Things to do & places to visit in the area
On the estate
You can either read a book by the fireside or you can organise for a massage carried out by a professional masseuse directly in your room, or enjoy a tailor-made and personal whiskey and gin tasting in the drawing room . . .
Courses held at Craigston at specific times of year include painting and cookery, and we are always open to other suggestions.
There are a number of lovely walks just outside the front door.
Mountain bikes are available for hire.
Board games, croquet mallets, and badminton and football equipment are all available.
Fishing can be arranged both on the estate’s beat, on the River Deveron (famous for trout and salmon) as well as on other beats.
Click on the image on the right for Visit Scotland's guide to fishing in Scotland.
Scotland is famous for being the home of Golf and here in the northeast we have over 70 golf courses to choose from, ranging from stunning links to lush parkland venues. With so many of these courses within a 45 minute drive, we are ideally situated to allow the keen golfer to play on a different course every day of the week, including the world famous Royal Aberdeen and the Trump International Golf links. Through our partners, with prior notice, we can organise a golfing itinerary that is tailored to your specific requirements and abilities.
Click on the image on the right for a free guide to Golf in Scotland.
Here is a little video inspiration for Golfers:
Shooting is available locally but must be booked in advance.
Horse riding in Aberdeenshire offers the keen horse rider over 208 kilometers of unspoilt coastline with stunning, often deserted beaches. Beach riding ranges from long stretches of clean golden sand to dramatic rock and shingle. There are a number of equestrian centres close by.
Introducing Whisky in Aberdeenshire:
There is a long tradition of whisky-making in the Grampian Highlands - especially in the Speyside area (30 minutes away). Here you will find a fabulous Malt Whisky Trail which includes eight different distilleries, each with their own special features.
If you take The Malt Whisky Trail you can visit Benromach, Cardhu, Dallas Dhu Historic Distllery, Glenfiddich, Glen Grant, The Glenlivit, Glen Moray, Speyside Cooperage, Strathisla.
The Balvenie Distillery
Royal Lochnagar Distilleries
Click on the image on the right for a free guide to the Speyside Malt Whisky Trail.
Please note however that most of these activities must be booked far in advance, ideally at the time of booking your stay.
Nicknamed Scotland’s secret dolphin coast, Bannfshire is a place of undisturbed natural beauty where dolphins, gannets, porpoises, puffins, and the occasional whale make their home. It is dotted with fishing villages such as Penan (famous for the filming of “Local Hero”), Sandend and Crovie which have remained remarkably well preserved and which have resisted the advances of too much modern development.
The coastline is dramatic and breathtaking but very accessible and safe with many cliff top walks and wonderful beaches.
"Explore our coastline’s rugged land and sprawling shores ... Wonder at our 300 year old harbour’s stunning stonework ... Watch dolphins leaping and gannets diving ... Engage with skilled traditional boat builders at work ... Stroll through streets lined with fascinating historic architecture..."
Find our more of what is in and around Portsoy at Portsoy.org
There are a great many castles to see in Aberdeenshire and many form part of the Castle trail. The must-see castle, of course, is Balmoral Castle on Royal Deeside which was bought by Queen Victoria 1852. Others in the area include Haddo Country Park, Fyvie Castle, and Craigievar (which inspired Walt Disney to create the castle we see in his famous films).
Aberdeenshire has a stunning coastline with vast, spectacular sandy beaches and picturesque fishing villages.
Nature and Wildlife
Nature Reserves in Aberdeenshire include: Sands of Forvie (a beautiful spot with endless sand dunes and plentiful birdlife); the Loch of Strathbeg (home to 252 species of bird, including 20 per cent of the world's population of pink-footed geese); and Glen Tanar. With prior notice we can organise personalised tours with your very own experienced guide.
The Cairngorms National Park
Click on the image on the right for a guide to The Cairngorms National Park.
Through partners, there are thousands of acres of land that can be accessed for a day's shooting. Tailor-made days out for geese, duck, pheasants, partridge, pigeons, roe or red deer can be arranged with prior notice. We can also arrange fishing on a great many of the famous local salmon and sea trout rivers (Deveron, Spey etc).
In the summer months, the Lecht ski resort has a number of trails that are accessed by ski lifts.
Within two hours' drive there are a number of ski resorts, including Lecht, Aviemore and Glenshee.
Other local attractions include:
A Georgian estate house in nearby Banff is part of the National Galleries of Scotland and houses a range of art treasures and superbly furnished rooms.
The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses, based in the fishing port of Fraserburgh, consists of the first lighthouse built on mainland Scotland and a purpose-built museum.
A local museum with material relating to the social and natural history of the town and immediate district. Collections include scientific instruments which belonged to the astronomer James Ferguson and the natural history collection of Thomas Edward.
Marine Aquarium, Macduff
Features marine life from the Moray Firth, Scotland’s largest bay. Visitors come face-to-face with hundreds of native fish and invertebrates normally only seen by scuba divers who brave the chilly waters of the North Sea.
North East Falconry Centre, Huntly
Open throughout the summer with regular flying demonstrations.
A little further away (1 hour drive from Craigston), magnificently ruined Dunnottar Castle is perched high on a seacliff. A couple of miles north of Dunnottar sits the attractive fishing town of Stonehaven.
Monster games of hide and seek in 17th century closet and passageways. Full contact soccer on the front lawn. A treasure hunt and morning jogs in the forests and trails of the grounds. Lively meals round the enormous tables. Coffee and port by the fire in the drawing room with the kids asleep in the towers upstairs. Claus and Barbara were terrific hosts, gracious and friendly, with tips spot on for beaches, wildlife, golfing, and distilleries. A uniquely wonderful place.