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Getting There -- Take the train to Aberdeen, and then continue the rest of the way by bus. For information and schedules, call tel. 08457/484-950, or log on to www.nationalexpress.com.

Buses run six times a day from Aberdeen to Braemar (trip time: 2 hr.). One-way fare is £10. The bus and train stations in Aberdeen are next to each other on Guild Street. (For information and schedules, call tel. 0871/200-2233, or go online to www.stagecoachbus.com.)

Driving to Braemar from Dundee, return west toward Perth, and then head north along A93, following the signs into Braemar. The 113km (70-mile) drive will take 70 to 90 minutes.

Visitor Information -- The year-round Braemar Tourist Office is in The Mews, Mar Road (tel. 01339/741-600). In June, hours are daily 9:30am to 5pm; July and August, daily 9:30am to 6pm; and in September, daily 10am to 5pm. In the off season, hours are Monday to Saturday 10am to 1pm and 2 to 5pm, Sunday noon to 5pm.

Special Events -- The spectacular Royal Highland Gathering takes place annually in late August or early September in the Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park. The queen herself often attends the gathering. It is thought that these ancient games were conceived by King Malcolm Canmore, a chieftain who ruled much of Scotland at the time of the Norman conquest of England. He selected his hardiest warriors from all the clans for a "keen and fair contest."

Call the tourist office for more information. Braemar is overrun with visitors during the gathering -- anyone thinking of attending would be wise to reserve accommodations anywhere within a 32km (20-mile) radius of Braemar no later than early April.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.