Crathe's Castle Review: Choose Crathes | Day Out With The Kids

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Choose Crathes: A review of a day out at Crathes Castle

Stephanie Withers

10 November 2017

Time to Read

3 minutes

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!

A sign at the entrance to Crathes Castle

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.

A family stands in front of the exterior of Crathes Castle

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.

A kid exploring the Crathes Castle walk

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.

A kid enjoying lunch at the cafe at Crathes Castle

A kid on the outdoor play area at Crathes Castle

Two brothers pictured in the playground at Crathes Castle

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.

The stunning gardens at Crathes Castle

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!

Go Ape at Crathes Castle

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.

A kid runs through the walled gardens at Crathes Castle

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!

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Stephanie Withers

10 November 2017

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Stephanie Withers is a blogger, freelance writer, compulsive coffee drinker and mother to two wildlings, Finlay and Parker. Stephanie is one of our much loved Trusted Explorers, which means all content has been written exclusively for in exchange for a contribution to their family piggy bank. All posts are first hand, honest and based on real experiences.

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