Grain Store Tomintoul - Northern Cairngorms
Cairngorms National Park

About Grain Store

Grain Store - Cairngorms National Park

Location: Tomintoul - Northern Cairngorms - Cairngorms National Park

Sleeps: 4

Price From: £595 p.w.

Christmas: £940

New Year: £940

Near this property...

Grain Store, Glenlivet Estate, Cairngorms National Park

Sleeps 4 - Pets Welcome - STB 4*'s.

The Grain Store is situated in arguably one of the most scenic of spots, the magnificent scenery from the property down the valley and beyond to the Ladder hills and to the peaks of the Lecht Mountains are truly inspiring. The location is ideal for exploring the Cairngorms National Park. The property part of an original barn steading is adjacent to two other properties, The Cattle Shed  and The Mill, both of which can be booked through us making the properties ideal for a large family or a group of friends.

The cottage, the mid size property at the steading, has been painstakingly converted and rebuilt by the owners, now retaining much of its original character, with double height vaulted ceilings and exposed beams. The official name for the steading is Balneden, meaning “farm on the hillside” in gaelic, and records show that it was first used as a farm from the 1740’s.

The property all on the one level has been completed in a contemporary style, and has been well equipped and furnished by the owners. The property benefits from a large amount of natural light due to the five metre high floor to ceiling windows at the end of the lounge. The property consists of a large open plan lounge/kitchen, complete with a wood burning stove, providing a real focal point to the room along with the picture window. Further facilities include a master bedroom complete with a king size bed, and a twin room. A large spacious wet room with a walk in shower completes the facilities. The lounge/kitchen and bedrooms have been all been floored with oak, and these including the tiled bathroom benefit from underfloor heating. A private outside seating and garden area is available for the use of guests.

The Cairngorms National Park, being the largest in Britain offers the visiting guest a wide variety of outdoor pursuits no matter what your ability or age. Home to Scotland’s best and oldest ski area, the runs here offer skiing for all capabilities, for the advanced try the black run, the White lady, not for the faint hearted. The lower slopes are ideal for the beginner and tuition and ski hire is available. In the summer months why not take the venicular railway to the top, the views from here are quite spectacular and the Ptarmigan restaurant on the mountain top plateau is an ideal place to sit and have a refreshment.

Located between the village of Aviemore and the ski area you will find Loch Morlich, in the summer months the loch makes an ideal place to sit and relax at on the sandy beaches. For the more adventurous why not try your hand at a bit of canoeing, sailing or wind surfing. The Park is also home to the largest expanse of native woodlands in the United Kingdom, and is an ideal place to walk and explore. The many walks suitable for all ages and abilities are an ideal way to pass the time and enjoy the many varieties of bird and wildlife that can be seen in the area, from the many squirrels feeding by the paths to the occasional osprey circling the sky. 

There are a host of places to visit in the vicinity, one of the best is the Moray Firth and its coastline, situated within a 45 minute drive of the property. The firth is home to pod of bottlenose dolphins, and there are various boat trips available, allowing the visitor to see the dolphins in their natural habitat together with otters, porpoises and seals. For birdwatchers Culbin Sands and Forest, together with its RSPB reserve, are well worth a visit. The many forest walks and paths are ideal for exploring, and the area is home to large selection of wildlife.

Glenlivet is home to the Glenlivet distillery, probably one of the best known of Scotland’s whiskies. The area and its secluded location provided an ideal place to produce illegal spirit. However this changed in 1823 when distilling was legalised and George Smith a local farmer, obtained one of the first licences. The malt produced here has won a whole host of accolades and awards, including an award for being one of the United Kingdom’s Coolest Brands for 2009/10. The distillery is part of the Speyside Whisky Trail, the trail covering seven distilleries in the region offers the visitor the chance to experience and taste some of Scotland’s Water of Life, and gain an insight into the art of making the various malts and blends that Scotland is famous for. A great time to visit is May or September, as during these months many of the distilleries have festivals and special events.

More information



  • Open plan living room/dining room/kitchen with 5 metre tall cathedral window, exposed beams and wooden floors with under floor heating – living area has wood burning stove, LCD TV with free sat, DVD and iPod docking station. Wi Fi access.  Dining table with seating for 4/5 people
  • Modern fully fitted kitchen with electric oven and hob, dishwasher, fridge with ice box.
  • Laundry room available – houses washing machine, tumble dryer and freezer – The laundry room is shared with the other properties.
  • Private outside seating area overlooking the River Avon and Ladder hills beyond. Garden furniture and use of charcoal BBQ.
  • King size bedroom, with under floor heating – spacious room with stunning views of the valley.
  • Twin room, with under floor heating.
  • Luxurious fully tiled wet room with power shower, toilet and wash hand basin complete with under floor heating.

Included in the rent

  • All bed linen and towels.
  • Electricity, oil fired central heating and logs included.
  • Use of travel cot and high chair, if required.
  • Parking for two cars.

Extras on request

  • To make your holiday as stress free as possible the owners will be more than happy to take delivery of a Tesco / Asda online shop for you, subject to them being at the cottage on the day of your arrival, meaning that your holiday will start without the familiar trip to the shops after a long journey

Private Water supply

Good Housekeeping Deposit

A Good Housekeeping Deposit of £75.00 is required at property.

Pets Allowed

One well behaved dog is allowed , however as the property is located near a working farm during the lambing season, April 16th - to the end of May, no dogs are allowed. A £20.00 weekly charge applies.

Winter Bookings

Balneden Steading is a superb place to spend a winter break. Situated in a remote glen, the cottages are still very close to the Lecht ski area and only 40 mins drive from Cairngorm Mountain. In snowy conditions, the 600 metre access path is ploughed daily to ensure that 4WD vehicles will always be able to get to the cottages. The owners have also made arrangements for 2WD vehicles. If the access track is impassable with a 2WD vehicle, there is a parking area at the bottom of the access track, and the owner will collect you and your belongings at the start of your break and drive you up to your cottage. At the end of the week your bags & belongings can be taken down to your vehicle for you. During the week you may need to walk up and down the access track, which is a 5 minute walk from the cottages. The owners provide torches, and you are advised to bring appropriate clothing and footwear to suit the conditions. People driving a 4WD will have no problem with the track. If you are not able-bodied and are driving a 2WD vehicle, it is not advisable to book any of the cottages.

Best Features

  • Stunning views over the valley from the large window
  • Convenient location for touring - Royal Deeside, Moray Coast, Cairngorms, Loch Ness
  • Excellent walking and cycle routes on waymarked tracks.


Photos click to enlarge


Grain Store Reviews

The latest reviews of Grain Store...

Reviewed this property on 08/04/2024
And awarded it
A fantastic property in a fantastic location, beautifully prepared and with great facilities. I cannot recommend the Grain Store (and indeed any of the 3 properties at Balneden Steading) enough. Superb!

Reviewed this property on 17/08/2023
And awarded it
Beautiful accommodation. It was clean and tidy and well equipped. Light and spacious throughout. The grain store is in a stunning setting, beautiful view of the Carigomes national park. Thank you for a lovely stay

Reviewed this property on 27/06/2023
And awarded it
We really enjoyed our stay in The Grain Store. The accommodation was spacious, extremely comfortable and clean. The views were gorgeous in every direction and we loved the banks of wild flowers. It was our first time to this region of Scotland and there was plenty to expore locally so it's a great base away from the more crowded areas. Thank you for the welcome pack of goodies too. We came with our dog and we found it to be an easy place to have her, with the uncarpeted floors as we could sweep through easily. All in all, a wonderful restful place to be, especially in the glorious weather we were fortunate enough to coincide with. Many thanks.

Reviewed this property on 03/06/2021
And awarded it
We stayed in the Grain Store at Balneden Steading for a week in May. It is in a great position with wonderful views over the hills & mountains. It was very comfortable & well equipped. We would definitely stay there again.

Reviewed this property on 09/11/2020
And awarded it
The Grain store was beyond our expectations for our anniversary stay. Such a beautiful area with a magnificent view. Wildlife all around which we enjoyed. Managed to do some star photography and lovely walks. Some great recommendations thanks to the lovely couple who own the property. They made us feel so welcome, at ease, and made the place so clean. We felt safe which is a big thing with current circumstances. We made a quick video of the area and cottage just to give you a taste We hope to return again one day, thank you!

Reviewed this property on 02/10/2020
And awarded it
My husband and I had the most wonderful and relaxing week at Balneden. The lodge was fantastic and had everything we could possibly need. It was fresh, clean and homely. I loved their eco friendly ethos and the welcome gift basket was lovely. Julie and Phil were friendly but not intrusive. Their hard work and dedication was appreciated greatly. We had fab weather for September and walked all over the Glenlivet estate. It is a beautiful, peaceful area an all I could think about was coming back again. We wanted peace away from city life and "covid craziness" so the fact the internet is not great, didn't bother us at all! The cosy fire, views and walks were enough for us. The dog loved it too. They are well updated with covid regulations and the Grain Store was spotless, with clear and easy instructions to cleaning etc. Thanks so much!

Reviewed this property on 13/08/2019
And awarded it
Great. Inspiring location ideal for visiting the area with lots of nearby walks. House warm with all we needed.

Reviewed this property on 06/06/2019
And awarded it
We had a wonderful stay at the Grain Store. It was modern, big and airy with amazing, sweeping views. It was lovely and warm and very well equipped, which was so useful to us since we had our baby with us. The owners were very friendly and even gave us a baby bath to use. Such a peaceful place from which to explore the Cairngorms national park.

Reviewed this property on 26/06/2018
And awarded it
A very beautifull cottage for a super relaxing holiday period! Perfect!

Reviewed this property on 17/04/2018
And awarded it
We enjoyed a wonderful week in the Grain Store. The property is well equipped with amazing views. The hosts are friendly and helpful - even returning a cuddly toy to us which was left in a bedroom! The local area offers so many activities - we walked and skied and relaxed afterwards, enjoying the beautiful surroundings. Highly recommend and we'll be returning!

Reviewed this property on 21/12/2016
And awarded it
Beautiful Cottage in stunning surroundings. Very warm and comfortable.

Reviewed this property on 01/11/2015
And awarded it
Excellent late booking couldn't have been more pleased. Fabulous barn with lovely views completed by a pleasant owner. Will return for sure and for a longer visit so we can explore the surrounding walkways. Aviemore is about a 40 minute drive away for more than enough activities for the family in one place. When you get back from a day's activities the Grain Store has all you need for a relaxing evening. Is the perfect place to stay anytime of the year.

Reviewed this property on 05/10/2013
And awarded it
Certainly worth the 13 hour drive , a stunning property in beautiful surroundings. So much to see and do in the area. Everything had been thought through, and we had everything we needed. Lovely hamper waiting for us too. Cannot wait to return.

Reviewed this property on 06/06/2013
And awarded it
Lovely week in the Grain Store. Found it very comfortable, and enjoyed being out in the spectacular countryside that surrounds the area. Lots of walks a short distance away, as were the interesting settlements of Tomintoul, Grantown on Spey, and also the Osprey areas. Further afield are Balmoral, Ballater, Rothiemurchus and Aviemore... Each of which can take at least a day of your time to explore. Thanks to Wilderness cottages for providing us with so many wonderful memories.. we will be back.

Reviewed this property on 12/06/2012
And awarded it
Excellent cottage. Immaculate throughout. The wet room was superb. Warm welcome from owners, plus goodies, (and free eggs). Hope to return next year.

Reviewed this property on 30/04/2012
And awarded it
Excellent standard of accomodation. Owners made us feel very welcome and facilities were a home from home. Even although we had 2 foot of snow over night and minus 5 degrees Celsius the view from the Grain store by the log fire was fab but you do need a 4wd vehicle to navigate the farm track in poor weather. We look forward to returning.

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