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Royal hideout: 5 secrets of the Royal Family’s favourite getaway exposed

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Queen Elizabeth II spends the summer months at Balmoral Castle on her Aberdeenshire estate every year and her heart will no doubt ache for the Highlands as coronavirus makes a visit this year unlikely.

Prince Charles, 71, and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, 72, have been isolating at Birkhall cottage on the Balmoral Estate since lockdown first began and will be enjoying the fresh air and tranquillity it affords them.

The Royal Family’s love affair with Scotland is no secret and goes back generations.

Balmoral Castle has been the Scottish home of the Royal Family since it was purchased for Queen Victoria by Prince Albert in 1852.

In the autumn of 1842, two and a half years after her marriage to Prince Albert, Queen Victoria paid her first visit to Scotland.

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Balmoral is where Prince Charles and Princess Diana spent their honeymoon and is also where Prince Philip and the Queen spend two quiet weeks alone together in a hunting lodge every year.

From ancient pine forests to heather-clad mountains there are plenty of reasons the royals love Deeside but perhaps most of all because it affords them a true escape from the royal bubble.

The Queen, 94, is a huge fan of the outdoors and is free to go on long rides and treasured dog walks across the hills every summer.

Prince Philip is a keen fisherman, 98, and there are plenty of good spots for angling around the Balmoral estate.

If you’re wondering whether to visit the Royal Family’s favourite holiday spot here are five things to convince you.

Reasons to visit Royal Family’s favourite Scottish holiday spot

1) Crathes Castle

Set back against the hills this extraordinary castle has turrets, gargoyles and 16th-century painted ceilings to boot and is a must-see for any history nut.

The castle’s gardens feature sculpted yew trees and stunning nature trails.

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2) Royal Deeside Railway

You can board a steam locomotive for a 20-minute ride and take in the stunning scenery.

3) Balmoral grounds

Balmoral grounds which even include Prince Philip’s kitchen garden — are normally open to the public from April to the end of July, when the Queen arrives for her annual stay.

4) Lochnagar

Lochnagar is the stunning mountain that towers over in Balmoral’s back garden.

Queen Victoria climbed it in 1848.

5) Braemer

Braemar is located in the shadow of Britain’s second-highest mountain Ben Macdui, which Queen Victoria is also said to have climbed.

Bremer is also home to the famous Highland Games the Queen and other royals attend every autumn.

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