Aberdeen is a city in Scotland, date of registration as a city 1091. Inhabitants: 220,200. Distance from Edinburgh: about 132 km. There are several castles of various complexity near Aberdeen: Craigievar Castle, Drum Castle, Dunnottar Castle, Stonykirk Tower (ruined). Nearby places of interest: City Wall (partially), Stonehaven (the town is small but lovely), Dinnet National Nature Reserve – the largest reserve in Scotland .
Craigievar Castle, located 12 km from Aberdeen, is the best preserved 16th century castle in Scotland. It was first built in the XVI century but has been repeatedly rebuilt and enlarged since then. The owner of the castle was a famous architect William Adam (1689-1748). The highlight of the castle is a unique collection of art from around 1700. In the garden you will find one of the oldest trees in Europe – a yew, aged over 1,600 years. Craigievar Castle opens for tourists only during special events and during two weekends every summer: July 3-4 and August 14-15.
Drum Castle (recurring name of the owners) is located 13 km from Aberdeen. It was built between 1570-1583 by the 3rd Earl of Erroll, George Gordon. The main building, adjoined by a defensive tower and surrounded by large stone walls, is a charming example of Scottish Renaissance architecture. The castle once housed the famous Drum Art Collection – an important collection of paintings from the XVI century collected by Lord Cranstoun (1827-1912). Drum Castle remains open for tourists during August and three weekends in September. You will also have the chance to visit various parts of the castle in July and August every Sunday.
Stoneykirk Tower is unlike most of the other castles in Aberdeenshire. Namely, this tower is located in a remote and rocky location outside Aberdeen County on a rocky promontory overlooking the River Dee. The tower was built in the XVI century to protect the region from English attacks. It is now fully restored and is open for tourists. The tower has survived relatively well due to its remote location and lack of defensive importance, but it has never been lived in for long periods of time and was abandoned only 50 years after it was built.
Dunnottar Castle is one of the largest castles near Aberdeen (30 km away from it). It was originally built in the XIII-XIV centuries by the Mowbray family. The castle was captured in 1336 by King David II of Scotland who then gave it to his cousin, Robert Stewart. During Robert’s wars of independence the castle was captured numerous times by opposing parties but remained in royal hands until 1460. In 1547, the Earl of Hertford attacked and destroyed Dunnottar village and burned down parts of the castle itself after a wedding at one of its chapels. The Industrial Revolution did not pass Dunnottar Castle by – near the castle you can now find a water powered mill that belonged to a 19th-century industrialist, John Forbes.
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