Sunday, April 8, 2018

Explore Castles, Gardens and the Great Outdoors with National Trust for Scotland Membership

Every year, we visit Scotland during the children's summer holidays, mainly for the cooler climate so we can spend our time exploring the outdoors and nature Scotland has to offer.

One of the best things we did during our visit last year was getting our hands on the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) membership / pass. With the membership, members can enjoy unlimited free entry to the NTS properties around Scotland, for a year.

It was fantastic as we got to visit numerous beautiful castles around Scotland, and the membership entitles you to guided tours around the properties where you can learn more about the history of each property. The cost of the annual pass works out to be roughly the same as 4-5 single entry tickets, so going for the annual pass is definitely the way to go (plus you get free parking for a year at all properties!).

For families, you can purchase a family pass for 2 adults and up to 6 children for £102 per year (vs £27 per entry). Don't worry about your kids getting bored during the tour as each property comes up with a quiz or activity sheet for the kids to complete along the tour, which I found to be very good and interactive, and keeps the children amused. In the summer months, there are also fun activities for kids, conducted by the Rangers at a small fee - such as this interesting A Bat's Life at Drum Castle.

Here are some of the beautiful properties that we visited during our trip (mostly in Aberdeenshire and Dundee & Angus). Please check with property if photography is allowed.

Craigievar Castle

One of the prettiest castles, this beautiful pink castle said to be the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle.

House of Dun

My favorite NTS property! An elegant 18th century Georgian country house designed by renowned architect William Adam set amid glorious gardens and woodland. The architect was known for his love of symmetry, as can be appreciated when viewing the exterior of the building and can be seen indoors too. Admire the extravagant plasterwork in the saloon by Joseph Enzer.

Drum Castle

One of Scotland’s oldest tower houses. Please also visit the beautiful Garden of Historic Roses. Fantastic play area for kids too!

Fyvie Castle

Another magnificent property, featuring a 800-year old fortress with an impressive portrait collection, including works by Raeburn.

Castle Fraser

How often do you get to play LEGO in a castle? Well, our visit here coincided with a LEGO event so our kids got the chance to do so! :)  Discover quirky features such as the Laird’s Lug, hidden trapdoors, secret staircases and a spy hole! You'll also get to visit the properties rooftop area for a great view of the surroundings.

Crathes Castle

What I love most here is the walled garden, where you can admire the massive yew hedges, planted as early as 1702 as well as the beautifully manicured garden. They have Hairy Coos (my fav!!) in the woodland too.

More photos here

Haddo House

An elegant and luxurious stately home designed by William Adam. Here you will find a painting of the Madonna, identified as being probably by Raphael. Do explore the vast grounds too.

Leith Hall

The house was donated by the Leith-Hay family to the National Trust for Scotland along with all their furnishings and art, making it one of the most complete collections in their care. Our visit coincided with a Teddy bear hunt (fun for the kids) and we also enjoyed a walk up one of the trails, through woodland and farmland leading up to Craigfall Hill for views of Mither Tap, Tap O' Noth and Correen Hills.

Pitmedden Garden

Best visit on a warm, summer days so you can enjoy the nature, flowers and plants in the garden.

Some of the passes available are: Adult pass £57.00 per year, Joint adult (2 adults) £96.00 per year, One adult family (1 adult + 6 children) £66.00 per year or Family (2 adults + 6 children) £102.00 per year. Check out National Trust for Scotland page for more info on how to join.

*Yay we were mentioned in National Trust for Scotland's Facebook page ;)

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1 comment:

  1. Beautiful, Scotland! They say it is the most beautiful in all of the UK.


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