Prince Albert's Pyramid, Balmoral

There are 11 cairns to discover within the Balmoral Estate and this short walk takes in two of them – Prince Albert’s Cairn (aka “the pyramid”!) and Princess Beatrice’s Cairn. A beautiful forestry trail awaits, and after a fairly steady walk uphill you will reach the summit of Creag an Lurachain (442 m /1450 ft) where the pyramid sits. A steeper but shorter descent follows, and a very lovely suspension bridge crossing.

Technical sheet
No. 21659658
A Aberdeenshire walk posted on 06/05/22 by Gillian's Walks. Update : 09/05/22
Calculated time Calculated time: 2h10[?]
Distance Distance : 5.85km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 163m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 161m
Highest point Highest point : 438m
Lowest point Lowest point : 269m
Moderate Difficulty : Moderate
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Cairngorms
Location Location : Aberdeenshire
Starting point Starting point : N 57.039724° / W 3.216166°
Download : -
River Dee Balmoral Estate Forestry Trail Prince Albert's Pyramid


(D/A) Start from the public car park at Crathie (AB35 5TL).

Exit the car park onto B976. Turn left (South West) on B976 to cross the River Dee. After a short distance you will arrive at a bend in the road. Turn right to visit the Balmoral Ticket Office and gift shop. Return to B976 and turn right to continue along the road (South East).

(1) After 800 m turn right (South) onto a road signposted “Royal Lochnagar Distillery”.

Keep right at the next fork and then at a 3-way junction take the road to the left (South).

After passing several cottages, ignore a track to the left sign-posted “To Prince Albert’s Cairn” (you will come back down that way). Instead, continue ahead as the track goes through a gate and gently uphill through the forest.

(2) You will come to a crossroads 1 km along this track – turn left (South) to follow the track up a steeper hill.

(3) After 300 m, just before this path emerges out of the trees, look out for a narrower path on your left. This will lead you up to the summit of the hill Creag an Lurachain.

(4) Here you will find the pyramid-shaped Prince Albert’s Cairn. When you are ready to head back down, take the path heading South East from the pyramid.

(5) After a steep downhill section you will arrive at Princess Beatrice’s Cairn. From here the path continues downhill to pass through a gate and meet up with the road you walked along earlier.

Turn right (East) onto the road and retrace your steps 400 m back to the B976 at the “Royal Lochnagar Distillery” signpost (1)

(6) Turn right (East) onto B976 and after 100 m cross the river via the suspension bridge.

A pleasant footpath will lead you from here North onto the A93 opposite Crathie Kirk.

Turn left (West) to walk along the roadside pavement. After 190 m at Crathie Visitor Centre, turn left into the car park at Crathie (D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 277m - Public car park at Crathie (AB35 5TL)
1 : km 1.04 - alt. 280m - Signpost “Royal Lochnagar Distillery”
2 : km 2.29 - alt. 359m - Crossroads
3 : km 2.59 - alt. 374m - Narrower path on left-hand side
4 : km 3.36 - alt. 430m - Prince Albert's Cairn
5 : km 4.08 - alt. 337m - Princess Beatrice’s Cairn
6 : km 4.84 - alt. 281m - Suspension bridge
D/A : km 5.85 - alt. 277m - Public car park at Crathie (AB35 5TL)

Useful Information

For more information and a route review visit Gillian's Walks

Parking at Crathie is chargeable - please visit the Balmoral Castle website for up to date pricing information.

There are public toilets at Crathie Visitor Centre, just off A93

There are 11 Cairns in total and when the estate is fully open, more of them can be visited by doing a longer walk. However when the Royal Family are in residence much of the estate is closed off. At the time of my visit that was the case however this walking route remained open. To find out about route closures visit the Balmoral Castle website before you go.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

  • Price Albert's Pyramid
  • Princess Beatrice’s Cairn
  • The Balmoral Cairns were commissioned by Queen Victoria to commemorate the marriages of her children and the largest was erected in memory of her husband Price Albert following his death.
  • Balmoral Ticket Office and gift shop
  • Crathie Kirk - regular place of worship of the British Royal Family
  • Crathie Visitor Information Centre
  • Suspension bridge
  • River Dee
  • Forestry trails
  • Wild blueberries and raspberries (Summer)
  • Butterflies (Spring/Summer)
  • Purple heather (Summer)
  • Highland cows

Other walks in the area

distance 17.86km Vertical gain +536m Vertical drop -523m Durée 6h40 Difficult Difficult
Starting point Starting point in Angus

Craig Lodge - Broom Hill - White Glen - Craig Lodge.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.