Crathes Castle, Scotland, Banchory

Crathes Castle in Banchory, Scotland

Crathes Castle, Scotland, Banchory

Visiting Crathes Castle

You could make an entire trip just out of visiting castles in Scotland.  There are soooo many!  I have already collected more brochures and flyers for castles than we can possibly see this year!

We stopped at Crathes Castle on our way home from a quick getaway last week.  The castle is only about 25 minutes outside of Aberdeen and with the surrounding grounds and walks, would make a perfectly lovely family day trip.

Crathes Castle, Scotland, Banchory

Dating from the 16th century, the castle lands were actually a gift to the Burnett family from King Robert the Bruce in 1323.  The ancient Horn Of Leys, a gift from the king, is still on display in the Great Hall.

The castle is beautifully furnished still (no pictures allowed inside), and you can tour it at your own pace.  We enjoyed a visit with a lady who works there who was a wealth of information and history about the castle.  And a storyteller to boot.  She was precious!  The castle was not busy while we were there (midweek), so I could have visited with her all day.

Crathes Castle, Scotland, Banchory

The views of the surrounding gardens and hills from inside the castle are just stunning!

Crathes Castle, Scotland, Banchory

We will most certainly return with the kids to picnic on the grounds.


You can also walk a series of trails that run into the surrounding countryside.  LOVE!

Details if you go:

If you plan to see loads of castles in Scotland, it’s best to join the National Trust of Scotland, which gives you free admittance to many at once and is reciprocal in England and Ireland.  Not all castles in Scotland are included, but it quickly becomes worth it to join for a year in order to see as many as you can, especially if you have as many in your party as we do!  Here’s a brochure that shows which castles are included.




  1. What a fascinating looking castle and gorgeous grounds!!! Small connection…I went with my sister to do a rubbing of Robert the Bruce in the basement of the National Cathedral in D.C. She has it hanging on her wall in Arlington, VA. It sounds like great fun to explore the castles!!!

    1. I love the idea of a rubbing as a souvenir! So simple, yet lovely!

  2. Wow Alison – it looks like a fairy tale from the photos! I’m so happy to see that you’re enjoy your new home in Scotland and exploring what the country has to offer! Wishing you and your family the best, looking forward to hearing more about your adventures 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Jenna for well wishes! The exploring bit is so much more fun than the settling in bit! Shopping for clothespins + plungers or Driving to see a castle + garden? Such. Hard. Decisions.

  3. […] drinking coffee and eating scones.  We planned our drive home to make a couple more stops, one at Crathes Castle, which we […]

  4. […] Crathes Castle also had a woodland play area for children.  I think it’s wonderful how the area castles are also great fun for families.  There are special days for families at the castles, with activities on holidays.  There was a small sort of picture scavenger hunt at Castle Fraser the day we visited, and you could make a paper mache pumpkin if you wanted. […]

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