The Castle Trail

The must see castle of course is Balmoral Castle on Royal Deeside which was bought by Queen Victoria in 1852 after a romantic break in the area with her beloved Prince Albert. Successions of Royals have made the castle their summer retreat – a single decision that has done wonders for the coach party industry! The building you see today is not the original. Victoria and Albert had it pulled down and a bigger one erected in its place.

Five miles south of the small town of Alford is Craigievar Castle, which inspired Walt Disney to create the castle we see in his famous films. The pink-coloured seven-storey building with its turrets, gargoyles and elaborately-carved chimneys would not be out of place in Disneyworld.

You'll also be charmed by the delightfully eccentric Delgatie Castle near Turriff which was restored by the equally eccentric and stubborn Captain John Hay (late of the Indian Army) in a 40-year labour of love.