Grampian Escapes and Tours

Day trips for the family in Aberdeenshire

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Are you looking for something to do with the family?

Here are some of our favourites for you to try the next time you are planning a day out.  Most of these sites are open, do double check opening times to make sure.  Also Dunnottar Castle, Edzell Castle & Kildrummy Castle will need to be pre-booked online before you go.

 

 

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NO. 1

Pitsligo Castle

The castle was first built in the 15th century and has a prominent view overlooking the Moray Firth Coast. Once it had a great tower within an expansive courtyard. Heraldic panels show the Royal Arms of Scotland and date from 1577, the Arms of the United Kingdom from 1603 and the armorial with the Arms of Forbes and Fraser with those of Buchan. The Forbes family lost the property after supporting the Jacobite cause in 1745 to the Crown. The castle was later looted, the roof removed and left to ruin. The property is now looked after by the Friends of Pitsligo Trust.

 

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NO. 2

Edzell Castle

OK, technically not Aberdeenshire but still a very under rated castle. Just outside of Edzell this beautiful ruin is part of Historic Environment Scotland. The castle was home to the Lindsay family who acquired the estate in 1358. Originally there was a Motte and Bailey structure but this was removed to make way for an elegant castle in the 1500’s. The family had mounting debts and fell on hard times in 1715, and sold the castle to the Earl of Panmure who lost his lands soon after for his role in the Jacobite Rising the same year.

 Tickets can be purchased online via the Historic Environment Scotland Website

New Slains Castle

A very popular destination along the coast just outside Cruden Bay. Once a significant building, at its core a 16th century Tower built by the 9th Earl of Erroll. The castle had many alterations and extensions, the last around 1837. The famous Aberdeen Architect John Smith is credited with some of the design. Slains is also thought to be linked to Bram Stoker who was a regular visitor to Cruden Bay, and reputedly mentioned the castle in several novels. In 1925 the roof was removed and several architectural features were salvaged before being left to nature.

 

 

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NO. 4

Kildrummy Castle

Kildrummy Castle is believed to have been one of the Noblest of Northern Castles. In its medieval hey day it the great castle dominated Strathdon. Built in the mid 1200’s and guarded the point where main routes from the South met and continued North. The castle underwent siege several times, including attacks by Robert the Bruce in 1306. In 1435 the castle was taken over by James I and became a Royal Castle, James IV granted the castle to the Elphinstone Clan in 1507 and was finally abandoned in 1716 following the Jacobite Rising of 1715.

Tickets can be purchased from the Historic Environment Scotland Website.

 

 

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NO. 5

Dunnottar Castle

Among one of the more iconic castles is Dunnottar south of Stonehaven. The first of the buildings to be established here was a Chapel founded by St. Ninians in the 5th century. The surviving buildings today are mainly from the 15th and 16th century but a fortified structure has been situated here from around the 14th century. With a long and turbulent history, this castle has plenty stories to tell. Most notably the imprisonment of 167 Covenanters in 1685. Having sworn allegiance to the National Covenant of Scotland and refusing to renounce their faith, they were held and tortured for two months in the Whigs Vault.

Pre-book your tickets on the Dunnottar Castle website.

 

 

 

 

 

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Jacqueline van den Akker

Jacqueline van den Akker

Jacqueline is the owner and guide for the business. She creates wonderful tours and experiences for visitors working in collaboration with other independent business in Aberdeenshire to show the best of the Northeast of Scotland.

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