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Castles, gardens, crafts and more

Here at Balneden we are very lucky to be surrounded by so many interesting places of historical importance – castles, gardens, local traditional crafts and even battle fields.

The remains of our nearest castle are at Drumin, in Glenlivet, about 8 miles away. Although very little remains, Drumin Castle is a great place to visit for its views. It is also steeped in history, with suggestions that it may even have its origins as an iron-age dun. The remains of the castle today were probably built by the “Wolf of Badenoch’s” grandson in the late 1400’s. “The Wolf”, Alexander Stewart, the son of King Robert II, also held the strongholds of Loch an Eilean and Lochindorb, both magical places to visit.

Ballindalloch Castle lies about 15 miles away from Balneden and is another great place to explore. The castle was built in 1546 by the Macpherson-Grant family, descendants of whom still own and live in it today – a family that has held up to the test of time for sure.

Venturing south over the Lecht, Corgarff Castle - a medieval tower house, Braemar Castle and Balmoral are all within easy reach. Heading east, further into Moray, Cawdor Castle and Brodie Castle are also worth visiting.

Nearer home, Knockando Woolmill takes you back in time to how working life use to be for the weaver. In addition, if you enjoy more contemporary arts and crafts, then Logie Steading, south of Forres, makes for a very enjoyable day out. The gardens and woodland walks may even tempt you to go for a wander.

Close to home, the Scalan, hidden in The Braes of Glenlivet and an old catholic seminary, is another intriguing place you may enjoy exploring. Further afield, the Battlefields of Culloden are a must if you wish to delve into the battles of the Jacobite uprising. In contrast to the battlefield, the Clava Cairns, 2 miles south of Culloden, are very impressive bronze age chambered tombs, with their own story to tell and well worth the diversion.