The Crown effect: Netflix hit drama sparks new tourist trail through Scotland's East Cairngorms

Watched by 73 million households globally, The Crown has been one of of the major successes for broadcaster Netflix.

By Stephen Wilkie
Friday, 25th February 2022, 5:49 pm
Updated Friday, 25th February 2022, 5:52 pm

Its popularity, combined with a fascination for all things royal thanks to the Queen’s Balmoral Castle and estate, is now being largely credited for an increase visitor numbers to Deeside and the formation of a new tourism trail combining whisky, heritage and the area’s rich history.

To help visitors get a true taste of the past which includes clan wars, Queen Victoria’s role in establishing a strong royal tie and military occupations, the Ballater Business Association (BBA) and Braemar Tourism Group(BTG) have launched the Jacobite Whisky Trail as part of their Imagine More campaign.

The River Quoich Punchbowl, where clansmen toasted the 2nd Jacobite Uprising in 1715.

The trail will combine whisky with the area’s unique history starting with the Jacobite period. Tourists can explore the landmarks and relive the experiences of bygone eras by planning their visit through a new interactive site map produced by BTG and BBA.

It also takes you to important heritage locations such as Braemar Castle, the nearby graveyard, Braemar village and the monument commemorating the Raising of the Standard for the 1715 Jacobite Rising. Further west the trail reaches the River Quoich Punchbowl where, the previous day, a huge gathering of Jacobite leaders and clansmen had toasted ‘the King over the Water’ from a large hollow in the flat rocks, filled with whisky and honey.

Simon Blackett, who owns and runs Yellow Welly Tours, said: “Hype around The Crown has definitely increased visitors’ interest in the area’s royal connection. It’s certainly worked in our favour as people want to know what we think and over the years I’ve been lucky to meet members of the royal family so I can give visitors a feel for the role they play and the fantastic interest they take in the local area.

Haunted: Braemar Castle is on the new tourist trail.

“Interestingly though, visitors’ curiosity goes beyond our more recent royal history with most particularly intrigued by the Jacobite period with the 6th Earl of Mar raising the standard in Braemar to signify the start of the 2nd Jacobite Rising.”

The campaign, which includes a website, promotional video, digital trail map, and trip planner, is part of a series of five which aim to inspire visitors to explore the East Cairngorms as a year-round destination for outdoor activity.

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The late Prince Philip, the Queen and some younger royals at Balmoral. (AFP via Getty Images))

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