The District is extraordinarily rich in archaeological and historical sites; over 500 Neolithic flints have been recovered from the field adjacent to Drumniall, together with a stone axe-head and spindle whorl. Behind Drumniall is the Iron Age Fort of Knockargety, and nearby at Tarland the impressive recumbent stone circle of Tomnaverie. With uninterrupted 360-degree views of the sky and no ‘light pollution’, clear night skies give a magnificent view of the stars. Lucky visitors may also see the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) which are sometimes visible in Autumn and Winter after dark.
Numerous Scottish National Trust properties of varying types are easily visited from Drumniall, with Craigievar Castle, the ‘Jewel’ of the famed Castles of Aberdeenshire, just minutes away. See the Links page for further information on both.
‘Royal Deeside’ is famed for the quality of its landscape and scenery, with farmland, forests, lochs, rivers, upland moors and high mountains. All these areas – several of which are immediately beside Drumniall – afford great opportunities for viewing wildlife of almost every type that occurs in Great Britain. Golden Eagles have been seen at Upper Ruthven, whilst Roe Deer and Hares live in the immediate vicinity of the farm, and the iconic Red Deer can be seen in herds of 100 or more in the hills at Glentanar and Glenshee. For three seasons of the year, several different species of Geese, sometimes numbered in hundreds often set down in the fields beside the cottage to graze. Nearby Loch Kinord has had counts of several thousands of Geese at times, and all year round many species of waterfowl are easily viewed there, together with more elusive Otters. No matter what the season, ‘something is always to be seen’ at or near Drumniall: binoculars are provided for Guests use throughout their stay.
Situated in the Eastern Highlands, Drumniall is an ideal base for many outdoor activities. Walks of type and length can be enjoyed from the cottage itself, whilst the famous Cairngorm Mountains are just a short car journey away. A striking view of Lochnagar, 3,800’, is to be had from outside the cottage itself. Balmoral, the Royal Family’s Highland home is just a few miles from Drumniall: many walks can be enjoyed on Balmoral Estate itself throughout the year.
The Muir of Dinnet National Nature Reserve is 5 minutes drive from the cottage, whilst pony trekking, gliding, quad-riding, skiing (in season), fishing, shooting and golf are just some of the activities on offer locally. Further information on these and other activities can be found on the Links Page of this website.
The Tarland area is particularly noted for Traditional music, and Paul Anderson the Scottish traditional Fiddle Champion and local resident plays most Tuesday nights at the Music ‘Session’ in The Aberdeen Arms in Tarland (9.30pm onwards) - Free Admission. Paul most kindly composed the Air ‘Drumniall’ in celebration of the cottage; his original manuscript hangs in the lounge. Rob McCombie, closest neighbour to Drumniall, has been a musician (accordionist) for over 50 years – his composition ‘Rivan Brae (named after his house on the Drumniall track) is also on display in the cottage.