Did you know the region has been home to 263 castles?!
The sweep of 700 years of history is stamped into Drum’s stalwart battlements, medieval square tower and sprawling extensions. The Royal Forest and Tower of Drum were given to the Irvine family by Robert the Bruce in 1323. Later a Jacobean mansion house was added, and in the Victorian era the lower hall was converted to a library.
The beautiful Garden of Historic Roses is divided into quadrants that show how roses have been cultivated from the 17th to the 20th century. The ancient oak forest adjoins the castle, providing a sense of continuity through the centuries and a home for red kites, roe deer, red squirrels and badgers.
- 6.4 miles
Crathes Castle and Gardens
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.
Inside you'll find a labyrinth of cultural history, from family portraits and fine antique furniture to painted ceilings. The walled garden is split into eight sections that encompass every green delight imaginable - a sculpted topiary, soft herbaceous colours and modern exotic blooms.
- 8.6 miles
Dunnottar Castle is a dramatic and evocative ruined cliff top fortress that was the home of the Earls Marischal, once one of the most powerful families in Scotland. Steeped in history, this romantic and haunting ruin is a photographer’s paradise, a history lover’s dream and an iconic tourist destination for visitors the world over.
- 13 miles
From the striking simplicity of the medieval Great Hall to the well-stocked library and Victorian bedrooms, a tour of the castle gives a sense of walking through history. Each laird stamped his personality on the family seat, from the various ways of spying on those in the Great Hall to trophies gathered on global adventures.
- 15 miles
If fairytales were real, all castles would look like Craigievar. This iconic tower remains amongst the best preserved and most loved in Scotland. With its pink walls and array of turrets and towers, Craigievar Castle is said to be the prototype for Walt Disney’s fairytale castles.
This idyllic castle has regular guided tours telling the history of the castle and the families who lived here.
- 25 miles
Balmoral Castle has been the Scottish home of the Royal Family since it was purchased for Queen Victoria by Prince Albert in 1852, having been first leased in 1848. The Castle is an example of Scots Baronial architecture and is classified by Historic Scotland as a category A listed building.
Enjoy access to the formal and vegetable gardens, the wildlife, Balmoral and audio visual exhibitions together with the largest room in the Castle, the Ballroom. Please note that all other rooms within the Castle are not available to the public as these are Her Majesty The Queen's private rooms.
- 41 miles
Unravel the two very different tales of this medieval tower house. Originally a noble residence, Corgarff became an army base for hunting down Jacobite sympathisers and, later, whisky smugglers.
- Admire the splendid isolation of the castle, which is situated at the head of remote Strathdon.
- Check out the star-shaped perimeter wall – the castle’s most distinctive feature was added when it became a military base.
- Visit the reconstructed barrack rooms to imagine being stationed here in 1750 as a Redcoat from Pulteney’s 13th Foot regiment.
- 47 miles