04 October 2016

Another Adventure Into the 'Shire

On Sunday, we once again booked our wee Toyota Aygo for the day to explore beautiful Aberdeenshire and take advantage of our membership in The National Trust of Scotland to visit some castles.

After grabbing sandwiches and such for lunch and some Starbucks for the road, our first stop was just west of Aberdeen at Loch of Skene which is a large freshwater loch (or lake.)  The loch is home to various waterfowl, a local yacht club, and great spot for catching pike.  It is most remarkable perhaps for the old gatehouse which apparently, still has residents.  I tried to find some history on it, but have had no luck thus far.  Regardless, it was a nice place to go for a short forest walk and drink a casual coffee.  We may return to complete the walk around the entire loch sometime.

Stop number two was Castle Fraser which is in a gorgeous setting, surrounded by hills, trees, pastures, greens, and a walled garden.  It was so quiet and absolutely stunning with the warm sunshine and blue sky.  It helped that we were early and it is toward the end of the tourist season. Another cool thing about this castle and a notable difference to most others is that photography is allowed inside.

A recumbent stone circle near the car park

A local resident

Lots of stairs; most like this

The library, my favorite room

Original wood work from the 1600s

The walled garden, viewed from the tower

It was a truly stunning day

The stables; apparently the castle owners lived there during part of the 1900s

More stairs

We had a picnic lunch on the lawn after our tour.  We even got a little shut-eye afterward, but only a little because of two playful dogs that kept trying to introduce themselves to us and see if we had any leftovers.  We, of course, did not mind at all.

Our third stop was Craigievar Castle.  Unfortunately, it closed on Friday for the season (we knew that before we arrived), but the grounds are open year-round.  So we enjoyed the views of the exterior and the surrounding grounds and countryside.

Credit for several of the photos goes to my lovely wife, Pat.