The area around Braemar and Ballater is known as Royal Deeside, since Queen Victoria and the Royal Family have spent their holidays at Balmoral Castle. The river Dee has an important role for the nature in the area, because much of the semi-natural pinewoods in Scotland are within the river catchment. The whole area is famous for the rare pinewoods, birchwoods and heather moors and presents a associated wildlife.
The Ballater Railway Station was the terminus of the Royal Deeside Line from Aberdeen. It was opened by the Great North of Scotland Railway and was then closed in 1966. The old station was containing Queen Victoria’s waiting room. Nowadays, it is a visitor centre with a replica royal carriage.