Gairnshiel Lodge
and Cottages

© Gairnshiel Lodge 2014

Lodge History

Gairnshiel Lodge is a former Victorian Hunting Lodge on the banks of the River Gairn in beautiful Royal Deeside. 50 miles west of Aberdeen, 6 miles from the village of Ballater and 5 miles from Balmoral Castle, Gairnshiel enjoys spectacular views over Glengairn towards Ben Avon and beyond. Built in 1746, the original structure was extended in Victorian times until it was suitable for use as a hunting lodge. King George V shot here during the 1920's, as did King George VI and HRH Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother (then Duke and Duchess of York). Please ask to see their signatures in our game book.

Cottage History

Both Morven and Corndavon Cottages were built in 2012. They are names after two local hunting lodges. Morven Lodge was built by the Keiller family (famous for jam) and then demolished for its stone to build the Craigendarroch Hotel in Ballater. Corndavon Lodge stands on the banks of the River Gairn about six miles West of Gairnshiel Lodge. It’s walls are adorned inside by magnificent murals depicting the surrounding area. The murals were painted in 1968 by Philip Erskine at the personal request of H.M Queen Elizabeth,The Queen Mother.

Local History

The Lodge was built in 1746 by the Garden family of Troup, originally called Garden Shiel (shiel meaning "shelter"). It came into ownership of neighbouring Invercauld Estate during the 1800's and was greatly extended during the Victorian Era. Used primarily as a hunting lodge by the Victorians and Edwardians the building has many royal connections and is mentioned in Queen Victoria's Highland Journal as she often passed by on one of her many excursions. The building next door used to be the stables, and the "cottage" renovated next to that was the kennelling. Next door to the kennels stands Rinloan, now a keepers cottage. During Queen Victoria's reign this was an inn where she once stopped after an excursion up to Loch Builig.