Five miles south of Alford on Aberdeenshire's Castle Trail, the pinkish seven-storey Craigievar Castle
is an L-plan tower topped with lots of little turrets - quite a fairytale appearance!
It has changed little since it was completed in 1626 by William Forbes, brother of the Bishop of Aberdeen.
Craigievar has been called the 'epitome of the Jacobean Renaissance in Scotland'.
There is much to see inside - the great hall with fireplace with the Stuart Arms, musician's gallery, secret staircase,
drawing room, Queen's bedroom, painted ceilings, servants' quarters, etc. Wonderful atmosphere inside apparently.
After centuries in the hands of the Forbes and Forbes-Sempill, today it is in the care of the National Trust for Scotland.
There is only one entrance and it is said that although the Forbes might enter through the main door,
they all had to ultimately leave via a window as it was impossible to carry a coffin down the narrow stairs.
The grounds and gardens are open all year round. Visits to the castle are by guided tour only. Opening times for 2013 are:
5 April to 30 Jun, Fri-Tue 11-4.45 (last entry);
1 Jul to 31 Aug, daily 11-4.45 (last entry),
1 Sep to 30 Sep, Fri-Tue 11-4.45 (last entry).
Tel: 0844 493 2174
More details are available on the page by the National Trust for Scotland.
Self catering accommodation is available on estate cottages - visit the National Trust of Scotland holiday accommodation web site for details.
A visit to Craigievar Castle can be included on your customised itinerary with
ClansandCastles.com who offer personal guided trips from Aberdeen and Inverness. You can also visit places on the Aberdeenshire Castle Trail on the same day.
is a fully insured driver-guide with Mercedes limousine for private tailor-made guided tours.
Half day, full day or extended tours. Themes to suit your interests can be arranged including The Castle Trail. Meet your clan chief, trace your roots, stay in a castle. Airport collection (Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen or Inverness). Services can include itinerary planning and accommodation reservations. Also available for weddings. Member of HOSTGA (Highlands of Scotland Tour Guide Association).
Link to Craigievar photos by Phil Wright