Holidays in Glenlivet

Visitor Guide

Ruined Castles and Houses

Drumin Castle  (Glenlivet)                                                                     0.10   TA

Drumin Website

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Drumin

Only two walls remain of this former stronghold of the "Wolf of Badenoch"

(1342 - 1406).

Open All Year - no charge

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Auchindoun Castle  (near Dufftown)                                                  0.31   TA

Historic Scotland Webpage for Auchindoun Castle

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Auchindoon Castle

Bing Images for Auchindoon Castle

Historic Scotland

The ruins of a fifteenth century castle standing within an impressive range of earthworks, but it's unclear if these belong to an earlier medieval castle or to an earlier iron or bronze age fort.  It has been derelict since the early 18th century when its stone started being used for other local building projects.

Open all year - no charge

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Balvenie Castle (Dufftown)                                                                    0.20   TA

Historic Scotland Webpage for Balvenie Castle

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Balvenie Castle

Bing Images for Balvenie Castle

Historic Scotland

Originally the seat of the powerful Comyn Earls of Buchan, this is an

impressive 13th century castle with massive curtain walls still intact and

several stories to wander around.  Even if you aren’t usually interested in

ruined castles, it’s well worth driving up and having a look from the car park – something you can do at any time.

Opening times (last tickets 30 minutes before closing)

April - September: 9.30 until 12.30 and 1.30 until 5.30 pm

October: 10.00 until 12.30 and 1.30 until 4.00pm

The Castle is closed for lunch each day from 12.30 until 1.30 pm

Check website for unscheduled closures

01340 820 121

 

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Urquhart Castle  (Loch Ness)                                                    1.43   TA

Historic Scotland Webpage for Urquhart Castle

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Urquhart Castle

Bing Images for Urquhart Castle

Historic Scotland

Once one of Scotland’s largest castles, Urquhart’s remains include a tower

house that commands splendid views of the famous loch and Great Glen - an impressive stronghold despite its ruinous state. The castle’s history and that

of the noble families who held it is told in the exhibition and audio-visual

display in the visitor centre, which also features an outstanding array of

medieval artefacts found at the castle.  Café and shop

Opening times – last entry 45 minutes before closing

Open all year, except on 25 and 26 December.

April - September: 9.30 until 6.00

October: 9.30 until 5.00

November - March: 9.30 until 4.30 (except New Year's Day 11.00 - 4.30)

Check website for unscheduled closures

01456 450 551

 

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Spynie Palace (near Elgin)                                                                      0.43   TA

Historic Scotland Webpage for Spynie Palace

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Spynie Palace

Bing Images of Spynie Palace

Historic Scotland

For five centuries until 1686, Spynie Palace was the residence of the bishops

of Moray.  Even as a ruin, there’s more than enough of the palace left to show

just how powerful and influential these bishops must have been – it’s a big

building and must have been quite a grand place in its time.  There’s a fine

view from the top of the Tower House if you can manage over 100 steps.  It’s

just off the road between Elgin and Lossiemouth and certainly worth a visit if you’re in that neck of the woods. 

Contact   01343 546358

Opening times - last ticket sold 30 min before closing time.

April - September: daily 9.30 am to 5.30 pm

October: daily 10.00 to 4.00 pm

Check website for unscheduled closures

 

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Duffus Castle  (near Elgin)                                                                                                   0.56   TA

Historic Scotland Webpage for Duffus Castle

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Duffus Castle

Bing Images for Duffus Castle

Built on a ridge surrounded by the now drained Loch of Spynie, this must have been an impressive site in its heyday.  Replacing a twelfth century wooden motte and bailey structure, the stone castle was built in the fourteenth century and was inhabited until 1705.  Although now a ruin, there is a lot to see.

Opening times - free access all year round

 

The nearby ruin of St.Peter’s Kirk dates to the eighteenth century, but it stands on the site of a much earlier church dedicated to St Peter in the early thirteenth century and associated with the Castle.  Some elements of the old church were incorporated in the reconstruction that also used the stone from what was demolished.  Quite an interesting graveyard.

Historic Scotland Webpage for St. Peter's Kirk

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for St. Peter's Kirk

Opening time - free to visit, but telephone 01667 460 232 for details of access

 

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Findlater Castle   (east of Cullen)                                                          0.57   TA

Findlater Castle Website

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Findlater Castle

Bing Images of Findlater Castle

Not much left of this, so really just one for those who have to tick off every

castle, although the effort that must have gone into building it in such a

location does merit some passing consideration.  It’s built on a very narrow promontory, and all the few rooms and cellars that remain are actually clinging on to the face of the cliff with a fifty foot drop to the rocks and sea below - so not suitable for young children!  There’s a car park not far away and pleasant

coastal paths west to Cullen and east to Sandend.

 

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Tolquhon Castle  (15 miles north of Aberdeen)                                  1.22   TA

Historic Scotland Webpage for Tolquhon Castle

Bing Images of Tolquhon Castle

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Tolquhon Castle

Historic Scotland

Noted for its highly ornamented gatehouse, Tolquhon is one of the most picturesque of the castles in Grampian – built in the early fifteenth century

and acquired by the Forbes family in 1420.

Contact  01651 851286

Opening times - last ticket sold 30 min before closing time.

April - September: daily from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm

Check website for unscheduled closures

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Huntly Castle  (near Huntly)                                                                  0.42   TA

Historic Scotland Webpage for Huntly Castle

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Huntly Castle

Bing Images for Huntly Castle

Historic Scotland

Once the stronghold of the Gordon Earls of Huntly, you can still see how this

was one of the finest 16th century houses in the land before they made the mistake of supporting the ill fated Charles I.  Much of the stone was used for construction of nearby buildings, but the ruins are still quite substantial and impressive with several stories to roam around.  There is some splendid

carving in the stonework, but it is lay out of the whole site that is really fascinating.  The motte (mound) that supported the original 12th century

wooden tower is still a feature with subsequent buildings erected within the adjacent bailey (walled enclosure), including the foundations of the 15th

century tower house, extensions that were being erected when the Castle

was abandoned and defensive earthworks from the time of the civil war.

Contact  Tel 01466 793191

Opening times – last ticket 30 minutes before closing

April-September: daily from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm

October: daily from 10.00 until 4.00 pm

November - March: daily except Thursday and Friday 10.00 am until 4.00

Closed 25/26th December and 1st/2nd January

Check website for unscheduled closures

May close for lunch

The following website gives information on the town of Huntly.

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Huntly

 

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Glenbuchat Castle  (Strathdon)                                                           0.41   TA

Historic Scotland Webpage for Glenbuchat Castle

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Glenbuchat Castle

Bing Images of Glenbuchat Castle

 

Closed for conservation work until further notice.

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Kildrummy Castle (west of Alford)                                                     0.50   TA

Historic Scotland Webpage for Kildrummy Castle

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Kildrummy Castle

Bing Images of Kildrummy Castle

Historic Scotland

Although ruined it remains a fine example of a 13th century castle with its

massive curtain wall, four round towers, hall and chapel.  The superb

Kildrummy Castle Gardens lie in an old quarry below the castle – see Garden Section.

Contact  01975 571331

Opening times – last ticket 30 minutes before closing

April - September: daily from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm

October: daily from 10.00 am until to 4.00 pm

Check website for unscheduled closures.

May close for lunch.

 

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