A hub for art and culture

The villages of Ballater, Braemar and Crathie have recently attracted international audiences for their art and cultural offerings.

Wednesday, 22nd December 2021, 12:00 am
The East Cairngorms is fast gaining recognition for being a rural hub for art and culture in Scotland.

The East Cairngorms offers a coveted combination of cosy inside spaces where visitors can absorb the works of famed and local artists whilst indulging in the variety of gastronomical delicacies available; as well as a chance to get out into the rugged wilderness of the surrounding hills to experience first-hand the dramatic scenery and skies.

International art audiences will likely be familiar with the boutique hotel, The Fife Arms in Braemar; the Victorian construction, consciously restored by co-founders of the acclaimed global gallery Hauser & Wirth.

Tom Addy, construction manager of the Fife Arms restoration, and artisan furniture maker and owner of Tor Workshop in Braemar said: “It’s not what you expect to find in a rural Scottish Village – there’s internationally famous artworks at the Fife, a French patisserie, and some really niche artisan shops run by unique makers that hark back to yester year.

“We’ve seen a wave of events, activities and enterprises emerge in recent years and now have a diverse range of craft shops, places to eat and activities for locals and visitors.”

Andrew Braidwood who owns and runs Braemar Art Gallery adds: “A lot of folk come here to do site specific art – because it is so easy to get off the beaten track; to be alone and uninterrupted. That peace is not always that easy to find elsewhere.”

“You can take in the incredible skies and light we get here – which you see reflected in so much of the art created here throughout time.

"We’re so lucky to have so little light and sound pollution. It makes it a special place for artists.”

In acknowledgement of the East Cairngorm’s growing presence as a hub for art and culture, a new campaign was launched in November by Ballater Business Association (BBA) and Braemar Tourism Group (BTG).

The campaign includes a website, promotional video, digital trail map and trip planner.