An easy woodland walk with fairly gentle inclines. The route follows one of the permutations of the Red Squirrel Trail which links the Ley Wood Trail, the Coy Burn Trail, and the East Trail. There are some impressive carved wooden sculptures of woodland animals to appreciate along the way.
Duration: 2 hours.
Duration: 2 hours.
Transport/Parking: Stagecoach bus services pass the Castle entrance road. There is a visitor car-park – NTS charges apply – free to NTS members.
Length: 6km / 3.73 mi Height Gain/Loss: 118 meter.
Max Height: 107 meter. Min Height: 80 meter.
Surface: Moderate. Tarred surfaces, good tracks and paths. Not suitable for off-road mobility scooters due to narrow stepped bridges and boardwalks. It is possible to enjoy the Castle grounds by staying on estate roads.
Child Friendly: Yes, if children are used to walks of this distance..
Dog Friendly: Yes, but keep dogs on lead on public roads and near farm animals.
Refreshments: There is an NTS cafe near to the visitor centre and shop.
This is a very pleasant walk amongst the extensive mature woodlands that surround Crathes Castle. There are occasional glimpses of the wider Deeside landscape, comprised of fertile farmland and forested low hills. The castle and its policies are now managed by the National Trust for Scotland and it is probably their most visited property in the north-east of Scotland. The walled garden is particularly popular with visitors, and we suggest you don’t miss out on the chance to explore this wonderful garden [NTS charges apply]. Crathes Castle sits on land given as a gift to the Burnetts of Ley family by King Robert the Bruce in 1323. In the 14th and 15th centuries the Burnett of Leys built a fortress of timbers on an island they made in the middle of a nearby bog. Construction of the current tower house was begun in 1553 and was completed in 1596, and an additional wing added in the 18th century. The castle was the ancestral seat of the Burnetts of Leys until Sir James Burnett, 13th Baronet gave it to the National Trust for Scotland in 1951. The castle contains a significant collection of portraits, and intriguing original Scottish renaissance painted ceilings survive in several Jacobean rooms. The castle estate encompasses 530 acres of woodlands and fields, including nearly 4 acres of walled garden. Within the walled garden are gravel paths with surrounding specimen plants mostly in herbaceous borders. There is also a grass croquet court at a higher terraced level within the walled garden. Ancient topiary hedges of Irish yew dating from 1702 separate the gardens into eight themed areas. Crathes and its grounds are open to visitors all year round and there is a visitor centre and café. [Thanks to Wikipedia for the above information.]
Photos from walk
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