crathes castle scotland

The Enigma of Crathes Castle, Scotland

For centuries, Crathes Castle, nestled in the heart of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, has captured the imaginations of visitors from all corners of the world. With its fascinating history, unique architecture, and breathtaking scenery, this Scottish castle embodies the captivating allure of Scottish castles. Explore its secrets and experience a journey through time like no other.

Key Takeaways

  • Crathes Castle is a historical gem located in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
  • The castle has a rich history, unique architecture, and stunning gardens.
  • Visitors can embark on castle tours to unravel its secrets and learn captivating stories.
  • Crathes Castle has become a sought-after venue for weddings and events.
  • Efforts are ongoing to preserve and protect this beloved landmark for future generations.

A Glimpse into the Past: Crathes Castle’s History

Crathes Castle, located in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, has a fascinating history that dates back to the 16th century. The castle was built by the Burnetts of Leys, a prominent Scottish family, and served as their home for over 350 years. In 1951, the castle was given to the National Trust for Scotland by Lt. Col. Sir James Burnett, with the agreement that it would remain open to the public.

The castle has survived through many significant events in Scotland’s history, including the Jacobite uprisings and the Industrial Revolution. In the 17th century, the castle was used as a hiding place for a group of covenanters, who were seeking refuge from persecution by the Scottish government. Later, during the Industrial Revolution, the castle was home to a weaving enterprise, which was run by the Burnett family.

Throughout the centuries, the castle has been owned by several notable individuals, including Robert the Bruce, the King of Scotland in the 14th century. The castle also has connections to Mary Queen of Scots, who is said to have visited the castle during her reign.

Today, visitors to Crathes Castle can explore the castle’s rich history through guided tours of the castle’s rooms and exhibits. The castle also hosts events and exhibitions throughout the year, providing visitors with an opportunity to learn more about its fascinating past.

Architectural Marvels: Crathes Castle’s Unique Features

Crathes Castle is a true marvel of Scottish castles, featuring unique architectural details that have withstood the test of time. The castle is a prime example of the Scottish tower house style, with its impressive structure dating back to the 16th century.

One of the most striking features of Crathes Castle is its magnificent turrets. These extraordinary towers provide stunning views of the surrounding landscape and are a sight to behold. The castle’s intricate stonework is also a highlight, showcasing the exceptional craftsmanship that went into building this masterpiece.

Inside, the castle boasts an equally impressive design. Visitors can marvel at the intricate wood carvings, ornate ceilings, and beautiful stained glass windows. One of the most impressive rooms is the Great Hall, with its impressive fireplace and dramatic double-height ceiling.

Crathes Castle’s Secret Room

One of Crathes Castle’s most unique features is a secret room, hidden behind a bookshelf in the Green Lady’s Room. This concealed chamber remained undiscovered for centuries until it was accidentally stumbled upon during renovations in the 19th century.

The room’s purpose remains a mystery, but visitors can enter the secret chamber and imagine the stories and secrets that may have been kept hidden here.

Outside, the castle’s lush grounds are a wonder to behold. The ancient walled garden is a must-see, featuring rare and exotic plants that have been cultivated for centuries. Visitors can also explore the castle’s expansive parkland and woodland trails, where they may come across intriguing sculptures and hidden treasures.

Overall, Crathes Castle is a true architectural masterpiece that deserves a prominent spot on any Scottish castle itinerary. Its unique design, stunning details, and rich history make it a standout among the many castles scattered throughout Scotland.

Exploring the Grounds: Crathes Castle’s Lush Greenery

Surrounded by rolling hills, Crathes Castle’s stunning location is only enhanced by the carefully-crafted gardens and grounds that surround it. The traditional gardens are a mix of French and English styles and are meticulously maintained to provide a stunning display of color and texture throughout the year. Visitors can stroll through the beautiful walled garden, which is home to a diverse array of plants and flowers, from roses and lavender to peonies and herbs. The charming glasshouses, which date back to the 19th century, provide a home for exotic fruits and plants, including vines that produce grapes used for the castle’s own wine.

The grounds surrounding Crathes Castle are equally impressive, with a mix of formal and informal gardens that are perfect for relaxing or exploring. The towering trees that dot the landscape are not only beautiful to look at, but also have a fascinating history to discover. Many of these trees are ancient and have stood for hundreds of years, with the oldest being over 400 years old. In fact, the castle’s grounds are so beloved that they have been featured in the book “Champion Trees of Britain and Ireland” as having some of the most impressive specimens in the country.

Discovering the Secret Gardens

For those who enjoy a more secluded walk, the castle’s woodland trails are ideal. These winding paths lead visitors through the forest and along the banks of the River Dee, providing ample opportunities to take in the stunning views and catch a glimpse of some of the local wildlife. The hidden corners and special features of the castle’s grounds, such as the Japanese Garden and the walled rose garden, provide moments of peace and tranquility away from the crowds.

A Few Facts About Crathes Castle’s Gardens:
The gardens are over 400 years old
The gardens cover more than four acres of land
The gardens include a number of glasshouses, which house exotic fruits and plants

Overall, Crathes Castle’s gardens and grounds are a feast for the senses, offering a glimpse into the natural beauty of Scotland. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener, a nature lover, or just looking for a peaceful place to relax, the castle’s gardens and grounds are a must-see when exploring Scottish castles.

Castle Tours: Unraveling Crathes Castle’s Secrets

Visiting Crathes Castle is an unforgettable journey through history and architecture, but taking a castle tour is where the magic truly happens. Guided tours are available on certain days, offering visitors the chance to explore areas of the castle not typically accessible to the public.

As you wander through the castle’s halls and rooms, experienced guides will regale you with stories of its past inhabitants, important events that shaped its history, and the intricate details that make Crathes a true architectural marvel. You’ll learn about the historical significance of each room, see the intricate drawings on the ceilings, and explore hidden passageways.

The tour also takes visitors through the castle’s stunning gardens, revealing magnificent views of the surrounding countryside. You’ll be able to admire the ancient trees and enjoy the fragrant of flowers that surround the castle.

But the highlight of the tour, for many visitors, is the chance to see the castle’s famous Green Lady. Legend has it that a ghostly apparition of a woman in a green dress roams the halls of Crathes Castle. Tour guides will share the tale and point out where she has been spotted in the past.

Overall, a castle tour at Crathes Castle is a must-do for anyone visiting Scotland. Not only will you get to experience the magic of this historical gem, but you’ll get a glimpse into the lives of those who called it home and the secrets that make it such a captivating destination.

Crathes Castle and Local Legends

Crathes Castle’s rich history and stunning architecture have made it a beloved landmark in Scotland. However, it is not just the castle’s physical attributes that make it an intriguing destination. Crathes Castle is also steeped in folklore and local legends, adding an extra layer of mystery and magic to its allure.

One of the most famous legends associated with Crathes Castle is that of the Green Lady. According to the story, the Green Lady was a servant girl who fell in love with the Laird of the castle. However, the Laird spurned her advances, and she was left heartbroken. The Green Lady is said to have died of a broken heart and now haunts the castle, appearing as a ghostly figure in a green gown.

Another popular legend tells of the castle’s resident Banshee, a mythical creature said to foretell death or tragedy. According to the tale, the Banshee can be heard wailing in the grounds of the castle before a member of the family or household dies.

Aside from these eerie tales, Crathes Castle is also said to have connections with King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. According to local lore, a secret chamber exists somewhere within the castle walls that contains evidence of these connections.

Whether you believe in these legends or not, they add to the enchanting vibe of Crathes Castle and make it a fascinating destination for visitors.

Crathes Castle: A Film and Television Star

Crathes Castle has captured the hearts of filmmakers and television producers alike. Its breathtaking beauty and historical allure have made it a popular choice for productions set in medieval times.

The castle’s exterior has been featured in a number of period dramas, including the television series “Outlander” and the film “Mary Queen of Scots.” Its stunning grounds have also been utilized in various productions, such as the movie “Hamlet” and the hit television show “Victoria.”

But Crathes Castle’s on-screen appearances aren’t limited to historical dramas. The castle has also been featured in children’s films and fantasy adventures, including “The Princess Switch” and “Highlander: Endgame.”

Thanks to its versatility and timeless appeal, Crathes Castle continues to be a sought-after filming location for productions of all genres.

Crathes Castle: A Haven for Events and Weddings

Crathes Castle, with its breathtaking setting and unique architecture, provides the perfect backdrop for your special day. Whether it’s an intimate gathering or a grand celebration, this Scottish castle offers a range of bespoke packages tailored to your needs.

Castle tours are also available for those looking for a more immersive experience. Explore the historical rooms, discover hidden passages, and learn fascinating stories that bring the castle to life.

Event Facilities

Crathes Castle offers a variety of facilities suitable for a range of events. The castle’s Great Hall, with its grand fireplace and oak-panelled walls, provides a stunning setting for banquets and receptions. The charming courtyard, with its ancient trees and castle walls, is the ideal location for outdoor ceremonies and drinks receptions.

The castle also offers a range of smaller rooms for more intimate events, including the Dining Room, Drawing Room, and Library. All of these rooms are steeped in history and offer a unique ambiance that is sure to impress your guests.

Wedding Packages

Crathes Castle’s experienced wedding team offers a range of bespoke packages to ensure your day is as special as you’ve always dreamed. From the initial planning stages to the big day itself, their dedicated team will work with you every step of the way to create the perfect wedding experience.

Their packages include everything from catering and drinks to floral arrangements and entertainment. The castle also offers a range of options for wedding ceremonies, including the Great Hall, the courtyard, and the castle’s unique walled garden.

Tours for Event Guests

For those attending events at Crathes Castle, tours of the castle are also available. These tours offer a fascinating insight into the castle’s history and architecture, providing guests with a memorable experience that will stay with them long after the event has ended.

Whether you’re looking for a wedding venue or a location for a special event, Crathes Castle’s unique setting and historical ambiance make it a memorable location for any occasion.

Crathes Castle’s Conservation Efforts

As a historical treasure, Crathes Castle requires ongoing conservation efforts to ensure it remains a beloved landmark for future generations to enjoy. The National Trust for Scotland, which manages the castle, has launched several initiatives to protect and preserve this Scottish castle’s architectural and cultural heritage.

Initiative Description
Roof Restoration The castle’s roof has undergone extensive restoration using traditional materials and techniques to ensure it remains in good condition.
Conservation of Interiors The castle’s interiors have been carefully conserved to preserve the historic fabric of the building, including its intricate plasterwork and wood paneling.
Gardens and Grounds Maintenance The castle’s gardens and grounds are regularly maintained to protect the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape while preserving the castle’s historic features.

The National Trust for Scotland has also implemented several environmental initiatives to reduce the castle’s carbon footprint, such as installing solar panels and improving energy efficiency in the castle’s buildings.

With these efforts, Crathes Castle will continue to enchant visitors with its splendor for generations to come.


Crathes Castle in Scotland is an exceptional historical landmark that continues to captivate visitors from all over the world. With its rich history and remarkable architecture, this Scottish castle stands out as a unique and enchanting destination. Visitors can embark on tours that unravel its secrets, explore its immaculate gardens, and experience the natural beauty that surrounds it.

Built centuries ago, the castle has survived through significant events that have shaped its story, making it a remarkable place to experience Scottish history and culture. Its architecture, with its intricate details and unique features, is a testament to the master craftsmen who built it.

Crathes Castle’s lush greenery is another highlight, with its charming gardens teeming with ancient trees and secret corners just waiting to be discovered. And for those looking to create unforgettable memories, Crathes Castle has become a sought-after venue for events and weddings, with its breathtaking views and unique setting.

As a prominent landmark, Crathes Castle continues to feature in film and television. Its enchanting beauty has attracted filmmakers over the years, making it a popular backdrop for screen adaptations.

Despite its age, Crathes Castle’s conservation efforts ensure that it remains in excellent condition for future generations to enjoy. Visitors can rest assured that this historical treasure will remain a beloved landmark for years to come.

In conclusion, Crathes Castle is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience Scotland’s rich history, breathtaking architecture, and natural beauty. Whether you are interested in its history, architectural marvels, or lush greenery, Crathes Castle has something for everyone. So, make sure to add it to your list of places to visit in Scotland!


What is the history of Crathes Castle?

Crathes Castle has a fascinating history that dates back to the 16th century. It was originally built as a tower house by the Burnett family and has since been passed down through generations. Today, it stands as a testament to Scotland’s rich heritage.

What unique features does Crathes Castle have?

Crathes Castle boasts several unique architectural features that make it a standout among Scottish castles. From its intricate turrets and towers to its beautifully preserved interior, every corner of the castle showcases remarkable craftsmanship.

Can visitors explore the gardens at Crathes Castle?

Absolutely! Crathes Castle is surrounded by lush gardens that are a delight to explore. Visitors can wander through the enchanting greenery, marvel at the vibrant flowers, and enjoy the tranquility of the castle’s grounds. It’s a paradise for nature lovers.

What tours are available at Crathes Castle?

Crathes Castle offers guided tours that allow visitors to delve deeper into its rich history and hidden secrets. These tours take you through the castle’s historical rooms, show you hidden passages, and share captivating stories that bring the castle to life.

Are there any legends associated with Crathes Castle?

Yes, Crathes Castle is steeped in folklore and legends. From stories of ghosts and hauntings to tales of mythical creatures, the castle has its fair share of supernatural lore. Visitors can immerse themselves in these captivating legends as they explore the castle.

Has Crathes Castle appeared in any films or television shows?

Yes, Crathes Castle has made appearances in various films and television shows. Its enchanting beauty and historical charm have attracted filmmakers over the years, and the castle has served as a breathtaking backdrop for many screen adaptations.

Is Crathes Castle available as a venue for events and weddings?

Absolutely! Crathes Castle is a sought-after venue for events, including weddings. With its unique setting, breathtaking views, and exceptional services, it provides the perfect backdrop for creating unforgettable memories on your special day.

How is Crathes Castle preserved for future generations?

Crathes Castle is actively involved in conservation efforts to ensure its preservation for future generations. The castle participates in various initiatives and conservation projects that aim to protect its historical significance and maintain it as a beloved Scottish landmark.