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Craigievar Castle

Craigievar Castle is a recommended stop on Scotland's Castle Route through the Royal Deeside. It has changed very little since it was first built in the early 17th century and was in posession of the Forbes family since then. It was turned over to the National Trust for Scotland in 1963, complete with contents. Until spring 2007 the castle will be closed for restoration works - the surrounding parkland will remain open to the public. It is located off A980 between Aboyne and Alford.

Queens View Tarland

The Queen was quite active in Scotland, and thus there seems to be a slight confusion about the viewpoints named after her. This is the Queen's View by Tarland viewpoint, situated on the B9119 between Lumphanan and Tarland. Apparently, this is the less popular one, but its beautiful to see the smooth rolling hills and farmlands anyway. In case you are wondering - the other Queens View viewpoint is situated next to Loch Tummel at the B8019.

Tarland Stonecircle

Close to Tarland, on the B9094, you'll find this ancient stonecircle. Admission is free, by the way. :-)

Crathes Castles

Our next stop enroute was Crathes Castle, another fairytale castle, situated about 3 miles east of Banchory. The castle is an excellent example of a 16th-century tower house, but a visit to its interior may well worth the money: some rooms still carry their original painted ceilings. As it was home to the Burnett family for four centuries, the castle walls hold many family stories for you to discover. Equally beautiful is the garden of the castle.

Stonehaven Harbour Scotland

From Crathes Castle we move on to Stonehaven, a beautiful village at the east coast, best known for its proximity to Dunnottar Castle. However, the village is unspoilt as well, and we recommend a visit here as well. This is the harbour, seen from the North East pier.

Stonehaven Scotland

Here is another photo of Stonehaven Harbour, this time seen from the Eastern pier.

Dunnottar Castle

The main feature of Stonehaven, however, is Dunnottar Castle, located two miles south of the village. It is another fantastic (read: magnificient, must-see) castle ruin sitting upon a large rock above the sea.

Castle Dunnottar

Parts of Dunnottar Castle date back to the 13th century, but it is likely that it was occupied even before that. Its location made it very difficult to be conquered. Today, you can visit the castle interiors (again, for a hefty entrance fee) after a short, steep walk from the car park.

Dunnottar Castle, Stonehaven

As a heavy rain shower was coming up during our visit to the castle, there are no further photos of the castle, unfortunately. Interesting fact: In 1990 parts of the movie "Hamlet", starring Mel Gibson and Glenn Close, were filmed here at Dunnottar Castle.

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