Continuing on our explorations through Aberdeenshire we decided to make the most of our National Trust membership and see more castles with Crathes being next on our list.
Construction on Crathes Castle began in 1553 and took until 1596 to complete. It was built for the Burnett family who lived there until 1951.
After Crathes Castle it was time to go and check out another place to SUP. Loch of Skene sounded like a good option until we noticed a sign with blue green algae warning!! While it looks like a really great place to paddle until we are comfortable with being able to properly clean our boards so as not to contaminate any water ways we didn’t think it was worth the risk – it was also incredibly windy.
So back to the castles it was!!
Craigievar Castle to me was very reminiscent of Crathes both being similar in shape. Craigivar is a Scottish baronial style castle and much of the exterior is unchanged since consgtructionwas completed in 1626 and it was a family home until the 1960’s.
Castle Fraser is an interesting Z shaped castle that was built in 1575 and along with Craigievar and Crathes is believed to have been designed by the same people. This castle is pretty cool in that you can go up onto the roof and look out over some of the 300 acres of landscaped grounds, woodland and farm as well as the impressive walled garden. Castle Fraser is particularly a favourite with Outlander fans, not because of appearing in the series but because of it’s name.
Drum Castle started off as a 13th century tower and is believed to be one of three oldest tower houses in Scotland and still relatively unaltered. It’s appearance is a lot more fortress like however there were more recent additions in 1619 and alterations in the victorian era.
The White horse on Mormont hill is said to have been a tribute to the horse of Captain Fraser in the 1790’s after it was shot from beneath him in battle. It is made of quartz and is about 38m tall and 50m long.
While in the area we also checked out the River Don for paddling which looks like a good option if the tide is in – which for us it wasn’t! Another option is to check out the River Dee which has more rapids and is recommended to paddle with someone who has local knowledge as it is pretty fast flowing. As we are more into a chill session this wasn’t our cup of tea, but the Dee is a really beautiful river. Last on our list to check out was Stonehaven. From here you can paddle down to Dunnottar Castle and if the conditions are right check out some spectacular sea caves along the way. Again we missed out on this one due to our schedule and the conditions.
Watch this weeks Episode here
Join us next week as we travel south into Angus, Fife and across to Loch Tay.
If you missed part one of our SUP Safari Scotland to the Isle of Arran you can read about it here.