Craigievar Castle in Aberdeen
This delightful castle with its small towers, crowstepped gables, round oriel windows, quaint conical roofs, ornamental stone cannons and decorative zigzag console is proof that fairytales do come true. The estate was first mentioned in documents dating from 1457 when owned by the Mortimer family, and today this towering seven-story residence stands as a symbol of authority and wealth, as well as practicality. Wood for building was in short supply in the Highlands, so architects exploited every inch of space under one small roof. The plasterwork in the Great Hall, the huge Stuart coat-of-arms above the fireplace and the carvings on the wall paneling were created in Renaissance style. A secret flight of steps leading up to a small room above a window in the Great Hall forms a part of a complicated system of stairs within the tower.