Balmoral Castle is located in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, and is a private residence of The Queen herself. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert bought Balmoral Castle in 1852, and since then it has been a popular and well-loved residence of the Royal Family, who mostly stay there during the late summer months of August and September. Soon after Queen Victoria bought Balmoral Estate, it became clear that the original building was far too small, and so it was demolished, and the architect William Smith was commissioned to design the current castle, which was completed in 1856. The castle is located on Balmoral Estate - a working estate which includes forests and farmland, managed herds of deer, cattle and ponies, and grouse moors.
Even before the castle was completed, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert had settled in well - Albert enjoyed spending his days shooting deer and game, while the Queen took long, daily, countryside walks, sometimes for as long as four hours. The Royal couple had clearly fallen in love with the Estate and surrounding areas, and over the years, Victoria commisioned many paintings to record its beauty.
After Queen Victoria's death, during the 1910's and 20's, George V carried out many improvements and extensions such as adding some formal gardens to the south. Prince Phillip has also added floral borders and a water garden since then. Today, the estate covers around 49,000 acres, and is open to the public from April-July each year.