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“A warm welcome at Castle Fraser” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Castle Fraser

Castle Fraser
| Sauchen, Inverurie AB51 7LD, Scotland
0844 493 2164
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Ranked #1 of 7 Attractions in Inverurie
Type: Castles, Cultural
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Attraction details
Owner description: Castle Fraser is a grand baronial castle dating from the 16th century, and is the largest and most elaborate of Scottish castles built on the Z plan design. There are plenty of quirky features to discover in the castle - such as the Laird's Lug, hidden trapdoors revealing secret stairs, a spy hole, a room full of stuffed animals and a wooden leg!As you venture through the castle and up to the... round tower, with its panoramic views of the gardens and estate beyond, you get a sense of life from the medieval to the Victorian period. Although the main castle was completed around 1636, there were several 18th- and 19th-century alterations. To a large extent the story of Castle Fraser is the story of its lairds.It retains the atmosphere of the family home with portraits, furniture and mementos. Highlights include the Great Hall dating back to the 1400s, a library filled with family books, and the grand Worked Room featuring 18th-century embroideries.New to Castle Fraser for 2012 is an exhibition in a previously unopened room in the castle. The exhibition, entitled “Women of Strength” has been kindly sponsored by Exxon Mobil and features information on the historical development of the garden, grounds and castle and the involvement of Elyza Fraser and Lavinia Smiley.Outside, two waymarked walks give magnificent views of the local hills.Miss Bristow's Trail (1.25 miles) - a walk on forest paths, taking you past old estate stonework including the Moses Well and a hydraulic ram (water pump). This walk is not accessible by wheelchairs or pushchairs.The Alton Brae Trail (1.5 miles) - a walk on forest paths including steep sections and steps, leading you down to the flight pond with its amazing wildlife including 10 species of dragonflies, damselflies, frogs, toads, newts and many aquatic invertebrates. This walk is not accessible by wheelchairs or pushchairs.The children's Woodland Secrets play area is an enchanting wooded area with a tepee, bamboo snake walk, giant xylophone and lots of other areas for children to hide and climb. The whole children's area is built from natural materials and is therefore very environmentally friendly. There is access to this area by wheelchairs and pushchairs.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“A warm welcome at Castle Fraser”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2012

This was a return visit to Castle Fraser albeit 25 years on. We received a warm welcome the guides were helpful and interesting to listen to all in all a pleasant visit would recommend if you are in the area.

Visited July 2012
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94 reviews from our community

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English first
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Interesting, somewhat overshadowed by its neighbours?”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2012

On the Deeside Castle trail I would rate this as worth a visit if you have time and want to "do them all". The surrounding parkland is of course beautiful, and the castle itself is interesting.

Visited July 2012
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Inverurie, United Kingdom
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Lovely castle,”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2012

Really worth a visit, very interesting place. Very peaceful.

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Huntly, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
26 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Babies not welcome!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2012 via mobile

As yesterday was Father's Day - the 1st for my husband and we decided to go to Castle Fraser. We thought it would be ideal - get there for 10 and go around the steam train exhibition then go to the castle tearoom for lunch before looking around the castle then grounds. We timed it so that our four month baby would have a nap getting there, be awake for the exhibition, have a feed and nap for lunch then be awake around the castle. I know it seems "military" but trying to eat and have a hot cup of tea balancing a baby isn't easy nor safe! The exhibition held was great really enjoyed it but when it came to the lunch I couldn't believe that there was a sign up saying to leave buggies outside! There was enough room and for my baby who's too small for a high chair and asleep it was unbelievable. We knew around the castle we would need to put the pram in the car but not for lunch. Totally anti new parents! I asked a member of the trust organisation if the sign applied in our case or just strollers but he told us to leave the buggy outside! Yes like in today's society I'm going to leave my £500 pram unattended to be stolen or worse wake my baby up! Unfortunately put a damper on the attraction and meant we didn't pay to go around the castle and went elsewhere for lunch. It's hard adjusting to life with a baby and as trust members we wanted to still enjoy visiting attractions and will continue to but just a shame that they're not wanting to make it easy!

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Aberdeen, United Kingdom
14 reviews 14 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Growing up coming here at weekends isn't a bad life”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2012

So I'm going to be a bit impartial as this is one of my favourite places in the world. Living only a few miles away means I have been coming her for years and years, and it never fails to make me smile. For the Castle Fraser newbee, it has a spectacular drive way leading up to the main castle ( the castle also appeared briefly in the film The Queen with Helen Mirren and Michael Sheen as the neighbouring estate to Balmoral when she goes to inspect the stag that has been shot - I got pretty excited when I saw this!) There's a really nice walk through the grounds to walk the dog and there's always lots of activities on in the summer. The play park is fantastic for children, not that my 20 year old self will know this from experience! In Easter there's always easter egg rolls and egg hunts, and towards the end of the summer last year my parents went on a 'bat' evening which sounded great- they got a meanland a presentation on the bats roosting in the castle, and then they went outside at the sun went down and watched as the bats left from under the slates on the roof. The inside is great and plenty to see- the staff are really knowledgeable and keen to help. The grounds are well cared for and the walled garden always looks stunning around August. There's sometimes performances from a travelling theatre company Illyria in the summer which are always great evenings and fantastic for all the family, although Castle Fraser is only the host.
Don't think there's any public transport going there but I may be wrong, never had to use it before.
The shop contains all your typical national trust of scotland merchandise and nice postcards etc. Toilets are basic but clean.
Be aware of school groups towards the end of the school term, in no way are they a nuisance, but just make your day slightly more high pitched and excited.
In terms of car parking it's free for national trust members, (i would recommend perhaps taking out membership if you're here for more than a few months - it gets free parking and free entry to castles/ gardens etc and if you're doing lots of castles etc then it might be worth it).
I'm already thinking of this as a wedding venue, as I have so many happy memories here, just need to find a groom!

Visited May 2012
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