A series of upgrades are being planned at Balmoral Castle to cope with a rise in visitor numbers.

Facilities are to be revamped to provide more space following an increase in tourism at the 50,000 acre estate. The royal home returned to the world spotlight last September when the Queen died there aged 96.

A planning application has been submitted to Aberdeenshire council for an outdoor terrace at the café, a new entrance and an extension to create a takeaway service.

The Times reports that the renovations at the site are focused on the Queen’s Building, which sits between Balmoral Castle and the estate office and stables.

It was built in the late 1980s as staff accommodation and break rooms, with an adjoining canteen. Known as Piper’s Hall, the canteen doubles as a café and function venue when the estate is open to visitors.

There would also be a new garden arbour and additional storage areas in the kitchen. A clock tower will be built and the roof of the building will be retiled and solar panels installed.

A design statement accompanying the application reads: “With an increase in visitor numbers, the visitor enterprise team have identified the need to refresh and improve the visitor offering at Piper’s Hall."

Balmoral reopened to visitors on April 1 and attractions include an exhibition of more than 200 photographs, some of which have not been seen before in public, focusing on the late Queen.

Earlier this month it was disclosed that the King is building a 6ft-high thistle-shaped maze at Balmoral in a tribute to his childhood memories of Sandringham. It is expected to be completed next year.

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