Balmoral Castle: Where is it, how to get there, and can you visit it? Liz Truss visit to the Queen at Balmoral

For the first time in her reign the Queen appointed a new UK prime minister in her Scottish castle rather than at Buckingham Palace.

Liz Truss made a 400-mile trip from Westminster as she headed up to bonnie Scotland to meet the Queen at her private estate; Balmoral Castle.

Here, the new Tory leader was asked to form a government and become the UK’s prime minister.

Due to the 96-year-old monarch’s mobility issues this historic duty was reorganised to be held in Aberdeenshire, rather than Buckingham Palace, for the first time ever.

Queen Elizabeth II during an inspection of the Balaklava Company, 5 Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland at the gates at Balmoral, as she takes up summer residence at the castle.

After this visit, a Buckingham Palace spokesman confirmed that the Queen became poorly and is now under medical supervision at Balmoral.

The Queen’s children are now gathering at her Scottish estate near Aberdeen in light of the urgent situation.

Where is Balmoral Castle?

Roughly 50 miles west of Aberdeen, located in the Aberdeenshire council area, is the Balmoral estate.

File photo dated 30/03/22 showing a general view of Balmoral Castle, in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire. The Queen is to remain in Scotland to receive Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his replacement, Buckingham Palace has said. The 96-year-old monarch, who has faced ongoing mobility issues, traditionally holds audiences with outgoing and incoming premiers at Buckingham Palace.

It is situated within the famous Cairngorms National Park on the banks of the River Dee.

The royal family has owned the property since 1852 when Prince Albert originally bought it as a gift for Queen Victoria who mourned in its walls following the years after her husband’s passing.

Queen Elizabeth II usually spends her summer months at the grounds and in the past prime ministers have been invited to stay with her during this time.

How to get to Balmoral?

The castle is not expected to be open to visitors until April of 2023.

It’s also a very rural location so the VisitScotland website recommends using your own vehicle as public transport is limited.

To access the location by car, it is located off the A93 and there is parking available at Crathie which is only a short distance away.

By bus, services operated by Stagecoach Bluebird run from Aberdeen to Braemer, and there is a Balmoral stop at Crathie.

For visitors coming from afar Aberdeen has both an airport and railway station, from here you can connect to other services.

Are you allowed to visit Balmoral Castle?

The castle is, typically, open to public visitors between April and July each year.

Guests can enjoy the grounds, exhibitions, and shop at the gift shop or cafe between 10am to 5pm.

In 2022, the admission prices were as follows: free for anyone under 5, £6 for anyone between 5 and 16, and £15 for everyone else.

For those interested in a more immersive experience, the ‘Balmoral Expedition’ was offered this year which - for £300 - saw guests given hours-long tours of the estate via Land Rover.

When did Liz Truss meet the Queen at Balmoral?

Firstly, Boris Johnson arrived at Balmoral at 11.20am on 6 September so he could meet the Queen and formally tender his resignation.

Then, Liz Truss arrived at the Balmoral estate at 12.10pm where she was appointed as the UK’s next prime minister by the Queen.


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