Former home of Clan Irvine, Drum Castle has got to be one of north-east Scotland's best castles, up against stiff competition. Close to Aberdeen's city limits, the key draw is the combination of its respective parts from periods centuries apart, making it feel almost like you're visiting multiple castles instead of one. The tower house is one of the country's oldest, dating to the early 13th century and still in amazing condition considering its age. Meanwhile, the finely-furnished mansion extension is a mere four centuries old, with further surrounding buildings added even more recently. The intimate chapel stands amongst trees just off to the side, while a large walled garden well-known for its roses in summer occupies east-facing slopes on the other side.
Name: Drum Castle ★★★★☆
Location: Minor road off A93 a mile north of Drumoak, G.R.: NJ 796005 / beyond notices treetop
Open (2017): Castle: daily, July & August; Thursday to Monday, April to June & September; weekends, October to March. Gardens: daily
Cost (2017): £12.50 (adults), £9 (children), free for National Trust for Scotland members
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