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Ballindalloch Castle, Ballindalloch

4.4
#3 of 10 in Historic Sites in Moray
Castle Tourist Spot
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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218 reviews
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4.3
  • Unlike many other famous ones this castle allows you into every room as well as roaming in their gardens freely. If you want to see a castle in depth, this is the one. It also comes with a cafe that p...  more »
  • We enjoyed our trip to the castle - it was fun seeing a castle that was still in use and seeing a mix of old and new furniture. There's a nice gift shop and tea room and the gardens are great. Also, p...  more »
  • This may well be off the beaten track but it is well worth a visit. We visited early June and were fortunate with fine weather as the gardens and grounds which you can walk around are stunning. We ent...  more »
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  • Beautiful castle and grounds. This castle still feels very much like a family home. Well worth a visit. The new distillery is beautiful (the attention to detail and use of local skills was a delight) and the tour was really informative and delivered with obvious love and passion for what is being created.
  • Unusual looking castle , partly still inhabited by the family residence. Nice grounds to walk around
  • Lovely old family castle. The distillery is small and really quaint
  • 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.