The Lower Dess Estate – Luxury Accommodation in Royal Deeside & A Perfect Base for your Bridal Party

by Michelle
Lower Dess Estate

The Lower Dess Estate is such a perfect base for any bridal party looking for luxury accommodation, in a stunning setting, close to several distinguished wedding venues.

The Lower Dess Estate lies in Royal Deeside along the north bank of the River Dee. Renovated to a tremendously high standard, it’s perfect for bridal parties using wedding venues in the area.

Twenty guests can be accommodated in complete comfort, in elegant and contemporary surroundings. The layout of the accommodation means that even with a full house, you will never feel crammed in. Lower Dess is proud to provide a high standard of accommodation at such an exciting and joyous time for families.

A celebratory dinner can be arranged – just perfect for that eve of wedding get together once everyone has arrived and is eagerly anticipating the big day.

There’s plenty of room for all your hair and make up preparations and for those wishing to walk off some pre-wedding nerves, what better than a brisk walk down the enchanting riverbank?

We’ll hand you over to Antonia now to tell you so much more about how this totally unique estate can offer you and your wedding party.

Tell us a little about the Lower Dess Estate

The 428 acre Lower Dess estate lies in Royal Deeside on the north side of the river Dee downstream from the Balmoral estate. There are uninterrupted views over the valley to the Forest of Birse. The estate enjoys a very private and secluded position in a totally unspoilt rural setting and yet is close to Aberdeen.

Lower Dess was purchased in 2011 by Jeremy and Jenny Clayton who, in becoming Scottish landowners, were fulfilling a life-long dream. Since buying the estate, two generations of the Clayton family have carefully and accurately restored much of the estate to its full potential.

This renovation programme has culminated in the complete transformation of an old farm steading into the luxurious Mill of Dess Lodge which offers guests an unparalleled opportunity to enjoy top end comfort, cuisine and service in a charming and relaxed environment.

Describe the accommodation you offer

The Mill of Dess Lodge offers 10 double bedrooms each with a private bathroom.  Nine of the bedrooms have super-king double beds (which can be split into twins). Three of the bathrooms offer a separate shower as well as a deep and stylish bath. One of these shower bathrooms has disabled access.

Finished to the highest decorative standards by well regarded Scottish designers, the bedrooms are separated into two accommodation wings – South and North. Each bedroom is individually designed and named after a pool on the adjacent Lower Dess fishing beat. Every room offers Sky TV, Wi-Fi, room safe, hair dryer, complimentary bathroom products by Scottish Fine Soaps and the ultimate in fluffy white robes to ensure our guests’ in-room comfort.

All bedding is allergy and dust mite free and each room has a range of soft and firm pillows to meet those individual “Princess and the Pea” needs. There is a generous supply of white towels with an impossibly high GSM rating and lashings of hot water.

The Lodge is fully staffed and accommodation can be booked on a B&B basis or Exclusive Use of the whole house (most bridal parties choose the latter). Antonia in the sales office is happy to provide bespoke quotes based on the individual and particular requirements of each family.

What makes your accommodation particularly suitable for wedding parties?

We are favoured by bridal families using wedding venues in the area because we can accommodate 20 guests under one roof in style and comfort not only in the size of each of our bedrooms but also our sitting and dining rooms which can seat a full house without feeling crammed or crowded. We provide a home-from-home at a very special and important time.

The team at the Lodge are very aware of the needs of a bridal family, especially on The Day itself. We plan meticulously ahead to ensure every detail is covered and deal with any last minute unforeseen situations with swanlike calm.

There is masses of room for all the hair and make-up preparations and the boys can go for a yomp down the riverbank to calm the nerves and stay out of the way.

We can offer a finger buffet lunch to make sure no one keels over in the service!

Are there any wedding venues close by that you work with?

We work closely with Glen Tanar and Coos Cathedral, both fabulous wedding venues near to our Mill of Dess Lodge. We have also hosted several smaller weddings on the Lower Dess estate. One couple got married by the river under a canopy. Another hired a marquee which was put on the south terrace of the Lodge.

We have another “actual” wedding this summer and many more bookings for bridal families to use the Lodge as their HQ.

Can a wedding party book specialist catering, for example an eve of wedding dinner?

Absolutely! Anna, our Lodge Manager, will chat through the level of menu required. We offer a two course supper or a three course dinner – so something to suit all persuasions and budgets. We can also offer canapes, BBQs and most other bespoke requests (within reason)

If members of the wedding party wish to stay on post wedding, how can they best enjoy the area?

Quite frequently wedding guests choose to stay on and explore the magic of Royal Deeside once all the wedding excitement is over. We have a very comprehensive list of Things To Do on our website that include walking, golf, cycling, horse-riding, castle tours, art galleries and retail.

We work closely with the local providers so, for example, if guests wanted to hire bicycles, we can arrange for these to be delivered to the Lodge. Regrettably, this does not apply to the horses! We have a super-reliable taxi service for those who don’t have their own transport.

And finally, do you have any favourite moments from previous wedding parties that you have hosted?

Will & Theresa’s wedding under a canopy on the river bank was a definite highlight in our wedding calendar to date. We welcomed guests from across Europe who were thrilled by the magical setting.

After the service guests wandered from the river across the field to the Lodge where a marquee on the terrace provided seated dining followed by some impressive dancing & reeling.


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All images courtesy of the Lower Dess Estate

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