The original area now known as Drumoak was originally called Dalmaik, taken from the holy well and church of St Maik. The present church was built in 1836 to the design of the Aberdeen architect Alexander Simpson. North of Drumoak lies the 12th Century Drum Castle, once a royal residence and now in the care of the National Trust for Scotland.

If you follow a castle trail, next would be Crathes Castle (also NTS) a magnificent building dating from 1528. King Robert the Bruce granted the estate to the Burnett family in 1323. Look out for the Green Lady, Crathes’ own ghost who it is believed first appeared in the 18th century.

The Deeside railway began on 7th September 1853 when the line opened between Aberdeen and Banchory. It was extended to Aboyne in December 1859 and to Ballater in October 1866. Passenger services from Ballater stopped on 28th February 1966 and freight service later that year. The track was lifted in 1972 and has gradually been turned over to other uses. Near Aberdeen the former line is a walk and cycle route. At Milton of Crathes you will find a visitor centre highlighting the work going on to reinstate part of the line to Banchory, with rolling stock being restored and the area being brought back to life.