Historic Houses of Aberdeenshire

Historic Houses of Aberdeenshire

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tourhub | Brightwater Holidays | Historic Houses of Aberdeenshire | BHHA
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4 Days
From

$1169

$1110

Historic Houses of Aberdeenshire

4 Days Starting in Drumoak, Banchory AB31 5EY, UK and ending in Banchory AB31 5QH, UK

Visiting: Drum Castle - Garden & Estate, Ardoe House Hotel & Spa, Haddo House, Fyvie Castle, Castle Fraser, Craigievar Castle, Balmoral Castle, Crathes Castle

Tour operator:

Brightwater Holidays

Tour code:

BHHA

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

6 - 25

Physical rating:

Low, Gentle

Age range:

1-99

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians, Vegans, Meat, Please contact Brightwater with any specific dietary requirements

Tour operated in:
English
Trip Styles:

UK tours by Coach

Activities:

Sightseeing

From:
$1169
$1110 (USD) The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$58

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

Aberdeenshire is dotted with historic houses and castles, many of them outstanding examples of Scots Baronial architecture. Each one has a fascinating story to tell with countless legends and several royal connections.

Our tour starts with a bang at Drum Castle, where 700 years of history is woven into its battlements. Haddo House showcases the crisp neo-classical style of William Adam, while Fyvie Castle presents a prime example of the more extravagant Scots Baronial form. Castle Fraser is the most elaborate Z-plan castle in Scotland, while Craigievar seems simply to have grown naturally out of the rolling hills. The Queen’s late summer residence of Balmoral Castle is the most modern property we visit, though no less fascinating, and we conclude at glorious Crathes Castle, every inch the classic Scottish tower house.

Please note: several of the properties included in this tour are owned by the National Trust for Scotland and as many of our guests are NT/NTS members, we have not included admission costs for these properties. There is therefore a supplement of £100.00 for non-members.

Travel by luxury coach from our regular Scottish pick-ups is included, featuring:



Luxury leather seats with 3-point seat belts and arm rests, facing illuminated tables

Air conditioning/heating

Kitchen
efrigerator

Curtains and privacy glass

Air suspension

Highlights

  • Battlements, towers and sprawling extensions at Drum Castle

  • Georgian elegance at Haddo House, a typical Adam masterpiece

  • Castle Fraser, one of Scotland’s grandest baronial tower houses

  • 170 years of Royal history at Balmoral

  • Ghosts, legends and folklore at Fyvie

Places You'll See

Historic Houses Of Aberdeenshire

Historic Houses Of Aberdeenshire

Historic Houses Of Aberdeenshire

Historic Houses Of Aberdeenshire

Itinerary

Expand All
Day 1
Location: Drum Castle - Garden & Estate, Ardoe House Hotel & Spa
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

We depart by coach from our local pick-up points and head north stopping en route for lunch (not included).
In the afternoon we visit the Drum Castle and Gardens. The sweep of 700 years of history is stamped into Drum’s stalwart battlements, medieval square tower and sprawling extensions. The Royal Forest and Tower of Drum were given to the Irvine family by Robert the Bruce in 1323. Later a Jacobean mansion house was added, and in the Victorian era the lower hall was converted to a library.
The beautiful Garden of Historic Roses is divided into quadrants that show how roses have been cultivated from the 17th to the 20th century. The ancient oak forest adjoins the castle, providing a sense of continuity through the centuries and a home for red kites, roe deer, red squirrels and badgers.
Following our visit we continue to our accommodation with dinner served in the hotel’s restaurant in the evening.

Day 2
Location: Haddo House, Fyvie Castle
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast we will set off for our first visit of the day to Haddo House, which was designed by William Adam for the 2nd Earl of Aberdeen in 1732, and refurbished in the 1880s. Unusual for Aberdeenshire in that it is not a castle, the house elegantly blends crisp Georgian architecture with sumptuous late Victorian interiors by Wright and Mansfield and is noted for its fine furniture, paintings and antiques. Throughout the house personal portraits, monuments, plaques and memorabilia build up a fascinating account of the Gordon family who have lived at Haddo continuously for over 400 years. Paintings include works by Pompeo Batoni, William Mosman, Sir Thomas Lawrence and James Giles.
Haddo also boasts a delightful terrace garden with geometric rosebeds and fountain, commemorative trees, a lavish herbaceous border and secluded glades and knolls. A magnificent avenue of lime trees leads to Haddo Country Park with its lakes, monuments, walks and wildlife.
In the afternoon we visit Fyvie Castle. This magnificent fortress in the heart of Aberdeenshire is a prime example of Scots Baronial architecture, whose rooms are filled with antiquities, armour and lavish oil paintings. Ghosts, legends and folklore are all woven into the tapestry of Fyvie’s 800-year-old history. William the Lion was at Fyvie around 1214 and later Robert the Bruce and Charles I were among its royal guests. Guides are on hand to answer any questions.
Outside we find an 18th century walled garden developed as a garden of Scottish fruits and vegetables. There is also the American garden, Rhymer's Haugh woodland garden, a loch and parkland.
We return to our hotel, where dinner is served.

Day 3
Location: Castle Fraser, Craigievar Castle, Balmoral Castle
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Following breakfast we begin today at Castle Fraser, one of the grandest of the Scottish baronial tower houses. Built between 1575 and 1636 by the 6th laird, Michael Fraser, Castle Fraser is the most elaborate Z-plan castle in Scotland. One of the castle’s most evocative rooms is the strikingly simple Great Hall. The castle contains many Fraser family portraits, including one by Raeburn, and fine 18th- and 19th-century carpets, curtains and bed hangings, and even Charles Mackenzie Fraser's wooden leg! The estate contains a flight pond, mixed woodland and open farmland, with two waymarked walks giving magnificent views of the local hills. The historic walled garden features shrubs, flowers, wall-trained fruit and vegetables. There is also a shop selling exclusive gifts.
We continue to Craigievar Castle, another fine example of Scots Baronial architecture, which seems to have grown naturally out of the rolling hills. The great tower stands just as it did when completed in 1626 and the castle is home to a fine collection of family portraits and original plaster ceilings. There is also much original Jacobean woodwork and some beautiful furniture, including the 'Craigievar table'. Surrounding the castle are extensive parkland grounds with two waymarked walks. There is also a small Victorian kitchen garden and a Scottish glen garden.
Our final visit takes us to Royal Deeside and Balmoral Castle. Built around 1854 for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert the image of the castle is recognised world-wide. Though relatively modern it is clearly in the style of a 'Scottish' castle. It is a private home of the Royal family and each autumn the family spend up to two months holidaying there.
We return to our hotel, where dinner is served in the evening.

Day 4
Location: Crathes Castle
Meals Included: Breakfast

After breakfast this morning, we depart for Crathes Castle. Standing against a backdrop of rolling hills Crathes Castle is every inch the classic Scottish tower house. Inside there is a labyrinth of cultural history, from family portraits and fine antique furniture to painted ceilings. Of additional interest is the 1½ acre walled garden, which incorporates herbaceous borders and many unusual plants, providing a wonderful display.  On the estate there are seven marked trails that lead through the mixed woodlands, along the Coy Burn and past the millpond.
After our visit we will resume our journey back to our original pick-up points.

What's Included

  • Services of a professional tour manager

  • Luxury coach travel throughout

  • Accommodation

  • Meals - as per the itinerary

  • All Domestic Transportation (including internal flights)

  • Drinks with Meals

  • Entrance Fees

  • Comfortable coach travel throughout

What's Not Included

Check out our Q&As

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes

  • Are flights included in this tour?

    No

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    No

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    Yes

  • Will I receive more details of the holiday before I travel?

    You will receive detailed joining instructions around 10 days prior to you departure, but you are of course welcome to contact us at any time should you have any queries.

  • What facilities do your coaches have?

    Generally, our coaches have reclining seats, air-conditioning and toilets, however this cannot always be guaranteed as sometimes we have to use smaller vehicles. Toilets are recommended for emergency use only and regular comfort stops will be made throughout your holiday while travelling around.

  • Do I have to go on the included excursions?

    Absolutely not. You are more than welcome to spend the day at your hotel or exploring independently should you wish. All we ask is that you inform your Tour Manager, so they are not left waiting for you to join the group.

  • Is there time to relax?

    Although our itineraries may seem jam-packed, boasting access to some of the most exclusive sites across the UK and beyond, a Brightwater Holiday is just that: a holiday. Each trip will counter in more than enough free-time for you to explore places at your own leisure. And with most nights and the majority of meals being included in our tour prices, you can relax in hand-picked accommodation.

  • Do I need to be an expert?

    Absolutely not! Although some of our tours are specifically focused on one thing, all you need to enjoy a Brightwater holiday is interest and bags of enthusiasm! Even on our most specialist tours, we take travellers from all skill levels, from experts to beginners.

  • How fit or active do I need to be for one of your holidays?

    You need to be able to get on and off the coach unassisted, and most – but not all – coaches have a kneel facility that lowers the front step for ease of boarding

  • Do you have self-drive holidays?

    Yes, we do – tailored to your exact requirements!

  • What’s the luggage allowance on your coaches?

    There’s no fixed limit, but we generally say one large suitcase to go in the luggage compartment and a smaller bag that you can take onto the coach with you. For flight-inclusive holidays, we include a luggage allowance of at least 20kg.

  • Where are your departure points?

    UK garden holidays generally depart from London, with additional pick-ups depending on the route of the coach, while holidays to Scotland depart from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Perth, with Dundee, Inverness and Aberdeen sometimes included. All Eurostar holidays depart from London St. Pancras and flight-inclusive holidays depart from one or more of the main London airports, with regional flights .

  • What about the company that will be kept?

    For single travellers, those with a companion or even those travelling in a larger group, you'll find that the signature of any Brightwater Holiday is the company. You won't ever be travelling with a group of strangers, instead, you'll find yourself surrounded by like-minded people with a strong shared interest who will soon become your firm friends.

  • What is a Brightwater Holiday?

    Bursting with enthralling, educational and enlightening itineraries, a Brightwater Holiday, by its very nature, is packed with bucket-list-worthy destinations, behind the scenes passes and expert-led experiences. From creating bespoke quality garden and special interest tours for groups and individuals alike, we have made it our business to make our guests' travel dreams come true.

  • Why is there a single supplement?

    Unfortunately, single room supplements are charges that are often imposed on us as a company when we book rooms for group holidays. However, most hotels do charge less for single occupancy, and we always pass this saving on to our solo travellers in the form of a modest single supplement.

  • How much are your optional excursions?

    Prices start from as little as £20, but please contact our friendly team for questions about specific itineraries or excursions.

  • Can I pre-book my coach seats?

    Yes, you can. In the case of front seats, guests with limited mobility are given priority. Please get in touch with our friendly team to discuss any requirements you may have.

  • How to get there? Easy!

    With a Brightwater Holiday, the journey is just as important as the destination and we make getting you to your tour start point easy. From organising group flights and individual travel plans, to offering accessible local departure and pick-up points, we go out of our way to ensure that your journey is as convenient and hassle-free as it can be.

  • Do I need to have travel insurance?

    Travel insurance is required for all overseas holidays and is also strongly recommended for UK holidays – primarily to protect yourself against cancellation charges should you be unable to travel.

Reviews of this Operator

Trusted Customer  

Brightwater Holidays offers great value

28-Nov-2019

I would highly recommend Brightwater Holidays. It offers excellent service and value for money. This was my first tour as I normally arrange holidays myself, but this tour - which was to the gardens of Kent and Sussex - was a very pleasant change of pace.

Feefo Trusted Reviews
Brightwater Holidays Customer  

My experience with Brightwater Holidays

08-Aug-2019

The tour was well managed, the sites visited were all interesting and linked to the theme of the Picts and their place in history, the hotel was comfortable and the coach journeys were well paced. I have been with Brightwater before and will certainly travel with them again

Feefo Trusted Reviews
Alan Hawkes (Google Reviewer)  

We were on the Tour...

28-Aug-2022

We were on the Tour of the Outer Hebrides. We had a great experience, in no small part due to the excellence of the tour manager and driver.

Brightwater Holidays Custome  

Wonderful experience with brilliant information

31-Jul-2019

The most important factor was an amazing guide in Alastair Walker whose knowledge and care for clients was fantastic. The whole trips are superbly organised

Feefo Trusted Reviews
David MacLennan (Google Reviewer)  

Noted a comment on taking...

23-Aug-2023

Noted a comment on taking coaches on A814 by a local person who didn't know the facts: When the A82 was blocked and the POLICE divert you onto that road you do as instructed not what a you know are tight roads but they only way to your destination as intructed by officials. We know this route is not suitable for large vehicles but the driver does as instructed by someone in authority.

Eric Webb (Google Reviewer)  

Recent (September 2023) Scottish holiday...

07-Oct-2023

Recent (September 2023) Scottish holiday not so good. Various 'issues' to do with scheduling and organisation. I'm happy to report however that - after an interval - a letter expressing disappointment brought a full response - including a generous refund. So - with fingers slightly crossed - we'll be booking with Brightwater again in due course.

Kevin Barrett (Google Reviewer)  

The recent tour in Northumberland...

30-Sep-2023

The recent tour in Northumberland turned out to be a shambles. Our South London driver took us to Newcastle, but no guide to meet us. Next day still no guide and the bus driver attempted to salvage the tour the best he could despite having no knowledge of the attractions. Fortunately one of the passengers Googled the tides for Holy Island. No holiday guide ever showed up. Coach and hotel were fine. Do these people only offer self guided tours? Take Shearings next time.

ALEXANDRA MCQUEEN (Google Reviewer)  

Been trying to get a...

17-Oct-2023

Been trying to get a reply from them for over a week. Booked Xmas tour, confirmation said pick up subject to numbers, they never said anything when booking and theyve been paid in full. Would not recommend!

Dp Green (Google Reviewer)  

I had heard this company...

20-Feb-2024

I had heard this company was a nightmare to deal with, but thought I'd give it a go. Signed up for a tour, then emailed them about how to pay off the balance. No response to 3 emails. I've never encountered a tour company that ignored questions on how to pay off a balance. Looked into other reviews and found many complaints about cancelled tours and refusals to refund deposits.

Kieran Thompson (Google Reviewer)  

Two of your tour busses...

26-Jul-2021

Two of your tour busses used the A814 from Garelochhead to Arrochar on 24th July 2021. This route is not suitable for large vehicles and your drivers should not have taken the huge coaches that way. There are clear signs at both ends of the road indicating it is not suitable for HGV's. Our car had to go off into the soft verge to allow your coaches to pass. Please amend your routes to avoid this road in future.

Dates & Availability

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Monday - Thursday

Jun 03, 2024 - Jun 06, 2024
$1169 $1110 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$58 (USD)

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  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Brightwater Holidays allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform brightwater holidays, 25 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Brightwater Holidays requires a minimum deposit of 15% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 70 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of brightwater holidays charges.

    At 40 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 7 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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