CRATHES CASTLE REVIEW
WHAT TO LOOK FOR AT THE SITE AND WHO ITS SUITED FOR:
This place holds a special spot in my heart as its the castle with the most enchanting gardens. I hardly need to review this place as most everyone has been here but it must be done for those of you who have not had the pleasure of strolling through the gardens. This is a great place besides the garden with a children's adventure playground (be careful-its a little medieval and dangerous looking), a restaurant, and a great shop with many souvenirs to pick from. Great with all ages though the tour is a little hard with small ones. Look out for the Horn of Leys, given to Alexander Burnard by Robert the Bruce, which hangs over the main room upstairs.
GIFT SHOP / TEA ROOM / RESTAURANT / TOILET AVAILABILTY:
The gift shop is great, the restaurant is a nice escape in the chilly months, and they have toilets, as well as an adventure playground.
SITES AFFILIATIONS AND COSTS:
This site is a National Trust location and is free to members. Nonmember prices are as follows: Adult £10.50, Family £26, 1 parent £20, Concession £7.50, Car park: pay & display £2
Gardens are open all year daily from 9am to sunset
Castle: January 5th through March 31st open Saturday and Sunday 10:30-3:45
April 1st through May 31st open Saturday through Thursday 10:30-4:30
June 1st through August 31st open daily from 10:30-5pm
September 1st through October 31st open 10:30-4:30
November 1st through December 31st open Saturday and Sunday 10:30-3:45
(Closed December 24-26)
Courtyard Catering and Shop:
Jan 5th through March 31st open daily 10-4pm
April 1st through May 31st open daily 10-5pm
Jun 1st through August 31st open daily 10-5.30
September 1st through October 31st open daily 10-4.30
November 1st through December 31st (closed 24-26 Dec) daily 10-4pm
The castle is also open daily during Easter, October and Christmas holidays.
Last admission to castle 45 mins before closing.
LOCATION / TIME IT TAKES TO GET THERE:
Crathes is half an hour away just before the town of Banchory on the A93.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Visit the National Trust site and search for Crathes Castle or go to:
Scotland's Garden Scheme Day on Sunday June 27th
Ranger Guided Children's Walk-Simply Squirrels on Wednesday July 7th
Ranger Guided Children's Walk-Brilliant Beetles on Tuesday July 13th
Ranger Guided Preschool Walk-Minibeast Magic on Tuesday July 20th
Ranger Guided Children's Event-Woodland Crafts on Wednesday July 21st
Ranger Guided Children's Event-Moth Morning on Tuesday July 27th
Ranger Guided Children's Walk-Treetime on Wednesday July 28th
PLACES TO VISIT NEARBY:
Drum Castle - you'll actually pass this castle site on the way to Crathes. Another beautiful place and definitely worth stopping at.
Castle Fraser- This one's okay but not my favorite. You can no longer get to the top of the castle and look out from the turret but the children's adventure area is very nice when its not being worked on.
Craigievar Castle- Don't bother. Set out in the middle of nowhere, currently under construction, and not very impressive at that. No tearoom, no shop, no toilets that I could see, and certainly not a playground. Pass.