Castle gears up for season

As spring approaches, Crathes Castle, the 16th century tower house conserved by the National Trust for Scotland, is gearing up for spring with a programme of events aimed at entertaining, informing and educating visitors of all ages.

Gareth Clingan, property manager said: “The castle, gardens and estate are beautiful throughout the year. However for me, spring is especially inspiring and I’m looking forward to welcoming visitors as we approach what is traditionally one of our busiest periods of the year. I’m delighted with the range of activities we have planned for spring and I would urge anyone interested in participating to make sure they book places in advance.”

For children, there are a series of ranger-guided events, including an Easter holiday wildlife quiz, available between March 31 and April 15, ‘It’s a Frog’s Life’, a guided walk on Tuesday, April 3, which will include games, crafts and the chance to observe tadpoles and, on Wednesday, April 4, a special guided walk for 3-5 year-olds which looks at how the local wildlife reacts to the coming of spring. As well as all this, the Cadbury Easter egg trail returns to Crathes over the Easter weekend, from Saturday to Monday, April 7 to 9.

Keen gardeners get the chance to learn how to grow a dazzling herbaceous border at head gardener Chris Wardle’s masterclass on Saturday, April 21, whilst on-site activities, including the Go Ape! tree top adventure gives visitors the chance to unleash their inner Tarzan.

On Saturday, June 16, they will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of the National Trust for Scotland first opening Crathes to the public. As part of the celebrations there will be activities in the garden and a chance to hear more about the castle’s collections from the Trust’s curator Ian Gow. In the garden, there will be a new trail where kids of all ages can explore the walled garden, finding the gardeners’ tools and implements and learn what they are used for.

Outside theatre company Illyria returns to Crathes on Saturday, July 14, with the Roald Dahl’s classic, The Twits. This is a picnic concert on the lawn not to be missed. Also returning to Crathes this year will be the legendary musical duo of Aly Bain & Phil Cunningham. They will entertain the crowds on the spectacular castle lawn on Saturday, August 4. Tickets can be bought at www.nts.org.uk/events.

The castle itself offers the chance for people to immerse themselves in its magnificent architecture and history and, for regular visitors, there’s the opportunity to view the impact of the maintenance, repair and conservation work carried out over the winter.

No visit to the castle would be complete without a relaxed stroll through the beautiful walled garden and estate.

For more information or booking, call 0844 493 2167.