Cairngorms churches shine bright in new National Parks Guide

The Cairngorms National Park is best known for its incredible landscapes and wildlife, but did you know that it also contains some of the UK’s most beautiful churches and chapels?

Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 6:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 6:45 am
St Ninian in Braemar and inset: Bill Bryson, a vice-president of the National Churches Trust.

Now, the National Churches Trust is making it easy for anyone visiting a National Park to also discover this amazing national heritage.

Four delightful churches from the Cairngorms National Park are included in a new online visitor’s guide on the ExploreChurches website.

All are amazing and unexpectedly sacred spots, places where you will feel the connection with the Park’s landscape and can be wowed by their art and architecture.

Fit for a Queen: Crathie Kirk in Ballater has been a place of worship for Queen Victoria and every British monarch since 1848.

The guide includes top tips on the best churches to visit each park and some stunning photographs to whet the appetite of heritage lovers.

Over two hundred churches and chapels are featured in the new online visitor’s guide, which has been produced to mark 70 years since the first National Park was created.

Some of the top churches to visit in the Cairngorms include:

Crathie Kirk, Ballater: Striking granite church overlooking the River Dee and the ruins of the 14th century church. From 1848, the kirk has been a place of worship for Queen Victoria and every British monarch since. Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone of the present church in 1893, 45 years after her first visit. St Ninian, Braemar: The journey to the chapel from Braemar is magnificent and awe inspiring surrounded by mountains with the river Dee in the valley below. There is a feeling of peace and quiet and a presence of God when you reach the chapel. St Margaret, Braemar: Designed by the great Scottish architect Sir Ninian Comper, St Margaret's exceptionally fine interior is dominated by the ornate rood screen, dedicated to the memory of the church’s principal benefactor Eliza Schofield.

Bill Bryson, a vice-president of the National Churches Trust said: “It is impossible to overstate the importance of churches to this country. To me, they are the physical embodiment of all that is best and most enduring in Britain.

“So, when you visit the Cairngorms National Park, why not discover some beautiful churches in this most breath taking and treasured landscape.”

Sarah Crossland, engagement manager for the National Churches Trust said: “Our new ExploreChurches online visitor guide makes it easy for visitors to National Parks to also discover some of the UK’s most beautiful churches. “

“These stunning buildings, many of which date back to medieval times, are the jewels in the UK’s heritage crown. No visit to a National Park is complete without discovering these beautiful churches, each with an amazing story to tell.”

The list of churches in the Cairngorms National Park can be found at: www.explorechurches.org/national-parks