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Ballindalloch Castle, Ballindalloch

(4.5/5 based on 190+ reviews on the web)
Ballindalloch Castle, known as the "pearl of the north", is a Scottish castle located in Banffshire, Scotland. It has been the family home of Macpherson-Grants since 1546.HistoryThe first tower of the Z plan castle was built in 1546. After it was plundered and burned by James Graham, the first Marquess of Montrose, it was restored in 1645.Extensions were added in 1770 by General James Grant of the American Wars of Independence (whose ghost is said to haunt the castle) and in 1850 by the architect Thomas MacKenzie. Further extensions carried out in 1878 were mostly demolished during and modernisations enacted in 1965. It has been continuously occupied by the Russell and Macpherson-Grant families throughout its existence.The castle houses an important collection of 17th century Spanish paintings. The dining room of Ballindalloch is said to be haunted by a ghost known as The Green Lady.The castle grounds contain a 20th-century rock garden and a 17th-century dovecote. The rivers Spey and Avon flow through the grounds, offering excellent fishing. The famous Aberdeen Angus cattle herd resides in the castle estate.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • A truly beautiful castle, which is also a private home. Beautifully restored and maintained. Grounds amazing. And had the honour of being their first public guests of the tour season. Tea Room beautif...  more »
  • This is the most homely lived in castle we have visited and a true reflection of a real castle that is lived in! The rooms you could just imaging sitting in them or sleeping in the beds! The cafe is v...  more »
  • Really enjoyed our visit here. Beautiful castle and gardens and comfortable coffee shop. Helped that it was on hottest day of the year. Beautiful walks to river too.  more »
Google
  • Don't bother if you have a dog.... We came across a leaflet that described Ballindalloch as dog friendly, in my opinion they most certainly are not. After we had paid at the main kiosk, the lady gave us a map & then advised us that our dog was restricted to a small area of the grounds off the car park called the labyrinth. This meant we could not explore any of the castle, grounds, walks or even sit outside the cafe unless the dog was left unattended in the car, we were basically confined to the car park. The website actually suggests you leave your dog unattended in the car whilst on your visit. This is not an option for us, so my family & I had to visit the castle in relay. Ironically we met a local lady (in the car park) & her children who had just seen the owner of the property near the walk to the river, who's dogs were happily running around off the lead. We appreciate & expect restrictions to the property and gardens, but to not even be allowed to take the dog on a lead through any woodland or river walk around the grounds, & be expected to leave the dog unattended in a locked car left a very bitter taste. There is no doubt that the house & it's setting is beautiful, but i would not advise a visit if you are a dog owner.
  • Lovely, well-kept grounds and a wealth of history here to enjoy learning about! The tea room is wonderful and you CANNOT miss the cake. I had the hummingbird cake and it was incredible, but I have no doubt they all are. Friendly, professional staff as well. I only had 2 hours and definitely wish I had at least double the time.
  • Just loved this place. We went down the road to the golf course and distillery and did the tour. Their distillery is only a few years old, and uses the traditional methods to make whisky. The first batch will only be released in 2022, and I look forward to trying a dram or two. If you go on the tour, you'll get a tasting from the Earl's private collection - none are on sale and are all 18 years or older. Highly recommend coming here!
  • Beautiful castle with a friendly welcome. Pleasant tea room with a good menu and decent prices. A great day out for all ages.
  • Lovely place. Friendly staff and great grounds. Even though I am an adult loved the fact they had hidden lego figures around the castle.