AN open top bus service is being launched on Royal Deeside for the first time in a major boost for the area’s tourism sector.
The service, operated by Stagecoach Bluebird, will run throughout the summer taking visitors on an open top tour linking Braemar, Crathie, Ballater and Loch Muick.
A two-day ticket has been created for the service allowing tourists to hop on and off the route during their stay on Royal Deeside.
Bob Montgomery, the managing director of Stagecoach UK Bus, said: “We are thrilled to be launching this exciting new bus route in Royal Deeside this year. Our Bluebird Company is blessed with some of the most breathtaking scenery in the country and what better way to experience it than on an open top bus.”
A spokeswoman for the bus company explained: “The open top route will begin on 4 May, operating every Saturday and Sunday until the Sunday after the Braemar Gathering on 8 September, and every day during the school summer holidays.
“It will run from Braemar, via Braemar Castle, via Crathie for Balmoral/Royal Lochnagar Distillery, to Ballater and will then extend to Loch Muick.”
She continued: “Stagecoach have also teamed up with Braemar Castle, Balmoral Castle and the Old Royal Rail Station in Ballater to offer admission discounts for bus passengers.”
Garry Marsden, visitor enterprise manager at Balmoral Castle, welcomed the new service. He said: “We are delighted that Stagecoach are introducing an open top bus in the area, it will be a great way for our customers to explore the estate and we hope it will help to bring even more visitors into Royal Deeside.”
Sabrina Willekens, VisitScotland’s visitor services team leader for Deeside, said: “We welcome the news that this new summer season open top service is running along the Upper Deeside corridor.
“We look forward to welcoming passengers to the various VisitScotland Information Centres en route, to further enhance their enjoyable experience of the best Royal Deeside has to offer, including a visit to the Old Royal Station at Ballater, which contains displays on the 100-year history of Royal use.”