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Historic properties in Aberdeenshire to hold festive events this winter

By Kyle Ritchie

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The National Trust for Scotland is urging visitors to experience the special places in its care this winter in Aberdeenshire.

There will be a variety of activities and family events on offer to help create treasured memories with loved ones this festive period and into the new year.

Visitors are encouraged to make the most of the conservation charity’s properties in Aberdeenshire with a wealth of outdoor adventures available alongside entertaining indoor events for all ages.

Drum Castle is one of the historic venues holding festive events.
Drum Castle is one of the historic venues holding festive events.

From stunning walks through its gardens and wildlife spotting on its woodland trails, to guided tours of its properties, Christmas trails and carol concerts, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

The charity, which protects and shares Scotland’s nature, beauty and heritage for everyone thanks to the help of its members and supporters, had more than 350,000 visitors to its Aberdeenshire and Angus properties this year.

The enduring popularity of the National Trust for Scotland’s winter events continues with Santa experiences at some of its properties already selling out, so visitors are urged to book tickets in advance on its website to avoid disappointment.

Iain Hawkins, National Trust for Scotland’s regional director for the north-east region, said: “We’re excited to welcome visitors to our special places in Aberdeenshire and Angus this winter season, where they can share this magical time of year with their loved ones and create treasured memories to last a lifetime.

"Whether you love Christmas activities or prefer to avoid them, our properties offer the perfect winter playground with a variety of different activities for visitors to experience.

"Whether it’s fun family days out or adventurous excursions with friends, visitors can discover the stunning gardens, breathtaking landscapes and historic buildings in our care, with something to suit everyone, while supporting conservation at the same time.

"It’s thanks to our members and supporters for their ongoing generosity that we’re able to continue our work to enhance and protect Scotland’s natural and cultural heritage now and for future generations to enjoy.”

Castle Fraser, Garden and Estate near Inverurie will have the castle, shop, tearoom, garden and grounds open.

It offers a Christmas wonderland perfect for those who love the festive season. Visitors can join a guided tour of one of Scotland’s largest tower houses by candlelight to explore Christmas traditions through the ages and learn about its history.

Book a space for young ones to meet Santa to share their Christmas wish lists or venture into the traditional walled garden and parkland around the castle offering an escape for Christmas-weary visitors to enjoy.

Crathes Castle, Garden and Estate, Banchory, will have the castle, shop, café, gardens and grounds open (play park closed).

Visitors can enjoy a stroll around the castle’s traditional walled garden or set off on an adventure to explore the signposted woodland trails on the estate, perfect for wildlife spotting along the way.

Alongside the more active pursuits, the collections team will be giving a behind the scenes tour to look at how they care for the artefacts within the castle’s collections.

Advance booking is advised to avoid disappointment with tickets available from the property’s Eventbrite page.

Drum Castle, Garden and Estate, near Banchory, will have the castle, shop, tearoom and grounds open (Garden of Historic Roses and play park closed)

Join a tour of this medieval tower house to admire its mix of Jacobean and Victorian interiors and learn about the property’s 700 years of history.

The Visit Santa events offer young ones full of the festive spirit the chance to meet St Nicholas to share their Christmas wishes, with quiet sessions also available. Advance booking on the property’s Eventbrite page is recommended.

Haddo House, Ellon, will have the house, shop, café, garden and grounds open.

Visit Santa events will provide the perfect opportunity for kids to meet Father Christmas at Haddo House, the Palladian stately home designed in 1732 by William Adam.

Those looking for an antidote to festive fever at this time of year can admire the traditional terraced garden, while those wishing to venture further can explore Haddo Country Park, right on the doorstep.

All these winter events support the National Trust for Scotland’s vision to care for, share and protect Scotland’s nature, beauty and heritage for everyone to enjoy, as outlined in its 10-year strategy, launched in 2022.

These events help to deliver its engagement objectives to provide access and enjoyment for everyone.

Visit the National Trust for Scotland website for further information about property opening times and events.

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