Spotlight falls on new addition to Castle Trail

Published on : Saturday, April 16, 2016

ahkgaihs9u1lo2yfbvynA unique 16th-Century castle which forms part of a North-east lighthouse has been added to Aberdeenshire’s famous Castle Trail for the first time.


The region is known as ‘Scotland’s Castle Country’ and with an impressive tally of over 300 castles, stately mansions and ruins scattered across the landscape, there are more castles per acre than anywhere else in the UK.


Kinnaird Head Castle and the adjacent Wine Tower at Fraserburgh are two of the best preserved structures of the ancient ‘nine castles of the knuckle’ situated along the Buchan coast. The 16th century castle was built by the Frasers of Philorth to demonstrate dominance and power over their planned town of Fraserburgh.


Falling out of fashion, the castle was sold to the Northern Lighthouse Board in 1787 to be converted into Scotland’s first mainland lighthouse, making Kinnaird Head unique among Scotland’s castles. As well as the tower itself, original features such as the old castle kitchens and elements of the grand hall can be seen by visitors.


The adjacent Wine Tower is an ancient pre-reformation building steeped in mystery and curiosity, dramatically perched over the crashing waves. Visitors can see the upper vaulted chamber of the Wine Tower to view seven preserved roof pendants, carved in stone, showing the Fraser’s family connections and commitment to the faith.


The Scotland’s Castle Trail brochure, which is a joint project between VisitScotland, Aberdeenshire Council, Historic Environment Scotland and National Trust for Scotland, now includes this additional attraction as well as a clear map of the region showing all the castles and large entries and details for each castle.


With the inclusion of Kinnaird Head, it now features 19 castles in Aberdeenshire, from Balmoral to Braemar and Corgarff to Craigievar. A ‘nearby attractions’ section accompanies each entry, to encourage people to further explore the region while following the trail and increase the length of their stay and spend in Aberdeenshire.


Aberdeenshire’s castles provide a wealth of history to explore – from gruesome tales of battles fought, to strolls through romantic family estates. Coming in all shapes and sizes, each castle holds a different story to tell, from striking clifftop ruins to grand fortresses and royal residences in the countryside.


Many brochures are being distributed via accommodation providers and attractions in Aberdeenshire, Dundee, Fife, Perthshire, the Highlands and the Central Belt. They will also be available in VisitScotland Information Centres, National Trust for Scotland and Historic Environment Scotland properties and local racking spots throughout Aberdeenshire.


Jo Robinson, VisitScotland Regional Director, said:

“The Castle Trail is incredibly popular with our visitors, both domestic and international, and I am delighted that Kinnaird Head Castle & Lighthouse has been added to the trail, just in time for the new season.


“This inspirational brochure provides essential information for anyone visiting these fantastic properties right across Aberdeenshire as well as additional information about what to see and do nearby.


“In 2016, Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, revamping the castle trail is a perfect fit as these buildings are architecturally important to Scotland’s history and culture.”


Iain Hawkins, the National Trust for Scotland’s Aberdeenshire General Manager, said:

“We’re looking forward to welcoming families for lots of castle fun this summer. The Trust’s lucky to look after some of Scotland’s best castles of all shapes and sizes and with our packed events programme, there’s something for everyone who’s planning on hitting the trail.”


Historic Environment Scotland’s Director of Commercial and Tourism, Stephen Duncan, said:

“The Castle Trail is a great resource for visitors who want to explore the rich and diverse heritage and history that this region has to offer. The newly added Kinnaird Head Castle and Lighthouse joins a number of our other properties, throughout Aberdeenshire, which also feature in the trail including an impressive Georgian mansion, a palace and four castles.


“These heritage attractions, along with others on the trail, provide visitors with a real experience and insight into our country’s history and culture.”


Nikki Morris, Marketing Director from new tourism organisation, VisitAberdeenshire, said:

“The Castle Trail is a key product and marketing resource for the new VisitAberdeenshire organisation. The addition of Kinnaird Head Castle only strengthens the appeal and quality of the trail and gives visitors to the region an enhanced experience and opportunity to explore and enjoy the rich history and heritage of the area.”


The Castle Trail webpage features imagery, copy and links to download the new brochure. Visitors can experience the romance and history of these restored family castles, ruins and stately homes, by simply following the route. With its distinctive white on brown signs and a castle logo, which leads visitors through the heart of Aberdeenshire, it couldn’t be a simpler day out.


Scotland’s Castle Trail includes Dunnottar, Crathes, Drum, Castle Fraser, Tolquhon, Kinnaird Head, Haddo House, Fyvie, Delgatie, Duff House, Huntly, Spynie Palace, Balvenie, Leith Hall Garden & Estate, Kildrummy, Corgarff, Braemar, Balmoral and Craigievar.



Source:- Visit Scotland


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