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Approximately 30 kilometres from Aberdeen is the impressive Castle Fraser, one of Scotland’s most illustrious structures. The 5-storey, 16th-century giant is the largest of its kind as well as being beautifully situated on a 140-hectare estate. A proper Scottish castle, it is popular among tourists, wedding planners – and ghosts!
Building the granite structure wasn’t easy. The then lord of the manor Michael Fraser started construction of the castle in 1575 but it was only finished 61 years later. With small changes still being made up to the 19th century, the castle has many peculiarities: guests were tricked, spied upon and eavesdropped on via secret stairwells, hatches and holes in the walls. The Lairds Lug ensured that the lord knew exactly what people were saying about him in the Great Hall.
The various parts of the castle each tell a story about different periods in Scottish history. The Great Hall features moderate medieval arched ceilings, while the east wing houses a lavishly decorated 17th-century dining hall. The portraits, furniture and collections of the Fraser family still play a major role. In the library, built entirely in the Regency style, a portrait of Charles Mackenzie-Fraser keeps a close eye on the visitors.
Not only is the interior of the castle well worth a visit, the surrounding estate is equally popular. In summer this is a popular picnic site with a network of diverse walking paths through forests, meadows and the charming walled garden. The castle is so photogenic that the makers of The Queen (with Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth in 2006) used it frequently in their film.
“A Scottish castle needs a few ghost stories”