Fyvie Castle

Tucked in a bend on the River Ythan, and surrounded by parkland that was once impassable marshland, it’s not difficult to see why fortifications have stood on the site of Fyvie Castle for over 800 years. Originally constructed as a simple wooden structure in which royalty could stay in safety, the Fyvie Castle of today is one of the country’s finest fortresses, and a prime example of Scottish Baronial architecture.

The interior of Fyvie Castle is an art lover’s treasure trove, boasting one of the world’s largest collections of portraits by Sir Henry Raeburn, as well as pieces by esteemed artists such as Gainsborough, Romney, Greuze, and Vigée Le Brun. Intricate tapestries, impressive antiques, and unusual features offer an intriguing insight into life in the castle, which has been owned by many families over the generations – according to legend because of a curse put on the building by a 13th century Scottish laird. Fyvie Castle is, allegedly, rife with spirits, so it’s unsurprising to find the death mask of a tortured murderer on display in the library.

Beyond the castle walls, there’s much to discover, from the walled garden that teems with Scottish fruits and vegetables, to the picturesque Fyvie Loch that’s popular with a variety of waterfowl. The glass-roofed racquet court, icehouse, and restored earth closet reveal aspects of the castle’s opulent history, affording visitors a sense of stepping into the past at a fortress that has changed little over the centuries.

GETTING THERE AND OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Arriving by car

Fyvie Castle is located off the A947, 25 miles north-west of Aberdeen and 8 miles south-east of Turriff.

Parking, including accessible spaces, is available, which is free for members of National Trust for Scotland.

Arriving by bus

Take Stagecoach service 35 (Aberdeen – Turriff), disembarking in Fyvie village. Journey times: from Aberdeen, from 1 hour 10 minutes; from Turriff, 27 minutes.

Accessibility

Access to Fyvie Castle is by guided tour only. Wheelchair access is possible to the front hall, walled garden, American garden, and tearoom. 

THINGS TO SEE AND DO NEARBY

  • Formartines Visitors’ Centre on the nearby Haddo Estate is a sure-fire hit with the whole family, with a series of pleasant woodlands trails to saunter and ample hidden spaces to let the imagination run wild. For children, the play area offers hours of unrestrained entertainment, with tyre swings, monkey bars, slides, and a rock wall.
  • One of the most picturesque ruins in the Grampians, Tolquhon Castle is a 16th century mansion with an earlier tower. Another great find for kids, the castle is as suited for costumed role play as it is for silent sketching.

PLACES TO EAT AND DRINK

The Fyvie Castle Tearoom is the perfect place to grab a delicious snack or light lunch while exploring the castle, with a tempting range of homemade scones, cakes, sandwiches, and soups on offer.

All the Best Coffee Bothy in Fyvie is a genial and intriguing café-cum-gift shop, where you can browse traditional handcrafted Scottish goods while enjoying a delicious home-baked treat or a cup of the finest coffee.

In nearby Inverurie, head to The Steadin bistro restaurant for flavoursome locally sourced produce, generous portions, and friendly welcoming service.

DID YOU KNOW…?

Amongst Fyvie Castle’s many mysteries are a secret room that mustn’t be opened, an indelible bloodstain, and a weeping stone that’s allegedly moist, whatever the weather!

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