Choose Crathes: A review of a day out at Crathes Castle
Up in Scotland, you’ll find no shortage of magical castles to visit. One such is Crathes Castle, a classic 16th-century Scottish tower house based in the rolling hills of Aberdeenshire. However, what makes Crathes different is how much there is to see beyond the walls and turrets. With so many activities on offer from Go Ape to nature trails, it’s definitely a family day out to add to your list!
Being based in Aberdeen, we’re regular visitors to Crathes Castle and often like to kick off our visits with a beautiful walk through the woodlands and countryside. It’s the perfect remedy after a busy work/school week and helps shake off all the cobwebs.
Our regular route is 'Ley Way', which is the longest of the walks on offer. Our oldest son, Finlay has happily done this walk with us since he was 3 (just remember to bring some welly boots!) However, for young children, it’s always useful to have a child carrier with you, especially as there are the odd bridges to cross.
After our walk, it’s time to hit the cafe, which has recently been refurbished to help cater towards young families. You’ll now find a small indoor play area where little ones can amuse themselves, giving Mum & Dad a chance to finish their coffees! For lunch, there are plenty of options, from sandwiches and hot dishes to pick and mix kids lunch boxes for the kids. Right outside is a brand new safely enclosed children’s playground, which you can oversee right from the cafe.
Once everyone’s refuelled we recommend having a walk through the impeccable grounds and visiting the castle itself, which is a maze of towers and has plenty of cultural history to soak in and antiques to admire. However, one of the highlights has to be the ever-changing Walled Garden. It contains eight small, individual sculpted gardens, each with its own theme. The gardens are carefully planted to give colour all year round, making it worth a wander through no matter what season you visit.
If you’re looking to take in a view, children aged 10+ can also stop by Go Ape to spend a couple of hours up in the trees! You’ll get the chance to take in even more breathtaking scenery as you zip wire and swing through the forest. I know our oldest is already counting down the years until he can finally have a climb!
Before you visit be sure to check out if there are any seasonal activities taking place, as these are not to be missed. You never know what might be on from outdoor cinema nights, half marathons and woodland crafts to annual Easter egg hunts, Halloween ghost tours, and their famous Christmas crafts fair.
Check out the Crathes Castle Facebook page to keep up to date with the latest news (and, being Scotland, be sure to view the weather report while you're at it!) Have fun!
Looking for more days out? Don't miss Steph's review of Formartines!