We headed out to Drum Castle this weekend for a little family adventure. It is only about 10 miles outside of Aberdeen, and the bus route runs fairly close to the castle.
The adventure began when our bus driver forgot to let us off at our stop. Crossed the road to catch a return bus; waited 20 minutes; begged to get a free ride on the return bus (with a note from our previous driver) back to our stop near the castle. But we eventually got to the right road and started walking...
We weren't sure how far it was to the castle. Two sources said it was only 1/2 mile, but after we had walked more than that already and no castle in sight, I started to doubt my information. We finally stopped and ate a lunch on a grassy noll by the road side. The picture above was the view we enjoyed with our picnic.
We made it just in time to get inside as the rain started. It poured down rain, with some rumbling of thunder in the distance. As we toured the beautiful interior, Joshua would run to the windows of each room to enjoy the rain.
As we finished the inside tour, the rain had slowed to a sprinkle, perfect for a little exploration of the exterior.
Here is a shot of the front of the castle. This part of the castle was added to original 15th century structure late in the 17th century. Abigail mostly focused on the pebbles covering the paths all over the grounds.
Joshua was excited about the little chapel that was in the courtyard. He was struck by how wonderful it sounded to have your church in your own yard.
The main defensive tower is one of the oldest intact structures in Scotland, dating back to the 1320's. Joshua was excited that this castle has a flag flying from the top of the tower (you can see the small speck of the flag above his head).
Inside the tower, the main room where the soldiers would have stayed was entirely as it was in the 14th century (except a few electric lights), with sandy floors and open windows. About halfway up this arched ceiling would have been the room where the soldiers slept. This flooring/ceiling is now gone, but we could see the supports on the side walls. Abigail was fascinated with the sand on the floor and was quite dusty by the time we left the tower. We were disappointed that the rain and storm forced them to close the top / roof of the tower.
This castle is rumored to have beautiful gardens, especially the ancient rose gardens, but it was beginning to rain again and it was getting late (not to mention that the roses won't be in bloom until July). We did walk around a small pond and enjoyed some of the gardens closer to the house.
Joshua was thrilled with this "green pond." The surface was completely covered with algae and looked solid until you threw rocks at it. Needless to say, we threw a lot of rocks before our adventures were through.
We had a good time on our visit to Drum Castle. It would have been nice if the weather had been better so we could have explored the gardens and the children's play area near the car park. It is also a little harder with the kids to tour intact castles, rather than ruins; there are so many things that you can't touch.
We could not take pictures inside, but I would have loved to show you the library. One of the late Lairds converted a huge room into his library, with shelves lining the walls filled with old books of theology and law, history and biographies. Quite beautiful!
Check out the rest of our pictures on Facebook: Drum Castle - June 2010