The Exhibitions

The Castle Ballroom, Carriage Hall Courtyard and Estate Exhibition

The highlight for every visit to Balmoral is the Castle Ballroom, the largest room in the Castle.

On display you will find works of art by Landseer and Carl Haag, silver statues by Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm together with Minton China and artifacts from within the Castle.

The Ballroom is still much used by the Royal Family today and is the venue for two big dances during Her Majesty’s stay at Balmoral. These dances are known as the Ghillies Ball and have taken place every year since Queen Victoria’s reign.

Balmoral Castle

New for 2018

In 2018 we have two special exhibitions available. 

The first exhibition "Crystals of Balmoral" explores how gems hidden in the Cairngorm Mountains were discovered and used during Queen Victoria's reign.

A special exhibition, in the Ballroom at the Castle, will offer a unique opportunity to see a selection of cairngorm quartz crystals, and associated artefacts from the Queen’s private collection. The Cairngorms are Britain’s highest and most massive mountain range, and the area has given its name to gem quality smoky quartz ‘cairngorm’. Spectacular specimens of topaz and beryl have also been discovered.

In Victorian times, hunting for crystals was both a popular pastime and a “cottage industry”, but nowadays the area is a National Park and few fine specimens have come to light in recent years. Relatively few good examples of “Cairngorm” quartz survive as mineral specimens, which makes this collecton from Balmoral all the more important. Many crystals found in the Cairngorms are too dark to warrant the term “cairngorm”, and would more correctly be called “Morion”. Almost all of the good quality gemmy transparent brown quartz was consumed by the lapidary industry in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and elsewhere. It is also apparent that much foreign material, particularly from Brazil was incorporated into local Scottish jewellery and passed off as “authentic Cairngorm” to the unsuspecting purchaser.

The exhibition will offer a unique opportunity to see the 50 lb smoky quartz crystal found by James Grant in 1851, and presented to Queen Victoria. Also on display will be a selection of other fine specimens, including some of the best pieces of uncut gem quality ‘cairngorm’,  and three of the largest beryl crystals ever found in the Cairngorms.

CAirngorm Stone

The second exhibition "Land Rover - 70 Years in the Making" takes a look at the history of the legendary 4x4 vehicle.   Land Rover holds a Royal Warrant as supplier to the Royal Household, a relationship that dates back to 1948 when King George VI viewed the original vehicle.

The Ballroom Exhibition is the only room in the Castle available for viewing.   Please note that other rooms within the Castle are Her Majesty The Queen's private rooms and as such are not open to the public.

In the Carriage Hall Courtyard you can explore our wildlife display and also the Estate exhibition. You will also get an opportunity to sit back and enjoy our short film in HD, which shows the life on the estate today and how this 50,000 acre Highland Estate is managed.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse