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View of Dunnottar castle on the Castle Trail.

Meet Scotland’s Castle Trail

Prepare Yourself for Some Magic

If you love castles, rainy days, stunning scenery, old things, and wearing wellies, meet Scotland's Castle Trail. Also, email me because I think we just became best friends.

Scotland's Castle Trail is a collection of over 300 castles located in Aberdeenshire, on the East Coast of Scotland. Naturally, this stunning area is rich with history and offers many castles, ruins, and stately homes, all located within a fairly small geographical area.

Scotland's Castle Trail is truly enchanting. While I haven't visited all 300+ sites, not by a long shot, I did visit a few on my last visit.

Here are some highlights from this gorgeous, magical region and why you should add it to your bucket list NOW!

Craigievar Castle

Craigievar, Alford AB33 8JF, UK

Famously known for its pink exterior, Craigievar Castle is one of the many unique sites on Scotland's Castle Trail.

Photos of the interior of the castle were not permitted, but I remember it well. The white plaster ceilings are ornately decorated, and the rooms are furnished with rich wood and blue tartan (see photo below from their website).

Despite its whimsical pink exterior, the interior feels very 'traditional' and 'Scottish', with the dark wood panelling, iron lanterns, and tartan rugs.

The grounds are gorgeous and make for a perfect place to stroll around and take in not only the castle but the surrounding countryside.

This is a must-see if you're visiting the Castle Trail.

Plan your visit to Craigievar Castle here.

Exterior of Craigievar Castle, Scotland
Exterior of Craigievar Castle, Scotland
Exterior of Craigievar Castle, Scotland
Craigievar Hall inside the Castle

Crathes Castle

Crathes, Banchory AB31 5QJ, UK

If you're looking for a stunning castle and grounds look no further. Crathes Castle on Scotland's Castle Trail is another lovely spot to add to your list. The interior is full of stunning room after stunning room. There is so much to see, read, and learn about the castle and its history.

Aside from the interior, the grounds of Crathes Castle are worth the trip. Secluded garden paths and an impressive collection of plants, flowers, and trees, make it the perfect spot to stroll around and take your time in.

In addition, the staff working at the castle were also super friendly and happy to answer our questions as we explored.

To plan your visit to Crathes Castle click here.

Crathes Castle Exterior, Scotland
Crathes Castle Exterior, Scotland
Oranmental chair at Crathes Castle
Interior of Crathes Castle's main room
Crathes Castle, Scotland
Crathes Castle Gardens, Scotland
Crathes gardens, Scotland
The Hesitant Adventurer at Crathes Castle
View of Crathes Castle from the gardens.

Balmoral Castle

Balmoral Estates, Ballater AB35 5TB, UK

What could be better than visiting Queenie's cottage'?! Nothing. That's what. The Scottish retreat of the Royal Family, Balmoral Castle is a stunning estate worth visiting.

The property is open to the public from the 1st of April to the 31st of July. You can still visit outside of those dates, as long as the Queen or other members of the Royal Family are not using the castle. You can check online before your trip to see if the castle is open for visitors.

See more information about Balmoral Castle here.

Balmoral Castle, Scotland
Balmoral Castle, Scotland

Dunnottar Castle

Stonehaven AB39 2TL, UK

Dunnottar was by far my favourite castle of all the ones I visited. Perhaps it was the enchanting moss-covered ruins, but I think it's location added to the drama.

Dunnottar castle is perched out on a rock formation in the North Sea. The views both of and from this castle are breathtaking!

When you visit, be sure to take the path leading down to the seashore so you can see the cliffs from a whole different angle, and stick your feet in the waters of the North Sea.

A trip to the Castle Trail would NOT be complete without a visit to Dunnottar!

See more information about the castle here.

View of Dunnottar castle on the Castle Trail.
Interior walls of Dunnottar Castle
Interior walls of Dunnottar Castle
The coast just below Dunnottar Castle, Scotland
Dunnottar Castle from the shore.
Hunter boots in the shallows of the North Sea
The Hesitant Adventurer at Dunnottar Castle
The coastline at Donnottar Castle

Add This Place to Your Bucket List

If you're a castle lover, I can't imagine a more perfect holiday. Not only are their literally hundreds of castles, ruins, and estates to explore, but they are located in such a compact and beautiful area. This means you can see a lot in a short time.

Drive down the coast and inland through rolling Scottish hills, exploring all of these magical sites as you go. Sounds perfect to me.

For more information on Scotland's Castle Trail click here.

Also, they have the most adorable ebook dedicated to the trail which you can view here. 

Have you visited the Castle Trail in Aberdeenshire? Let me know which castles were your faves!