Crathes Castle in Aberdeen

Crathes Castle


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.

Standing against a backdrop of rolling hills and set within its own glorious gardens, Crathes Castle is every inch the classic Scottish tower house – and a fantastic day out for all the family.

The Burnett family, who lived in the castle for over 350 years, had roots in the area dating back to 1323 when Robert the Bruce granted them nearby land. Alexander Burnett built the castle in the 16th century, an intricate maze of turrets, towers, oak panels and painted ceilings, many of which survive beautifully to this day.

Inside you’ll find a labyrinth of cultural history, from family portraits to fine antique furniture. The walled garden is a wonderful jungle of history, split into eight sections that encompass every green delight imaginable a sculpted topiary, soft herbaceous colours and modern exotic blooms. The massive yew hedges are thought to have been planted as early as 1702.

Crathes Castle Estate was once part of the Royal Forest of Drum. Today there are a range of waymarked and clearly signposted trails. Look out for wildlife along the way – you may see red squirrels, woodpeckers and herons.


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