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Updated June 2024

Looking For Quick Answers To Visiting Prince Albert Pyramid? Keep reading to find out!

Scotland has its own pyramid?!...

Yes, you did in fact read that correctly! Scotland has its very own pyramid. It also goes by the name of Prince Albert's Pyramid, Prince Albert's Cairn or Balmoral Cairn.

Is it actually a pyramid though?

Prince Albert's Pyramid is actually a cairn. A 'cairn' is a manmade structure consisting of a stack of stones. They can be used as a marker, as a burial site, as a memorial or even, a landmark and are typically located on a hilltop. However, since 'cairn' is a Scots Gaelic term and less well known around the world, it's often referred to as a pyramid.

Where is Prince Albert's Pyramid?

Prince Albert's Cairn is located near the village of Crathie, within the Cairngorms National Park in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It's nestled amongst the woodland on the Balmoral Estate, about a 40-minute walk from the Balmoral Car Park.

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How do I get to Prince Albert's Pyramid?

The easiest way to get to the pyramid is by driving. Park your car at Balmoral Car Park. From the car park, walk over the bridge and make a left. Walk along the B976 road until you reach a fork in the road, go right, which should be quite a steep road. You'll then reach a crossroads, go right again. Almost immediately after this, you'll reach a 3-way junction. Take the path on your left. Walk along this road for about 10 minutes, and you should then reach a green sign for 'Prince Albert's Cairn'. Follow this path for about 20 minutes and you'll reach the cairn.

Do I need a guide to get there?

No, you won't need a guide to visit. You'll be able to find it yourself, especially if you use the directions above. If you get lost, ask people for help. Scottish people are usually quite friendly and should help you out!

What's the history of the pyramid?

Prince Albert's Pyramid was erected by Queen Victoria in 1862, in memory of her beloved husband who sadly passed away from an illness at the age of 42. It's located at the top of the Craig Lowrigan hill, chosen for its incredible views and because it allowed the pyramid to be seen from miles away.

Are there any more Balmoral Cairns?

Yes, there is actually 11 cairns located on the Balmoral Estate. All were built to commemorate members of the royal family and special events in their lives including marriages. You can explore all of the historic balmoral cairns on this 2-3 hour walking route.

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How much does it cost to visit?

It's completely free to visit! The only thing you'll need to pay for is the car park, which costs £5 to park your car there all day or £10 for a van or motorhome. The machine accepts both card and cash. You'll also have to put your registration plate in to get your car park ticket.

When's the best time to visit?

You can visit Prince Albert's Pyramid anytime as it never shuts. That being said, I would try to pick a day that is going to be dry as the path up to the cairn can get very muddy and boggy. Summer would be a good choice as it'll be a wee bit warmer and drier during this season. However, it will be a lot busier. Alternatively, anytime in spring and autumn is a good time. It'll be less busy then, but it'll also be noticeably colder during this time.

What’s it like being at the pyramid?

Well... firstly, you'll need to walk through a forest to get there, but all of a sudden the forest gives way and the pyramid emerges as a rather eerie, alien-like structure. It's definitely moody and a bit strange, but in a good way. The view you get from the pyramid to the mountains in the distance is pretty incredible. A good place to stop for a picnic if the weather's nice.

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Who visits Prince Albert's Pyramid?

You can expect a decent amount of people to be visiting Prince Albert's Pyramid, especially during the summer months. If you want the pyramid to yourself, get there early. I used to think Prince Albert's Pyramid was a hidden gem in Scotland. Turns out everyone I spoke to already knew about it! So it's pretty well known. It's also gained a lot of traction in recent years as people have posted about it on social media, which has made it even more popular.

Is it worth visiting?

Yes definitely, especially if you are in the local area or visiting Balmoral Castle. If you are, then you may as well nip round and see Prince Albert's Pyramid. The pyramid is really interesting - I've never seen anything like it in Scotland!

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Who do I think it’s best for?

It's a great day out for adventurous individuals, those looking for a spontaneous trip or even, families. It doesn't break the bank either, which is another plus! It's not such a good option for people with mobility issues as the walk up to it is quite steep and can be a bit challenging at points.

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Kirsty x

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