Wanderings–Craigievar Castle

Craigievar Castle. Heartbreakingly gorgeous, and she knows it. Click for hi-res.

Craigievar Castle is hard to find, but a gem. Only about 15 miles west of Aberddon, it is located in idyllic countryside. This country in high summer exactly matched the ideal I developed as a child reading Kenneth Grahame and Pyles’s Robin Hood — the greens are lush, the trees uniform and well-tended, the roads narrow and curvy. When I was planing our distillery tour I presented the wife with a selection of attractions along the route. When she saw that there was a pink castle, it became a must-see.

It was almost a have-to-miss. Using GPS, we ended up literally in the middle of nowhere, a lane bordering a broad barley field a few miles off the A980. We blundered around a bit, found our way off the Old Military Road and back on the A980 and spotted a sign for Craigievar. From there it was a matter of spotting the place peeking through the trees, a pink edifice, like a wedding cake decoration for a princess.

At the estate there is a roomy car park and public toilet (why is Scotland so much better with their facilities than the US?) and a short walk along a tree-lined lane to the castle. As you can see, it is more of a salmon color than pink, but nonetheless, the locale, the color, and the architecture of the castle is quite delightful. I challenge the most jaded, malignant, misanthropic grinch to look upon Craigievar castle in the flesh and not soften just a little bit.

Aberdeenshire — too beautiful for words. Click for hi res.

The castle was inhabited until the 1960s and thus very well-preserved, with much of the original furnishings and woodwork. The tour takes you up very steep and treacherous stairs, so keep that in mind for the mobility challenged. The well-informed guide provided history and perspective on every room, and you do see the whole place from attic to cellar. There are multiple trails around the grounds, often leading to boggy areas, but peaceful and quiet. Idyllic indeed.

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About H.W. MacNaughton

Technologist and communicator. Into technology, jazz, Formula One, sci-fi and any good writing about real stuff.
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