is the largest of the three properties, sleeping 16 people comfortably. Bynack (ref 30458) is the largest of the four properties, sleeping 16 people. This large apartment spreads over two floors with views of the Mar Lodge Estate’s heather and pine forests. It can comfortably accommodate 17 guests around the dinner table, making it ideal for family gatherings in an historic Highland setting. Open log fires in the lodge’s public rooms and acres of rambling walks around the estate will help you relax into Royal Deeside’s majestic country charm. It is one of five apartments that make up Mar Lodge itself. It’s little wonder travel author Pete Irvine named Mar Lodge the best place in Scotland to have a house party. Royal Deeside weaves along the River Dee, overlapping the Cairngorms National Park and Aberdeenshire. Best known for its majestic scenery, it is also an area rich in wildlife from alpine flora to Scottish wildcats. Deeside’s most famous admirer, Queen Victoria, purchased the Balmoral estate in 1848, and the royal connections continue to this day, with Princes William and Harry being regular visitors to the area. The nearest town to Mar Lodge Estate is Braemar where you’ll find local amenities as well as bases for hiking and skiing. Adventure-lovers can test themselves with challenging mountain hikes, while gentler walks can be enjoyed along lowland paths through magnificent countryside. Summertime is perfect for mountain-biking, and in winter downhill and cross-country skiing at Glenshee are only a short drive away. The following activities are available on the estate by prior arrangement, ‘Live like a laird’- journey out as dawn breaks to see the waking of the black grouse, then return to the lodge for a hearty, full Scottish breakfast, ‘Shoot with a camera’- accompany the estate’s stalkers into the hills to see stags roaming as the mist lifts or try traditional field sports which include stag stalking, grouse shooting and salmon fishing. These lodges are a popular base for weddings, large events or corporate gatherings. Claybokie’s dining room seats 18 people and properties 30187, 30188 and 30458 can be booked together to accommodate up to 35 guests. Shop, pub and restaurant 6 miles.
Ground floor: Living room with French doors and wooden floor. Dining room with wooden floor. Kitchen with wooden floor. Study. Conservatory. Separate toilet. First floor: 5 bedrooms: 1 double (6ft zip and link, can be twin) with en-suite shower room and toilet, 4 twin, one with sloping ceiling, one zip and link can be 6ft double, one with en-suite bathroom and toilet.
Open fire in living room (initial fuel included). Gas central heating and gas included. Freeview TV. Gas Aga. Washer/dryer. Dishwasher.Telephone-honesty box. Large landscaped garden with terrace, siting-out area and furniture. Parking (3 cars). Piano.
All properties: Electricity, bed linen and towels included. High chair on request. DVD. Fridge/freezer. Cycle store. Natural water supply from spring. Welcome tray. No smoking. NB: River and drop in grounds.