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Tour of Crathes Castle in Banchory with photographs and a brief history of Crathes Castle and current facilities, grounds, gardens and ghost stories such as the Green Lady and information about Go Ape tree top adventure course:
Crathes Castle is a bonnie 16th Century tower house property with stunning gardens set in the heart of Royal Deeside, just outside Banchory.
History of Crathes Castle
The Land Of Leys was granted to the Burnett family in 1323 by King Robert the Bruce. During your tour of the castle look out for the jewelled ivory ancient Horn of Leys in the Great Hall which was given to the family to mark his generous gift.
Balloon Flights over Crathes Castle.
The building of Crathes Castle did not begin until 1553 and is thought to have been completed in 1596. Further work
in the 18th Century saw the completion of the East-Wing.
Many rooms still have their original family portraits, paintings and furniture, oak ceilings and Elizabethan
Entry for Aberdeen Race For Life is now open.
Sir James Burnett of Leys donated the castle, gardens and surrounding woodlands and fields to The National Trust
for Scotland in 1951.
Sadly a fire in 1966 destroyed the Queen Anne wing. The visitor centre now stands on this site. Surviving rooms of
interest include the haunted Green Lady's Room, the Chamber of the Muses and the Chamber of Nine Worthies.
The Burnett family also built Muchalls Castle,
read about the Castle and the ghost.
Go Ape high wire tree top adventure opened at the grounds of Crathes Castle Aberdeen in Spring 2011. Go Ape is a tree top assault course which consists of swings, rope ladders, zip wires and a skateboard zip wire. Go Ape is open to children and adults with different prices and tickets for those aged under and over 18 years of age. Allow about three hours to go around this Go Ape Crathes Castle Aberdeen obstacle course. For more information about Go Ape Crathes castle please visit goape.co.uk/sites/crathes-castle
The longest zip wire at the Go Ape tree top adventure course at Crathes Castle Aberdeen is 125m metres, the longest crossing is 92 metres whilst the total length of Go Ape Aberdeen is 592 metres. There are 28 crossings at Go Ape Aberdeen.
Photos of Go Ape Crathes Castle with a Go Ape review can be found on the AboutAberdeen
Go Ape Adventure Course Forest Park Crathes Castle Aberdeen page.
Touring Crathes Castle
Touring Crathes Castle is not timed as there are guides in each room who happily describe the history of the castle and
specific points of interest about each room. Exclusive guided tours for large parties or corporate events can be arranged
by appointment. The Castle caters for wedding receptions or corporate dinners in the Horsemill Restaurant or the High
Hall of the Castle. Larger events in the summer are often hosted in marquees on the castle lawns
The National Trust for Scotland book The Scottish Kitchen by Christopher Trotter has the Cullen Skink soup recipe used at the cafe in Crathes Castle.
Crathes Castle Garden And Walks
The walled garden provides a relaxing walk amongst its herbaceous borders, yew hedges and topiary.
Behind the castle lie several organised and clearly marked trails of differing length taking you into the woodlands.
Some have activities for children. Dogs are welcomed on the trails. There is also a large woodland type activity playground for the wee ones and benches and
chairs for the adults to have a well deserved rest. This area makes a lovely picnic spot.
There are also organised walks at Crathes Castle are visitors can walk around the Crathes Castle gardens with the head gardener. Such summer walks dates and times are advertised on our events page.
The Horsemill Restaurant adjacent to the castle sells some delicious meals and snacks in a relaxed setting.
There is ample parking at the castle, and is free to National Trust for Scotland members.
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The Ghosts Of Crathes Castle
The Burnett's original home was on an island in the Loch of Leys. When the Laird died his widow, Lady Agnes became
domineering over her son Alexander. She was jealous of his relationship with a lassie called Bertha who was living with
them, in the care of the Lady. Romance blossomed between Alexander and Bertha. The Lady Agnes did not want this relationship
for her son, instead she desired him to marry into a noble Scottish family. When Alexander was away from the Castle
on a long trip Bertha died. The days prior to her death the servants noticed how unwell she had become and thought it was
because she missed Alexander. When Alexander returned he was being comforted by his mother when he reached out for a goblet of wine. His mother
snatched it from his hand and threw it out of the window and into the Loch. Seeing this, Alexander knew his mother had poisoned
his sweetheart. Months later, Bertha's father returned to the Castle to bring her home. As Alexander and Lady Agnes
explained her death, the room became chilly and Lady Agnes screamed and pointing to where she looked in terror cried "She comes,
she comes" and then died. These events spurred Alexander to build the new Crathes Castle. However, once a year, on the anniversary
of Bertha's death, a ghostly figure is seen crossing from the site of the old Castle to the new Castle. It is thought that
this figure is either murdered Bertha or her murderer Lady Agnes.
In the haunted Green Lady's Room a figure carrying a baby has been seen crossing the room before disappearing in
the fireplace. Sightings first appeared in the 18th Century. This is thought to be the ghost of a young girl who became pregnant by a servant. The servant was dismissed
and the girl and her baby disappeared, thought to have eloped with her servant lover. However when in later years workmen where
doing renovations to the room they uncovered skeletons under the hearthstone...then the hauntings began.
The Green Lady of Crathes Castle is not often seen these days, those she makes her presence felt and heard. It is said that if she appears and is seen a member of the Burnett family will die.
Book A Balloon Flight over Crathes Castle.
How To Get To Crathes Castle
Take the A93 from Aberdeen, heading towards Banchory.
Crathes Castle Address Website and Telephone Number Contact Details
Tel: (01330) 844525
Official Crathes Castle website homepage url: www.nts.org.uk,
Crathes Castle have their own page which is www.nts.org.uk/Property/20/ and the Crathes event page is www.nts.org.uk/Property/20/Events/Soon/
Vintage Car And Motorcycle Rally
Each year, Crathes Castle hosts the vintage and collectors car and motorcycle rally which is organised by the
Rotary Club of Banchory in the summer.
A ghost walk around Crathes Castle is organised for Saturday 24 October 2009 which includes the telling of the green lady ghost story. Read the
Ghost Walks In Aberdeen page for details.
Crathes Castle Scotland celebrate their squirrels during special events in the autumn. Aimed at children these squirrel events include arts and crafts, quizzes and sightings of squirrels with the staff. Please check with the NTS for details of times and dates.
Christmas Reindeer Parade at Crathes Castle
Each Christmas, usually the first Sunday in December the Cairngorm reindeer visit Crathes Castle before they get busy helping Santa on Christmas Eve. They
parade through the grounds of Crathes Castle in Banchory and then head down to the Father Christmas Grotto.
Events At Crathes
Enchanted Castle Crathes
Crathes Castle took part in the first Snowdrop Festival from the 1 February to the 11 March 2007 which celebrated the beautiful snowdrops flowers. There was organised walks and competitions for the children.
Flog It! the BBC2 antiques programme presented by Paul Martin will be filmed at The National Trust for Scotlandís Crathes Castle, Banchory on Thursday 16th June 2011 from 9.30am until 4.00pm. This Valuation Day is open to members of the public (though no trade) who are invited to bring along their antiques and collectables they might be interested in selling. Once valued, the owner and team of experts decide whether it should go forward for auction which will take place at John Milne Auctioneers, 9 North Silver Street in Aberdeen on Wednesday 27th July 2011. The television programme will be broadcast later in 2011.
Previous programmes in Flog It! have seen a lady in Aberdeen sell a Shelley tea set for a huge £3,400! Find out more at: www.bbc.co.uk/flogit
Crathes Castle Open Air Concerts
Crathes gardens and grounds hold open air concerts. For example on the 30 June 2006 Jools Holland and his
Rhythm and Blues Orchestra performed live and on the 31 June 2006 singer Michael Ball performed live.
Jazz star Jamie Cullum performed at Crathes Castle on Saturday the 27th August 2005.
Treetop Aerial Assault Course
A treetop aerial high rope assault course challenge called the Skytrek will soon be opened in the woods beside
Crathes Castle. It will be set about 40 feet off the ground and should open in July 2006. Construction has been delayed
because the nest (a drey) of a red squirrel was found in the area.
In November 2006 Crathes Castle won top prize in the 2006 Northern Lights Tourism Awards for the Visitor Experience section.
Best Western Hotels have two hotels in Aberdeen. The following links take you to their website for more information or to make a direct booking:
Raemoir House Hotel Banchory
More Scottish Castles.
More ghost stories from Aberdeenshire.
Crathes Castle near Banchory remains the ancestral home of Burnetts worldwide. The official Burnett website can be found at www.burnett.uk.com which traces the genealogy of the Burnett family name and gives a history of the Burnett family.
A lifesize reindeer sculpture was created by Banchory artist Carol Adams in December 2007. The reindeer sculpture is pulling a restored antique sleigh from Crathes Castle. The reindeer sculpture can be seen at the Milton Studio in Crathes. Carol Adams ran a competition for charity to name the reindeer sculpture.
Join the National Trust and get free admission to Crathes Castle as often as you like during you membership.
A range of socks made from Angora goat mohair wool is made by Baxter's Bonny Socks at Mossatburn Watre Gardens near Alford. They are named after Aberdeenshire Castles and the Crathes sock is a lightweight knee length sock. Find out more at bonnysocks.co.uk
Britain's Best Alan Titchmarsh Crathes Castle Gardens
The Gardens of Crathes Castle in Banchory will feature in a television programme called Britain's Best on UKTV History. The host of the TV series is Alan Titchmarsh and viewers
will be encouraged to vote for their favourite garden out of the 25 film locations. Britain's Best starts on 9 April 2007 and Crathes Castle Banchory episode will be
broadcast on TBA.