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There are so many Castles and stunning Stately Homes to visit from Blervie House. Some of these need no introduction, some are ruins, some are family homes, most of these are very local, they are all worth seeing – here are a few of our favourites:
Castles Closest to us
All of these are intact, we have the turreted Brodie Castle renowned for both its’ art and daffodil collection. A little further along is the magnificent medieval stronghold of Cawdor Castle. Still a private family home and linked to Shakespere and Macbeth. Do notice the pit prison as you enter the Castle and take the time to enjoy the lovely gardens after you have visited the Castle.
Also don’t miss Ballindalloch Castle and Gardens, very much a family home and one of the finest surviving examples of a Scottish baronial castle home. Known as the Pearl of the North and set in stunning private grounds close to the River Spey. Set some time aside to enjoy tea at the Castle and consider taking home a Castle cookbook so you can recreate some Castle dinners when you get home.
Majestic Ruined Castles
Still close to us but for a taste of life gone by and to truly wonder at the size of some of these castles visit the motte and bailey Duffus Castle, near Elgin plus Spynie Palace just a ten-minute drive away, the largest surviving medieval Bishop’s Palace in Scotland.
Are you brave enough to enjoy the view from the ramparts? You can combine a visit to these two Castles and add in Elgin Cathedral to complete your historical day out.
Balvenie Castle is next door to Glenfiddich so worth a visit if you are on The Malt Whisky Trail. For those of you exploring the Moray Coast you might come across Castle Findlater and just consider living there in winter! I just love the stunning location of this Castle.
Further afield is candy floss pink Craigievar Castle – the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle and then add in Castle Fraser to complete your day. Look out for the Laird’s Lug in this magnificent tower house as it was installed so The Laird could eavesdrop on conversations.
Loch Ness Castle
Spending time in Inverness or visiting Loch Ness then don’t forget the ruins of Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness, once one of Scotland’s largest castles. A scenic drive north takes you to the French Chateau style Dunrobin Castle the most northerly of Scotland’s great houses and the largest in the Northern Highlands with 189 rooms. Associated with the notorious Highland Clearances there is a magnificent statue known as Mannie of the 1st Duke of Sutherland overlooking Golspie.
And last but not least take a scenic drive down to Royal Deeside and visit Balmoral Castle the Queen’s Summer Residence and enjoy the Royal Atmosphere of the Castle.
You can spend time walking the Castle Grounds or touring the Estate. One of my favourite walks is Prince Alberts Cairn in the Balmoral Gounds. Visit Loch Muick and understand the love the Royal Family have for the Estate. Pop into Ballater and shop by Royal Appointment or even dine in the Prince of Wales Restaurant. In August who knows you may even meet the Royal Family.
Enjoy a coffee in the car park on a Sunday morning in August and you might see the Royal Family attending the Church Service in Crathes. Alternatively visit the Church on a quieter day just for the experience.