Craigievar Castle, Scotland, Aberdeenshire

Visiting Aberdeen: Castle Trail

Castles near Aberdeen and Beyond

Aberdeen, Scotland, Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle

Oh Scotland, Land of Castles.

Ballindalloch Castle, Scotland, The Speyside Way, Chasing Daylight, Speyside Sistas, Chino House
Ballindalloch Castle

Castles that are old estate homes.

Urquhart Castle, Scotland, Aberdeen
Urquhart Castle

And castle ruins by the sea.

Drum Castle, Scotland
Drum Castle

Today I’m sharing a collection of photos of castles in Scotland.

Crathes Castle, Scotland, Banchory
Crathes Castle

Like Dunnottar in Stonehaven, there are a few castles we return to with friends again and again because of their proximity to Aberdeen.

Crashes Castle Garden Scotland
View of the gardens from Crathes Castle

Crathes Castle is probably the one we have been to most often. There’s a four mile walk in the woods, there are gorgeous gardens to explore and you can even enjoy the treetops via a ropes course.

Drum Castle
Jamie and Ashley at Drum Castle

Drum Castle is nearby Crathes and also has great walks and a superb playground for little ones.

Drum Castle, Scotland, Castles Aberdeen
Davidsons at Drum Castle

There is also a small chapel (where you sometimes see a wedding!) and a grove of trees that are excellent for climbing!

Drum Castle, Scotland, Castles Aberdeen
Emily on top of Drum Castle

We love Drum because you can get on top of the castle tower.

Scotland Castles, Days Out, Castle Fraser
Taido and Mike on top of Castle Fraser

You can also enjoy the tower views from Castle Fraser, although sometimes they are covered in mist.

Castle Fraser, Scotland, Aberdeenshire
Castle Fraser

Fraser is another frequent favorite for walks and gardens and tea in the old castle kitchen.

Scotland Castles, Days Out, Castle Fraser
Castle Fraser

The walk leading up to Castle Fraser is lined in trees and in the spring the daffodils turn the whole field yellow.

Craigievar Castle, Scotland, Aberdeenshire
Craigievar Castle

Craigievar Castle is a little further from Aberdeen but it’s a beautiful drive and is surrounded by pine forest that is worth a walk through.

Aberdeen, Scotland, Castle Trail, Days Out
Bailey and Mary Polly at Fyvie Castle on a Rainy Day

Fyvie Castle is one of the most impressive estate homes and it’s not too far from Old Meldrum so it can be combined with a distillery tour at Glen Garioch.

Fyvie, Castle, Castles Aberdeen, Scotland
Daffodils at Fyvie Castle

I love Fyvie Castle in the springtime especially. Take in the daffodils and a nearby walk around a lake.

Scotland Castles, Days Out, Auchindoun Castle
Mother and Daddy at Auchindoun Castle in Winter

Of course Dunnottar is our favorite castle ruin, but we have a few others we love to go back to. Auchindoun Castle is near Dufftown so I usually combine a trip there with a visit to nearby Glenfiddich Distillery.

Auchindon Castle

You park along the road and walk about a mile to Auchindoun, sometimes passing Highland Coos in the fields on the way.


And you can let the kids play at this nearly-always deserted ruin to their hearts content.

Auchindoun Castle, Castles Aberdeen, Dufftown
Phineas at Auchindoun Castle

I’m pretty sure we’ve taken all our cousins to this castle now!

Scotland Castle, Balvenie, Dufftown
Balvenie Castle

Right next to Glenfiddich is another castle ruin that is not always open, but if it is, Balvenie Castle is another fun one to roam. There are almost always Highland Coos next to this castle, so it’s worth a wander even if the castle is closed. A castle ruin, a distillery tour and seeing Highland Coos are three must-have experiences for tours in Scotland, so it’s nice to be able to check all three off the list here in Dufftown.

Tolquhon Castle, Scotland, Aberdeen
Tolquhon Castle

Another fun ruin near Aberdeen is Tolquhon Castle.

Tolquhon Castle, Scotland, Aberdeen
Whitney, Wilson and Campbell at Tolquhon Castle

The walls and towers are almost all restored for climbing and exploring. It’s one of the best places for hide and seek in all of Aberdeenshire!

Tolquhon Castle, Scotland, Aberdeen

All our kids (and kid visitors) prefer the castle ruins to touring the estate homes because they are free to roam and touch whatever they like.

Aberdeen Castle Trail, New Slains, Cruden Bay, Scotland
MP, Bailey and Simon at New Slains Castle

One more favorite ruin is New Slain’s Castle near Cruden Bay, which also happens to be my favorite coastal walk in Scotland. A collection of coastal walks near Aberdeen might be my next blog post.

Scotland Castles, Days Out
December 2013 at Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness


Castle visits will forever remain in my memory as a huge part of our life in Aberdeen! I hope the kids will treasure all these tours of towers and turrets as well!

1 Comment

  1. Fab photos as always

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: