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  • Creag Bhalg - Mar Lodge Estate - Scottish Highlands - 1060443 - photo 1

Creag Bhalg - Mar Lodge Estate

(Ref. 1060443)

Braemar, Cairngorms National Park, Northern Highlands & Cairngorms National Park Show on map


Sykes rating

  • 8 Guests

  • 4 Bedrooms

  • 4 Bathrooms

  • Pets No


  • Off road parking
  • Ground floor accommodation
  • Ground floor bedroom
  • Open fire
  • Garden / Patio
  • Cot available
  • Highchair available
  • Washing machine
  • Dishwasher
  • Broadband / WiFi

Reviews & Ratings

Accuracy of the listing
Facilities and Maintenance

19 Customer Reviews

  • "We felt that the property was beautifully decorated , well equipped and spotlessly clean."

    . We were particularly impressed with the speed and efficiency of both the staff who responded at the office and the employee who came to sort out a problem with the heating. They were polite and extremely helpful at all times.

    Reviewed by Hubert Et5.0May 2024

  • "A well appointed property in a wonderful location, especially for those seeking a quiet part of the world."

    Lovely view of the River Dee. The only issue we had related to the thermostat on the central heating. Essentially it stopped working effectively, especially in the bedrooms. Reports to Mar Lodge staff were acted upon quickly and heating restored. It is understood that a heating engineer will be called in to resolve what may be an ongoing issue. For sunny days a seat, perhaps a bench outside the rear of the property would be a nice addition. Apart from those points all of our group were very happy with the accommodation.

    Reviewed by Robert4.4Apr 2024

  • "It was a great house, lots of space."

    Big bedrooms all with on suite. Set in beautiful surroundings with great views.

    Reviewed by Julia4.7Feb 2024

  • "Lovely spacious traditional property in an amazing setting."

    We loved the big living room and the very spacious bedrooms. Furniture and fittings a bit dated but that doesn't take from a really great property. Only complaint was no directions to find the actual house once the key had been collected at Mar Lodge. Others have made this complaint so can't understand why it has not been remedied.

    Wed have asked the team to look again at the directions to the 2 houses on the estate. Property Owner

    Reviewed by Marion4.4Nov 2023

  • "This is a beautiful property in a stunning location."

    As others have said, it’s not easy to find from the directions, nor to be sure you’re in the right place, as there is no signage or name anywhere, so we went with a Prince Charming approach of finding out whether the key fitted the door. However, once you are there the views are fantastic and it’s a great place for access to the outdoors. The bedrooms are lovely, the en suite facilities brilliant, the warm drying room was much used this week and in general this is a really nice place to stay. On the minor downside, the lounge seating is rather tired and a bit uncomfortable to sit on and it would have been good to have had outdoor furniture for the few hours to enjoy the views from the covered outdoor area. The blocked drain mentioned by other reviewers is really quite noisy when it rains. There are a few more serious niggles though; the cooker lighting button didn’t work and no alternative lighting option was provided, the dishwasher made dishes dirtier rather than cleaner and when two of the automated fire doors started beeping and we removed their batteries as instructed, no one came to replace them after we called and left a message. I’ve stayed at properties on this estate before so I knew it might be difficult to find or contact staff and so it proved. Despite these issues (and the suboptimal weather!), we really enjoyed our stay revisiting the surrounding area and I’m sure we’ll be back. Next time we’ll make sure to pack matches.

    Thank you for your feedback and we have responded directly to you as well. We have had problems getting an engineer to come and look at the ignition on the hob and he doesn't have a part that will fit, as you probably know the hob is an unusual size so we will supply a long clicker lighter. We should have done this sooner. The dishwasher was relatively new but we have replaced it today. Our estates team will deal with the guttering and down pipe. We are sorry that you had these inconveniences and look forward to welcoming you back to Mar Lodge. Property Owner

    Reviewed by Kim4.1Oct 2023

  • "We loved the location of Creag Bhalg and had a wonderful few days exploring and watching wildlife."

    Our main concern was the complete lack of signage. We found it, and were stood at the property not sure that it was right even then. I had to go and ask the neighbour (one of your staff) before I was sure. As you would imagine, we spent many hours out on the covered veranda with binoculars. The lack of any outside furniture made this less comfortable. Bedrooms one and three have creaky floors. This did affect the guests in bedroom two. There is also no bread knife or fish slice in evidence. All of these are minor tweaks. It is a wonderful lodge and we will attempt to return as the area is just amazing. Thank you for a lovely stay.

    Thank you for your feedback and we are going to look at the directions we supplied to Sykes to see if we can improve them. We have asked the Housekeepers to check the kitchen inventory. Property Owner

    Reviewed by Fraser4.4Oct 2023

  • "Lovely cottage luxury bit hard yo find and modern water system could not use so ..."

    Lovely cottage luxury bit hard yo find and modern water system could not use so three days without water in bedrooms would be good if water has on for guests arriving not everyone can work modern technology but the scenery was superb and the the cottage was stunning would definitely go back if water left on for us

    Thank you for your feedback. We had a large flood at Creag Bhalg in 2022 which affected some bedrooms and bathrooms. A new system to stop any leaks or bursts was fitted since then. Unfortunately this system still needs some adjustment and the company that installed it are coming up to fine tune it the system. we are sorry for the inconvenience. Property Owner

    Reviewed by Michael4.4Sep 2023

  • "The listing states that the heating is electric."

    It is actually gas. The house is very well appointed. Pre-covid a group of us used to visit every year. We had not been for three years and the house is still in good condition and has not changed. We had a very enjoyable stay, thank you.

    Reviewed by Walter4.7Nov 2022

  • "Beautiful property let down only by the lack of garden maintenance but that did not detract from our enjoyment of our holiday."

    Cleaner than anyone has any right to expect, comfortable with pretty much everything you might need. Internet brilliant, much improved from last year. Perfect location if you like outdoor activities such as cycling or hiking. And the views are magnificent. Love it.

    Reviewed by Allison5.0Oct 2022

  • "A great base and a fab time."

    Had stayed in Mar Lodge itself twice before,first time in a cottage there. Would def return. Wonderful walks on the doorstep, Braemar and Ballater easy to access for provisions, entertainments and swimming at Hilton in Ballater. Better directions would help- Mar Lodge reception is at the back of the lodge and not obvious and no signs to cottages at all but very friendly helpful staff if they are around.Couple of small issues with the house- 2 end bedrooms never seemed to get warm. Gutters drip a lot. Needs a bread knife in kitchen!

    Reviewed by Bernie4.7Oct 2022

  • "Pleasant property in beautiful situation ."

    Grounds very untidy and unkept. Gutters needing cleaned, rain water flooding out. No instructions given for actual site of property . A couple of chairs for sitting outside would have been appreciated. Excellent kitchen and bedrooms very comfortable.. Instruction booklet very helpful . We enjoyed our stay very much. Thank you.

    Reviewed by Sheila3.8Jun 2022

  • "Very comfortable property made it a home from home very relaxing, fantastic ..."

    Very comfortable property made it a home from home very relaxing, fantastic views,fabulous walks straight from the house just a special place

    Reviewed by Cheryl5.0Apr 2022

  • "Perfect for a peaceful and tranquil vacation, no light pollution, pedestrian footfall or vehicle disturbance."

    Thank you for your comments, we are very lucky at NTS to have such unique properties and estates in our portfolio. Plenty of scope for anyone who enjoys the outdoors. Property Owner

    Reviewed by Robert4.7Apr 2022

  • "The property was beautiful but in need of few general repairs."

    1 the gutter outside the bedrooms dripped very badly that some slabs on the veranda wobbled and need set in again. 2 the settee was very old and flat in the living room and needs replaced. 3 the very end bedroom was the coldest room in the house and we thought the heating didn’t reach this room. Perhaps an air lock? 4 the fridge freezer had a leak an old towel was underneath it to catch drips. The bedrooms were super cosy and comfortable, the fact that repairs are required did not hinder our holiday we all loved it, so thank you.

    Reviewed by Angela4.7Oct 2021

  • "This property is so welcoming and comfortable that we never felt like strangers inhabiting someone else’s house."

    So much so that we have booked it for next year. One of the most impressive things was the availability and quantity of piping hot water. There was always more than enough to provide baths and showers for 8 people. All of the minor problems we had were dealt with quickly and efficiently. Remember that Creag Bhalg is in the middle of the highlands and internet and phone reception isn’t always the best. All of the outdoor activities we love are right on the doorstep, literally. We only took the car out to go to the shops.

    Reviewed by Allison4.7Sep 2021

  • "Absolutely superb location for all age groups the only niggle which didn't bother myself was the variability of the broadband connection, however the peace and tranquility more than compensated for the need to use the Internet a fantastic location."

    Reviewed by Robert4.7Sep 2021

  • "Absolutely wonderful, this is our second visit and hopefully not the last."

    many thx

    Reviewed by Jamal5.0Sep 2021

  • "The electrics played up a bit."

    The accommodation was great.

    Reviewed by Richard3.8Aug 2021

  • "It's the fifth time we have stayed in Creag Bhalg and hope to be back next year."

    Views, log fires, general comfort all wonderful as ever. It would be good if the wifi could be improved... ps: I left three bird feeders on the trees beside the lodge. They attracted lots of birds - I hope they are maintained.

    We look forward to welcoming you back again. Property Owner

    Reviewed by Donald4.7Jul 2021

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  • All ground floor
  • Four bedrooms: 1 x double with en-suite bath, hand-held shower, basin and WC, 1 x double with walk-in shower, basin and WC, 1 x twin with en-suite bath, hand-held shower, basin and WC, 1 x twin with walk-in shower, basin and WC
  • Cloakroom with basin and WC
  • Kitchen/diner
  • Utility
  • Sitting room with open fire
  • Electric central heating and open fire
  • Electric oven, grill and hob, microwave, fridge/freezer, washing machine, tumble dryer, dishwasher
  • TV, DVD player, WiFi
  • Fuel, power and starter pack for fire/stove inc. in rent
  • Bed linen and towels inc. in rent
  • Cot and highchair available on request
  • Private water supply
  • Off-road parking outside the property
  • Shared garden with lawn, pond and seating
  • Access to Mar Lodge Estate
  • Sorry, no pets and no smoking
  • Shop and pub 4.1 miles
  • Note: The charging of electric vehicles is not permitted
  • Note: The stag ballroom, grand dining room, library and drawing room at Mar Lodge can be hired separately for private events – please contact the lodge for further details on +44 (0)13397 41276
  • Note: Mar Lodge Ranger service runs a number of scheduled walks and events throughout the year- information on these can be found by visiting here
  • Note: Please be aware there is livestock on the estate
  • Note: The opening times, visitor facilities and entry prices of all National Trust for Scotland properties and attractions can be viewed on their website here

The property

Creag Bhalg is a beautiful ground floor cottage situated on the National Trust for Scotland’s Mar Lodge Estate, with its name referring to the nearby hill rising in the middle of the Linn of Dee and Linn of Quoich.

This spacious property is perfect for a large family seeking a rural trip, surrounded by 29,000 hectares of pine woodland, munros and unique wildlife.

Find this hidden gem in a secluded spot, set within a walled garden with its own pond and illuminated woodland path.

The interior boasts country-style features throughout, with character exuding from the hallways, while the wood-panelled sitting room features high-sloped ceilings with triangle beams, mounted deer heads and a large seating area in front of a cosy open fire and TV.

Prepare homemade meals during your self-catered stay in the kitchen/diner, fitted with contemporary amenities and carrying on the rustic wood-panelled theme leading towards the dining table, ideal for an evening dinner party with your loved ones.

Also in this property is a convenient cloakroom and well-equipped utility room, suiting longer stays.

Choose from one of the four charming bedrooms, all benefiting from en-suites, with a double and a twin adjoined to an en-suite bathroom, and the other double and twin rooms accompanied by a large walk-in shower room, all rooms offer tasteful furnishings, ample storage and peaceful views towards the River Dee and Glen Ey.

Delight in the acres of idyllic Scottish landscape and the fascinating history of Mar Lodge Estate in this hidden retreat, Creag Bhalg.

Note: This property can be booked alongside Refs. 1060439, 1060441, 1060442, 1060444, 1060494, 1060500, together sleeping up to 55 guests.

EPC Rating: Band G

Short-term Holiday Let Licence No: AS-00116-F

Mar Lodge Estate

Resting within the heart of the Cairngorms National Park is Mar Lodge, a beautiful Victorian sporting lodge that has been carefully restored by the National Trust for Scotland to offer wonderful holiday accommodation amidst one of the country's most iconic landscapes. With eight properties in total across the estate, Mar Lodge is ideal for large family gatherings or celebrations, providing couples and small groups with a perfect country retreat too. The picturesque lodge itself has been split into five luxuriously furnished apartments, including Dalvorar, Macdui, Braeriach, Derry and Bynack, whilst the remaining three, Claybokie, Garage Cottage and Creag Bhalg rest within a high-walled garden facing onto the river within the estate's pine woods. The main lodge is a true delight, with high ceilings, grand hallways and a fabulous billiards room, open to all apartments within the lodge at a small extra cost, the perfect space for socialising with your loved ones. This prime Highland estate has been visited by nobility since the medieval period and is now recognised as one of Scotland's most important conservation sites, with ongoing preservation work to maintain the beauty of the ancient Caledonian pine forest and to protect the native wildlife. If you're seeking a holiday rich in breath-taking scenery and outdoor adventures, then Mar Lodge Estate is a superb choice. Take walks through wooded glens, stroll alongside crystal clear burns and soak up the marvellous mountain scenery, with this estate being home to four of Britain's five highest mountains. Plenty of excitement can be had on a holiday here, with thrilling mountain-biking routes being perfect for adrenaline-seekers, the River Dee offering some of the best salmon fishing in the world, and classic sports like shooting and stalking being popular too. Head into the nearby village of Braemar for all your self-catering needs, home to a highly recommended local butcher, alongside some delightful cafés, shops and pubs to enjoy throughout your stay. Attractions nearby include the Queen's Balmoral Castle and Estate, with royalty often visiting the area since the estate was purchased by Queen Victoria in 1848, you can now visit too and attend a fascinating guided tour. Less than fifteen miles away is the Glenshee Ski Centre offering 40km of pistes for skiing and snowboarding in the winter months, so you can find excitement here all-year-round! History lovers will delight at the ease in which an array of wondrous NTS castles can be reached, including the fairytale delight of Craigievar Castle, Crathes Castle, home to diverse wildlife and an impressive interior, and Drum Castle, one of Scotland’s oldest tower houses, all just a scenic drive away. Enjoy the wonders of this location from the luxury and comfort of Mar Lodge Estate.

View on map

About the location


Ballater 17 miles; Aberdeen 59 miles.

The village of Braemar in Royal Deeside sits amongst some of the most beautiful scenery Scotland has to offer. Nestling in the River Dee valley within the Cairngorms National Park, Braemar and the area around it are a treasure trove for the outdoor enthusiast, boasting 24 Munros, the highest 18-hole golf course in the country and close proximity to the Glenshee Ski Centre. The village offers plentiful opportunities for relaxation as well in the many cafes, shops and restaurants. The famous Highland Gathering in September, a favourite of Queen Elizabeth, is a spectacular feast of highland games, music and dancing. Inverness, Aberdeen and Perth are a great day out, are accessed through great scenery, and are well worth a visit. Royal Deeside boasts many rare wildlife and plant species such as capercaillie, roe deer, red squirrels and golden eagles. With Braemar and Balmoral Castles and the Royal Lochnagar Distillery in this area, there is indeed something for everyone in this delightful part of Scotland.

Note: Mar Lodge Ranger service runs a number of scheduled walks and events throughout the year- information on these can be found by visiting here.
Note: Please be aware there is livestock on the estate.
Note: The opening times, visitor facilities and entry prices of all National Trust for Scotland properties and attractions can be viewed on their website here.

This property offers the following short breaks:

  • Winter
  • Off-season
  • Last minute
  • Christmas