Crathes Castle in Aberdeen
Run by the National Trust for Scotland, Crathes Castle is a classic example of a Scottish baronial style castle. The tower house with its small oriel windows, pretty corner towers and windows of varying sizes, was begun in 1553. Its upper stories are worth a tour, if only for a glimpse of the beautifully painted wooden ceilings dating from 1600. The figures depicted in the Room of the Nine Nobles - typical of the decorative work of the time - are the ancient heroes Hector, Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great, three Old Testament characters and three famous rulers, including King Arthur and Charlemagne. The castle also has its own ghost in the Green Lady's Room, where the ceiling is also painted decoratively. In addition to lovely gardens, the castle has a café, gift shop, an adventure playground and treetop trekking.