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Please help me with Scotland's northeast castles - I'm Confused!

Please help me with Scotland's northeast castles - I'm Confused!

Old May 27th, 2006, 10:23 AM
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Please help me with Scotland's northeast castles - I'm Confused!

Hi again,

I am trying to figure out our Scotland trip and am totally confused about how to see the notheast! We start in Edinburgh for 2 full days then will rent a car and drive north. Plan on hitting the highlights of Fife that third day (Culross, Kinross or Falkland, fishing villages and St. Andrew's) and ending up overnight just north of Perth or Dundee.

I have 2 full days and nights scheduled for the castles in Aberdeenshire. But many of the recommended ones are spread far apart so I don't know how to navigate here. We want to go to the Inverness area following this.

Here is what I want to see in this area and can someone help me figure out how to do it? I know we can't see all of these but maybe someone can suggest which ones to see for sure.

Scone Palace
Glamis Castle
Dunottar Castle in Stonehaven
Fyvies Castle
Blair Castle
Huntly
Crathes Caslte
Craigevar Castle

We will be going in July.

Also, wouldn't mind suggestions for nice hotels or country homes. Thanks so much!!

Ginny


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Old May 27th, 2006, 12:30 PM
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personally I would suggest Glamis, the Queen Mother's childhood home, Fyvie, and either Crathie or Graigevar, you won't get all of them but you might manage Glamis for half a day and Fyvie for the other half a day and then Crathes and Craigevar the other day. You don't want to rush round and you have to add in travel time between the castles. Narrow roads etc. I couldn't suggest hotels but if you see a country pub with rooms try it. enjoy Scotland in July. If you stay near Dundee you will be close to Glamis.
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Old May 27th, 2006, 02:18 PM
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The "musts" for me would be Dunnottar, Crathes (mainly for the gardens) and Craigevar (practically untouched, except for electricity/running water, from when it was built) and they are relatively near each other.

Glamis is wonderful too of course. Scone and Blair just don't fit w/ the rest of your itinerary. Huntly is a great one for climbing and crawling through - but w/o the terrific setting of Dunnottar.

I would hit Glamis first thing in the a.m., then on to Dunnottar and you just might make it to Crathes late that afternoon. Glamis is large so takes time, and Dunnottar is a looooong stop if the weather cooperates. But if the weather is nasty you may not want to be out on the point all that long.

The next morning Crathes if you didn't make it the day before and then on to Craigevar. Huntly is on the quickest route over to Dufftown and then up to Inverness so you could easily get there enroute. Also - between Huntly and Dufftown is the NE of Scotland Falconry Center http://www.huntly-falconry.co.uk/ which a great place to stop - falcons, eagles and other raptors.
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Old May 27th, 2006, 04:19 PM
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Don't know if you have time for another, but we LOVE Cawdor Castle. It is still a family home and I've been told the family moves down the road a bit during the summer months, so tourists can have free reign of the house and garden...beautiful, smallish and a treat to see!
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Old May 27th, 2006, 05:48 PM
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Cawdor is certainly good - again, in large part for its amazing gardens. But since it is up nearer Inverness it fits better in that leg.

This place isn't posh but very nice and very near Craigevar http://www.camphillhouse.co.uk/

And this one is in Aboyne which isn't far from Crathes. http://www.struanhall.co.uk/accommodation.htm

(too bad you don't have more time since the NTS rents two cottages w/i the grounds of Craigevar itself)
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Old Jun 6th, 2006, 12:50 AM
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FWIW Scone Palace Blair and Glamis are not in Aberdeenshire. These places are all very different, the one from the others. (well, when I say ALL, Crathes and Craigievar are not so different from each other)

Scone is a stately home, rather than a castle. Glamis has, as we say round here, a lot about it, and is worth a visit for both the "stuff" and the history. Given the geographic layout I'd suggest you either lose Glamis or Blair. I think you can't do both.
Blair is pretty interestinga nd probably in more spectacular scenery

Dunnottar is very stark and picturesque, and defintiely worth seeing on a fine day.

Fyvie is somewhere between Scone and Crathes in type, and would be worth picking up on the way north.

Huntly is a ruin, and very stark again.

Now, me, I think doing JUST castles would be a tad boring, but if those are your priorities, I'd suggest you do Blair Castle, then come back down to Pitlochry and cross over the hill through GlenShee to Braemar and Upper Deeside. See Craigievar, come further east to Dunnottar. Then come north- I suggest you stay at Pittodrie House which has an old castle at the heart of it.

Next day come up to Huntly, then cross over to Fyvie; follow teh coast road towards Inverness and pick up cawdor on the way if you're not castled out.

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Old Jun 6th, 2006, 04:03 AM
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We just returned from Scotland. You should note that Craigievar Castle is closed until 2007 because of construction. Also, when we got to Braemar Castle, we were told that the castle was closed until January for construction.
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Old Jun 6th, 2006, 06:34 AM
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Oh - that IS too bad about Craigevar. A small jewel of a tower house.

But are you sure? The NTS websit doesn't mention it being closed, and even lists special events there in June and August
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Old Jun 6th, 2006, 07:15 AM
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They had a large exhibit here in NY called the Scottish Village and I picked up a number of government tourist brochures. One of those brochures said that the castle was closed because the scaffolding they erected on the outside blocked any light from reaching the inside which has no electric lights. Before I left I had found confirmation of the closure on line but perhaps they have been able to open it earlier than they thought. It would be a good idea to double check. I had seen no indication online or elsewhere that Braemar Castle was closed but the tourist information center in Ballater gave us that information. When we drove past that castle, all the signs were down, the parking lot was blocked and there was no indication that the castle was there at all except for the glimpses you got through the trees. If you decide that you really want to see one of these castles, I would send off an e-mail to double check whether they are open or not especially since you have limited time and don't want to spend it traveling all the way to a place which is closed.
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Old Jun 6th, 2006, 12:08 PM
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Braemar is definitely closed.

I'm not aware that Criagievar is closed, and it certainly doesn't say so on the site. I can check on Friday, but not before.
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Old Jun 7th, 2006, 05:50 AM
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Sheila,

You mentioned seeing Blair Castle then coming back down to Pitlochry and crossing over to go to Braemar. Is that on the A924 and the B950? I am still looking at this full Scotland map I got from Michelin. (I need to order some road maps.)

After giving this more thought, Blair Castle looks very interesting so I want to work that into our schedule now.

theatrelove,

Thanks for the warning on Craigievar being closed. I sent an email to the National Trust site just to check it.

I am now replanning our days in this area!!

Ginny



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Old Jun 7th, 2006, 11:33 AM
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Copy and paste the following link as it includes pictures and reviews on the North East Castles you may be contemplating visiting. It does not unfortunately include Blair Castle but you can then decide if you wish to see the others after clicking on and looking at the photographs.

www.frommers.com/cgi-bin/[email protected]@.eed91a1
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