Holidays in Glenlivet

Visitor Guide

Ruined Castles and Houses

Drumin Castle  (Glenlivet)

Drumin Website

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

(1342 - 1406). The ruins are situated in the garden of Drumin Farmhouse.

Visitors are welcome to use the 500m circular walk and the public areas of

the walled garden.

Open Free All Year

 

A

Auchindoun Castle  (near Dufftown)

Historic Scotland Webpage for Auchindoun Castle

Historic Scotland

The castle, which stands within the ramparts of an Iron Age hill fort built

around 1480.  It was abandoned by the 18th century when its stone started being used for other local building projects.

A

Balvenie Castle (Dufftown)

Historic Scotland Webpage for Balvenie Castle

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage 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

1st April - 30 September: Monday to Sunday, 9.30 am to 5.30 pm

October: 9.30 am to 4.30 pm

Accessibility STB Category 3 - Access to the castle is not possible for visitors

using wheelchairs and difficult for visitors with limited mobility.

Contact  Tel 01340 820121

 

A

*

Urquhart Castle  (Loch Ness)

Historic Scotland Webpage for Urquhart Castle

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage 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.

No hours yet posted on website - was 9.30 am to 6.00 pm in 2008

(9.30 to 5.00 pm only from November to March)

Contact  01456 450551

 

C

Spynie Palace (near Elgin)

Historic Scotland Webpage for Spynie Palace

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for 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.

1 April - 30 September: daily 9.30 am to 5.30 pm

October: daily 9.30 to 4.30 pm

November - March: Saturday and Sunday only 9.30 am to 4.30 pm

Joint ticket with Elgin Cathedral available

Accessibility - STB Category 2 - The grassed area around the Palace can

be soft but is accessible to visitors using wheelchairs or with limited mobility. There are a number of external interpretation boards. The Great Hall and

David’s Tower are not accessible to wheelchair users.

Parking is available at the site. Visitors with disabilities can be set down

outside the sales point. Toilets - STB Category 1.

 

D

*

Findlater Castle   (east of Cullen)

Findlater Castle Website

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.

 

E

*

Tolquhon Castle  (15 miles north of Aberdeen)

Historic 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.

1 April - 30 September: daily from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm

October: daily from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm

November - March: Saturday and Sunday only from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm

Accessibility - STB Category 3 - A ramp for visitors using wheelchairs

gives access to the shop. Full access is available to the castle grounds, although

the grassed areas can be soft. A staircase prevents access to the first floor of

the castle. Parking available at the gate to the property. Toilets - at the shop.

STB Category 3. Shop - STB Category 1.

F

Huntly Castle  (near Huntly)

Historic Scotland Webpage for Huntly Castle

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage 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 9.30 am to 4.30 pm

November - March: daily except Thursday and Friday 9.30 am to 4.30 pm

Accessibility - STB Category 2 - Eleven steps lead to the raised area where the castle stands. The castle can be viewed from  outside and there is an interpretation board giving information about the property. Visitors using wheelchairs can enter the sales point.

Parking available outside the sales point. Toilets and Shop - STB Category 1

The following website gives information on the town of Huntly.

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Huntly

 

F

*

Glenbuchat Castle  (Strathdon)

Historic Scotland Webpage for Glenbuchat Castle

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Glenbuchat Castle

Good example of a Z-plan castle.  Some restoration work has been carried out over the years, but this is one of Historic Scotland's unmanned sites so you can't gain access to any of the upper levels.  In fact, there will no access until some time in 2015.

 

G

Kildrummy Castle (west of Alford)

Historic Scotland Webpage for Kildrummy Castle

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for 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 9.30 am to 4.30 pm

Accessibility - The castle has limited access for visitors using wheelchairs and

can be viewed from the access path. The grassed areas can be soft.

The shop and ticket sales area are easily accessed in the car park.

Parking available about a kilometre away.  Toilets located in the car park are adapted for wide entry. Shop - STB Category 2.

 

G

 


 

Home      Visitor Guide