Happy place! Happy place! Happy place! If you ever visit Scotland and find yourself in Aberdeenshire when it’s the growing season then this is the castle and gardens you must visit! Crathes Castle is a 16th century tower house with beautiful walled gardens containing yew hedges planted as early as 1702. I went inside of this castle for a moment and saw the amazing ceilings and oak everywhere but it was the gardens that grabbed and held my attention and had Billy frolicking like a spring calf.
The castle estate contains close to four acres of walled gardens separated into eight themed areas. While I wasn’t sure of some of the themes without reading the posted signs, they were all absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see all of them and that’s partially because I had two other castles I wanted to see that day (which in hindsight I could’ve missed in order to spend more time here) and we knew we needed to be somewhere for lunch before places closed. Restaurants in Scotland are not open at the hours we Americans are used to.
The map here of the gardens show how they are arranged. We walked through five of them: the Golden, Red, Trough, Camel and the Croquet Lawn. The last three I could not quite figure out how to get to them; I’m sure I probably just strolled past an entry point while being entranced by a flower or chatting with one of the gardeners who were busy keeping things beautiful.
Four of the gardens converged here with the well trimmed tree in the middle of them.
Our wee coo was having the time of his life in the gardens, especially in the lovely flowers that were in bloom in May when we were there. I told him not to eat any of the flowers; the gardeners worked very hard tending to them. He did manage to get a few to munch on after giving one of the gardeners his best pretty please look.
Billy would’ve been quite content to stay here for the rest of the day but I told him I needed to visit the gift shop, another castle or two and that I was sure there would be more lemon cake with tea that afternoon we did not want to miss.
Before he could protest – although he did pause over the thought of cake again – it began to sprinkle and I had to put him back in my backpack and put on my raincoat. In this photo you can just see the tip of his tail in the lower left hand corner where he was saying farewell to the gardens before I tucked him away.
Next – Billy is King of a foggy castle
Teri and Billy 📷