Craigston Castle

  • 10 Guests
  • 6 Bedrooms
  • 8 Beds
  • 5 Bathrooms

Historic Castle for a relaxing escape from the bustle of the city

5 en-suite Bedrooms Castle In The Heart Of Scotland in Aberdeenshire (Dyce)

They say an Englishman's home is his castle. Well, now a Scotsman's castle can be your home.

Come and stay in Craigston Castle. Built by, and home to, the Urquhart family since 1604, Craigston is located on the north east coast of Scotland – considered by National Geographic to be one of the most beautiful coast lines in the world. As guests of the Urquhart family you will have your choice of room, each beautifully decorated with period furniture including original four-poster beds. Each room has its own bathroom. Cots are available upon request.In the evening you can sit by a roaring log fire in the drawing or ante-drawing rooms and enjoy a good whisky from one of the many local distilleries.


Craigston Castle is thought to belong to the Bell Group of Scottish castles, forming “perhaps Scotland’s finest and the most distinctive contribution to western architecture” (H. Gordon Slade).

The Urquhart family is one of the oldest in Scotland and can be traced back to Adam Urquhart the sheriff of Cromarty in 1357. However, according to the great Sir Thomas Urquhart (1611-1660) translator of Rabelais, the family can even be traced back to Adam and Eve through remarkable ancestors including Esormon Ourochartos (Prince of Achaia who married Narfesid, Sovereign of the Amazons) and Bithiah, the Pharaoh’s daughter who found Moses in the bulrushes. These fantastic claims are symptomatic of the family’s fondness for the romantic and the strange.

John Urquhart of Craigfintry, known as the Tutor of Cromarty, built the castle between 1604 – 1607. He took a long time to select the best place for the castle that was to be his legacy, and, unusually for the time, had a marked influence on the final project. The exposed Turriff sandstone emphasizes squareness and strength. Two main wings flanking the entrance and connected by an elevated arch, are surmounted by a richly Gothic inspired corbelled parapet, regarded by many as one of the finest examples in Scotland. There are bases for corner turrets near the top corner of each wing, but the turrets themselves were never completed.

Captain John Urquhart (b.1696) bought back the Castle after it had been sold 15 years previously to pay off debts. He had the means to do this due to his career in privateering, at the time a perfectly respectable way of living, and was therefore in the family known as the Pirate. In 1733 he commissioned William Adam, the foremost architect of the time, to prepare a lay-out of grounds 
and design the wings that were added in 1733-4.

In 1838 John Smith (the architect of Balmoral) designed the new entrance doorway. Smith also designed a two storey addition, but this was not carried out.

The castle has a fully equipped traditional kitchen, with modern appliances for self catering. Meals can be eaten in the kitchen or dining room.

Your hosts can help you choose from the best local produce: game, lamb and Highland beef from the estate; fish from nearby Macduff; and seasonal, organic vegetables from our neighbour.

Complimentary wifi is provided.

Please note there is a small burn that flows 30 yards away to one side of the castle and this small area is not suitable for unsupervised children.

Dogs Allowed: YES. Maximum of 2 only. Additional charge per booking. Restricted to ground floor only

Car: necessary

Whilst staying at Craigston you have an excess of choice, by which I mean you can either stay at home and read a book or... Fishing can be arranged both on the estate’s beat, on the River Deveron (famous for trout and salmon) as well as on other beats; Shooting is available either on the estate or locally, but must be booked in advance. Through partners, there are thousands of acres of land that can be accessed for a day’s shooting. Tailor-made days out for geese, duck, pheasants, partridge, pigeons, roe or red deer can be arranged with prior notice; Walking, there are a number of lovely walks just outside the front door; Mountain biking, bikes are available for hire; Courses held at Craigston at specific times of year include painting and cookery, and we are always open to other suggestions; Games, board games, a pool table, croquet mallets, and badminton and football equipment are all available; Golf, the northeast of Scotland has 70 golf courses to choose from. We are ideally situated to allow the keen golfer to play on a different course every day of the week, including the world famous Royal Aberdeen and the Trump International Golf links. Through our partners, with prior notice, we can organise a golfing itinerary that is tailored to your specific requirements and abilities; Whisky trail

There is a long tradition of whisky-making in the Grampian Highlands – especially in the Spayside area (30 minutes away). Here you will find a fabulous malt whisky trail which includes eight different distilleries, each with their own special features. If you take the malt whisky trail you can visit Benromach, Cardhu, Dallas Dhu Historic Distllery, Glenfiddich, Glen Grant, The Glenlivit, Glen Moray, Spayside Cooperage, Strathisla. Some other local distilleries include:

Aberfeldy Distillery

Ardmore Distilleries

The Balvenie Distillery

Glendronach Distillery

Glengarioch Distilleries

Royal Lochnagar Distilleries

Bannfshire Coast

Nicknamed Scotland’s secret dolphin coast, Bannfshire is a place of undisturbed natural beauty where dolphins, gannets, porpoises, puffins, and the occasional whale make their home. It is dotted with fishing villages such as Penan (famous for the filming of “Local Hero”), Sandend and Crovie which have remained remarkably well preserved and which have resisted the advances of too much modern development.

The coastline is dramatic and breathtaking but very accessible and safe with many cliff top walks and wonderful beaches; Castles

There are a great many castles to see in Aberdeenshire and many form part of the Castle trail. The must-see castle, of course, is Balmoral Castle on Royal Deeside which was bought by Queen Victoria 1852. Others in the area include Haddo Country Park, Fyvie Castle, and Craigievar (which inspired Walt Disney to create the castle we see in his famous films); I think that about wraps it up.

Home highlights


Pets welcome

Wireless Broadband Internet



Parking & facilities

Parking, Parking option included, Private garden


Housekeeper optional, Laundry service optional


Accept credit card, Accessible 24/7, Children welcome, Pets allowed only after arrangement, Smoking not allowed, Wheelchair accessible

Kitchen & dining

BBQ charcoal grill, Children's high chair, Coffee machine, Cooking utensils, Grill, Kitchen stove, Oven, Refrigerator, Toaster

Bathroom & laundry

Bidet, Hair dryer, Iron & Board, Shower, Towel set

Heating & cooling

Central heating, Fireplace


TV (Satellite)

Internet & office

Wireless Broadband Internet

House Rules

  • Housekeeper Optional

  • Credit cards accepted

  • Children welcome

  • Pets allowed only after arrangement

  • Smoking not allowed

  • Wheelchair accessible



Policy and notes


Select check-in date



About host

Alex Guthrie

Contact us

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Craigston Castle
Turriff, United Kingdom
from €NaN per night