Friday, May 13, 2011

Auchindoun Castle

On one of our family weekends, we took a little drive out to Auchindoun Castle for a tour. This is an unmanned castle managed by Historic Scotland, so we hit it at the end of the day. But it was still beautiful and, because we were further inland, it was also warm.


You have to park down at the road and walk in on the farm access roads up to the castle. It is a beautiful location. I love these hills on the edge of the Cairngorms Mountains.


After rounding a corner, we caught our first view of the castle up on the hill behind the trees. Just a warning if you plan to visit here, this next road had some pretty good mud on it ... and it hadn't rained in at least a week prior to our visit ... so bring wellies (boots).


This is a small castle, located in the middle of sheep and cow pastures. There isn't much climbing, although had we not been with kids I might have scaled the walls to check out the upper floor (not a hard climb). I love the look of this castle; it is almost like someone just removed this outer wall to give us a view of the inside.


The kids did attempt a climb of the old stair case, though now it is just a pile of rocks. There is a back fallen stair that can give access to the upper floor, that is currently intact. It looks like they are doing some repair and maintenance work on this site that may open up more areas to explore.


We had a nice time wandering around, and I thoroughly enjoyed the view of the river and surrounding hillsides. You have to check out the pictures in our online album to see the rest of the sights. It was early in the spring, so the hillsides were still dark brown with bloom (or Scotch Bloom, as you may know it in the States) before the yellow flowers burst out a few weeks after our trip.


On the way back to our car, we wandered through the sheep field (we had gone around the long way on the walk in). The little lambs were so cute, but also scattered very quickly before we caught any pictures. We also got a lot of attention from the field of cows; they all stopped to look at us and moo!


The walk back to the car was beautiful as the sun started to set. The end of a wonderful day! I'm pretty sure Abigail fell asleep on the way home.

There are more online pictures of Auchindoun Castle in our FB album.

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