Craigievar Castle

Craigievar Castle, Alford: Hours, Address, Craigievar Castle Reviews: 4.5/5

Craigievar Castle
4.5
Saturday
10:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
10:30 AM - 4:00 PM
About
17th-century castle owned by the same family for over 350 years. Open April to September; access is by guided tours only. There are steep spiral stairs to the upper floors. A stunning castle in a wonderful setting, said to be the inspiration for Disney's castles.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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4.5
426 reviews
Excellent
266
Very good
124
Average
23
Poor
4
Terrible
9

rdjones687
Agadir, Morocco29 contributions
Waste of time.
Sep 2021
No pre-booking allowed, so after one hour drive, arrived at Craigievar Castle at 1230 Sunday 19/9/21. 1245 was offered 1545 admission. 3 hour wait with no walled garden or cafe? Declined. Complained via NTS website 19/9/21: no reply. 10/10/21 emailed NT Scotland: staff member of Craigievar who'd offered 3 hour wait replied 10/10/21 justifying his own position & attaching NTS Covid ponderings. Unhelpful!

NTS needs to consider:
Waste of time, petrol & damage to planet by average 2-hour round trip & no admittance
£3.00 parking charge for unlikely admittance to castle.
6 other NTS properties we visited during same 11-day holiday have similar issues, but were welcoming & readily accessible, particularly helpful for disabilities.
Written 10 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sarah P
2 contributions
Dont bother unless you have a day to dedicate to this
Sep 2021 • Couples
Dont bother going unless you have the time to show up at 1030 and then to come back later that day. We understand Covid means reduced numbers but every other attraction we have visited (large or small) has dealt super well with it, this attraction is poor. We wasted £3 on 10 mins in the car park, only to be told nothing was available that today and to come back tomorrow. All issues could be resolved with online booking or at least a sign on the road to say "Full".
Written 19 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jan Dunn
Wrexham County, UK9 contributions
Don't bother going if you want to see inside the castle.
Sep 2021 • Couples
This is a National Trust property that says you CAN'T book but works on a first come first serve basis which turns out not to be true.
We arrived there at 12.00 on a Saturday (because it only opens a few days a week).
We were told there were no spaces left (although they were open until 4). We asked him when they were next open and he said the Sunday.
So we went back the next day and arrived at 10.30am, as soon as they opened.
We were greeted by the same man as the day before who said there were no spaces until 12.30!
When we asked how this was possible if you can't book he didn't really have a decent answer. Then the people behind us said they had been given a time slot for that day as they had turned up the day before and not been able to get in either.
We asked why he had not suggested that to us the day before but again got no reasonable answer. He did tell us that some of the people in the cottages on the estate had already booked, which is fair enough but there are only three cottages there.
We could have paid £3 parking each day for no reason although luckily we are NT members. We have been to numerous NT properties with no problems.
Written 19 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Freedom770094
Manchester, UK22 contributions
Lovely place
Aug 2021 • Family
Took the little one, 8 hour journey, she was happy, make sure u book the tour, time slots, parking is cheap, wc on site……zz
Written 1 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Connie-Dave
Watford, UK34 contributions
Our favourite castle
Aug 2021
You have to book a slot to visit,we were very lucky and arrived early,getting the first slot. We loved the personal tour,the guides chatted for about 10 minutes,telling us wonderful history tales and then we were shown to the next area where another guide was waiting for us. The castle was beautiful and unique and the staff were extremely informative .
Written 29 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

DMFL76
Northants101 contributions
Wasted trip and poorly organised
Aug 2021 • Couples
Extremely disappointing visit. We drove over an hour to get to Craigievar, paid the obligatory £3 parking to be told by a particularly unhelpful member of staff when we arrived at the house, that they were not accepting any further visitors for the day...it was shortly before 1.30 when we arrived and the castle closed at 4pm. He suggested we arrived for 10am the following day when the castle reopened in the hope we'd get in. It is not possible to book in advance and entry is on a first come, first served basis. He suggested people had been waiting for over 2 hours to gain access.

Other than the castle and grounds, there are no other facilities i.e. cafe to while away the time. Needless to say, we came away feeling annoyed.

On the whole, we felt the situation was mismanaged. Loads of people arrived after us, paid their parking and will have found out shortly after they couldn't gain access. Even if a notice had been put at the paying machine that entry to the castle was closed it would allow people to make their decision before paying mandatory parking charges. We hung around for about 20 mins letting people know they couldn't get in before paying parking while we figured out our new plan.

Come in Craigievar, get your act together. Sadly you've blotted your card with us. We won't be back.
Written 29 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
While we appreciate your disappointment at not being able to get into the castle I hope that all our visitors appreciate that owing to the layout of the castle and in order to follow Covid-19 guidelines, we can only take family groups / bubbles at 10 minute intervals thus keeping our visitors and staff as safe as possible. This limits the total number of time-slots and therefore groups / bubbles we can admit to the castle in the course of a day. Depending on the number of visitors the wait for the next available time-slot can vary from a few minutes to hours; also there is no way we can predict the demand from hour to hour or day to day. On the day in question the wait had varied from 45 minutes first thing in the morning, to 5 minutes around midday and then over a 20 minute period all the remaining time-slots had been taken on the 'first-come, first-served' basis that we, and many other NTS properties, operate. We don't offer a pre-booking system owing to the fact that when we have operated on in the past we have suffered from people not showing up at their pre-booked time and the 'knock-on' effect that has had. We hope that next year we will be able return to a more normal way of welcoming our visitors to this historic castle.
Written 1 September 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

bug9218
Northern Ireland93 contributions
A Pink Palace
May 2021 • Couples
This is a National Trust property so if you are not a member then this can be a pricey visit Adult £14.50. Saying that we still enjoyed our visit. You enter the castle at 10 minute intervals to ensure social distancing. Guides in soon rooms to explain the history of the castle which was nice. A little hard to find but if you are in the area well worth a visit.
Written 1 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

George W
Aberdeen, UK118 contributions
Been a few times
May 2020 • Couples
Pink castle....ehh Tower House.
Not much to it really over rated rich kids house. Nothing more. Of you want to see the same elsewhere visit NTS sites, they're all the same.
Written 16 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Although the National Trust for Scotland manages a number of castles each one is unique in it's own special way as the history of the castle and the families who lived there vary widely. Some have been owned by many families others with just a few. Craigievar was only owned by two families, the Mortimers and the Forbes, with the last of the Forbes leaving in the early 1960's. Not only are the histories different but the interiors also vary widely from the spartan to the luxurious. The NTS looks after a wide variety properties and the countryside
Written 26 July 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sarah G
Harrogate, UK1,315 contributions
Lovely and pink
Sep 2020
Very photogenic and pink castle. Sadly not open on the day we visited, loved taking photos though of the outside.
Written 10 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Betts95
Sevenoaks, UK288 contributions
Beautiful Castle!
Jan 2021
Such a beautiful castle in such a stunning area! I have never seen a castle like this one ever! During lock down the grounds are still open for you to visit and walk around.
Written 2 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Craigievar Castle

Craigievar Castle is open:
  • Sat - Sun 10:30 - 16:00
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