The eastern gateway to the Cairngorms National Park is entered through the Royal Deeside villages of Dinnet, Ballater and Crathie. Ballater is the largest village on the eastern side of the Cairngorms National Park and is conspicuous for the number of "By Appointment" signs on many of the Ballater shops. Outdoor activities such as golf, ski-ing, walking, mountain biking, fishing, shooting and stalking have always been popular and this part of highland Scotland is famed for the natural beauty of its lochs and mountains and was a great favourite of Queen Victoria.
Ballater is an excellent base from which to tour the area. There is a wide range of accommodation available , from B&Bs, guest houses, self catering, chalets and bunkhouses right up to sumptuous hotels. A variety of retail outlets offer everything for the visitor, from gifts to outdoor clothing, and there are numerous cafes and restaurants.