Invercauld is situated in the Dee Valley some 12.5 miles (20km) west of Ballater and 4 miles (6.5km) north-east of Braemar. It is sheltered to the north and south by the high hills of the Grampians and the River Dee meanders through the broad valley of Braemar. The underlying geology is of granite and limestone, and above the wooded lower slopes are extensive tracts of moor and mountain. The house is situated at c.1100' (335m) above sea-level and the climate here is severe in winter with some of the lowest recorded temperatures in recent years. The house commands extensive and splendid views of the Dee Valley and the Grampian Mountains. The house is conspicuous in the view from the summit of Lochnagar and the parkland is very visible from the A93 to Braemar.
The extent of the designed landscape has remained similar since the 18th century according to available map evidence and extends from Inverchandlich Cottage in the west, to East Lodge near the old Bridge of Dee in the east. The policies extend south of the river to Braemar Castle in the west, although this area belonged to the Earl of Mar's neighbouring estate until 1715.
While the extent of the design has remained similar over the years, the layout has changed. A wall map of c.1750 at the house shows a formal design for the policies, with paths radiating through the parks from the house down to the river and continuing on the opposite side of the river and up through the wooded slopes towards the Lion's Face Rock. Serpentine paths wind through the parks and to the north of the house. A kitchen garden is shown to the south- east of the house and so are two ponds.
General Roy's plan of 1750 shows that a simplified form of this plan was actually laid out regardless of the local topography, which rises steeply to the south of the river. The 1st edition OS map of 1869 shows woodland plantations to the north of the house, but shows the woodlands to the south as unenclosed. A pond is shown to the south-east of the house as marked on the 1753 map.
By 1869 the landscape design has been changed from formal to informal, with clumps and roundels of trees in the parks and many individual parkland trees as well. A large lozenge-shaped formal garden is shown to the west of the house subdivided into two along its west/east axis with a glasshouse on the north wall. A summerhouse is shown to the north-east of the house and there were several cottages in the policies, including Balnagower Cottage to the north of the Invercauld Monument. By the time of the 2nd edition OS map of c.1910 the pond to the south of the house is shown as a marshy area and the lozenge-shaped garden has disappeared. A smaller rectangular garden is shown to the west of the house in its place. There are 1,423 acres (576ha) in the designed landscape today.