The Ballater Walking Festival is now in its 23rd Year and started when the Chairman of Ballater (RD) Ltd and the CEO of Scottish Enterprise discussed a community engagement tied to our natural tourist resource – namely hills and walking.

It was a case then of all hands to the wheel, with landowners, volunteers, Board Members and wives putting together a program, reception supper, entertainment, local history talks, film shows and educational Map Reading lessons. Everything was done on a voluntary basis from supply of food to time given and this foundation stone has been constant throughout the 21 years.

Today we have the sophistication of professional guides, the internet and booking processes, but the family feeling still runs through the event. This was shown by the amazing generosity of our walkers (friends) in 2016 when we ran a free festival following Storm Frank on a much reduced programme only find that they donated over £400 during the week to our village Flood Fund to help the residents.

Explore The Natural Beauty Of The Cairngorms

The Cairngorms National Park is a living, working landscape with wild land at its heart. Larger than the Lake District and twice the size of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, the park contains some of the best wildlife habitats in the UK and its ancient pine forests, arctic mountain tops, lochs, rivers and moorlands are home to a quarter of the nation’s threatened species.

Nowhere else in the British Isles can visitors enjoy such a collection of outstanding environments in one place in such a variety of different ways. Regardless of age or interest the park and its communities offer something for everybody.

Ballater Walking Festival - Clais Fhernaig
Clais Fhernaig (a new walk introduced in 2019)

Take a look at the photo gallery of recent walks.

Fun is the theme of the week whether that be walking, catching up with old friends or making new friends during the week. There is usually a full schedule of entertainment and Ballater offers a mix of hotels, restaurants, cafes and bars to while away the evenings regaling the events of the day.

We are so disappointed that we cannot run an evening entertainment programme for you this year due to the Covid restrictions. Let’s hope thst next year we shall be able to socialise. The Walking Festival next year seems a bit later as it starts on the third Saturday of May so the dates for next year are the 21st – 27th May.

Walkers at the 2018 Festival
Walkers at the 2018 Festival
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