Spring open-air market added at Banchory's Crathes Castle

Open-air markets have proved to be so successful at Banchory’s Crathes Castle that the organisers have decided to add extra dates this year.

By Kevin McRoberts
Friday, 4th March 2022, 8:14 am
Updated Friday, 4th March 2022, 8:14 am

Originally held inside the castle in the lead up to Christmas, the market moved outside to comply with regulations when the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

It turned out to be a popular move, and last year an autumn event was held as well as the regular Christmas market.

As demand continues to grow, a third spring market is being added for 2022.

The open-air markets have proved to be extremely popular with visitors to the castle.

A spokesperson for Exclusively Highlands, organiser of the event, said: “Originally, between around 2008 to 2019, the market was held inside the castle, over three floors – so many spiral stairs – and the Horse Mill building, situated next to the castle cafe.

“We would have around 50 exhibitors between the two locations and welcome around 1500 people over the three days at our Christmas event.

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“Having moved the event to an outdoor location for much easier social distancing, we were able to offer space to another 30 exhibitors. We used the lawn in front of the horse mill, and we also retained that indoor space as it's quite roomy and all on the ground floor.

The market was initially moved out on to the lawn to allow for better social distancing.

“This was a huge success for us as we saw our visitor numbers more than double.

“Last year saw us put on our first two-day autumn event as well as our regular Christmas market. We were absolutely blessed with beautiful weather and 20c.

“Due to the overwhelming popularity of these events we were asked by our exhibitors to try a spring market this year which we’re delighted to do.”

The spring market will be on May 21 and 22, and this will be followed by a summer event on July 30 and 31, and then the Christmas market on November 11, 12 and 13. Market will open from 10am each day, with last entry at 3pm.

Ellon Gin has exhibited at previous markets, with visitors keen to try the product.

Visitors are able to shop from a range of beautiful crafts, including ceramics, metal work, stain glass, textiles, jewellery, candles, needle felt, soap and fine art.

They can also enjoy a range of different food produce including seafood, wild game, fudge, marshmallows and chocolates, and try gin, whisky, liqueurs and botanical spirits. Artisan street food is also available.

Moving the market outdoors has allowed the organiser to increase the number of exhibitors.
The Horse Mill building, next to the lawn and all on ground level, continues to be used for the markets.
There are plenty of opportunities for visitors to enjoy something to eat and drink at the markets.