Scottish Castles: here we go a-castle-ing!

Scottish castles: Delgatie


Yes, it’s another post about Scottish castles! I do seem to find it difficult to write anything without one, or three, as in this case. The first, above, is Delgatie Castle, near Turriff in Aberdeenshire. I met one of the quines there last week (post originally from 2016) and we walked the woods and gardens and encountered these little Shetland ponies looking as if they were waiting for the tearoom to open.

From there, we went on to the Auld Kirk-yard in Turriff to see the grave of the late owner of the castle, Captain John Hay:

grave stone

And then, on the other side of Turriff, the beautiful River Deveron:

River Deveron

Let us pass through a door to another day and another castle…

door at Craigievar


One of the most famous Scottish castles: Craigievar Castle

Near Alford, this beauty is rumoured to be the source for Walt Disney’s fairy-tale castle. It is wonderfully pink and turreted and full of colourful ghost stories. Red John Forbes is supposed to have forced his daughter’s lover, a Gordon and hence an enemy, to jump to his death from The Blue Room window. The window is now hidden behind a headboard but you can make out light through a pinhole. Both Red John and the Gordon boy are said to haunt the castle.

Photos were allowed up on the roof!

the roof of Scottish castle Craigievar

But it’s time to skip across the stone mushrooms…

Scottish castle: stone mushrooms at Craigievar

and on to Corgarff, the last of the Scottish castles today…

A Scottish castle: Corgarff

A bit more out of the way, near Tarland, but still in Aberdeenshire, is the fortress that is Corgarff Castle. Originally home to the Forbes, it was then burnt by the Gordons and left derelict. After the battle of Culloden the tower house was gutted and rebuilt as barracks for government soldiers (Redcoats).

Corgarff, a Scottish castle

Inside the star-shaped perimeter:

coutryard of Corgarff

This is how the soldiers’ barracks room would have looked in 1750:

18th century barracks room

And that’s it. Off out the door you go, but do come back soon!

door to a Scottish castle...


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Naughty Contemporary Fiction

Book covers of A Dancer's Journey series by Ailish Sinclair: celebratory dance.

Scotland’s all misty lochs and magical forests and perfect boyfriends, right?

When dance student Amalphia Treadwell embarks on a secret relationship with her charismatic new teacher, she has no idea of the danger that lurks in his school in Scotland…

My dance background and love of history and spicy stories are what inspired this heady mix of contemporary romance and ballet set in a castle. Readers of my historical fiction will recognise the castle and stone circle that feature in these books.

There are no cliffhanger endings in this series; each book completes a story, but then there is more. So much more. Read all the blurbs here

Series on Amazon UK

Series on Amazon worldwide

Historical Fiction

Sisters at the Edge of the World cover

Set in 1st century Scotland, my latest novel, SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD, includes the battle of Mons Graupius between the Romans and the Caledonian tribes. The book features a neurodivergent main character and some rather complicated romance!

“Ethereal and spellbinding….” Historical Novel Society

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

See the press release here

Read the article Roman Aberdeenshire features in author’s new book from Grampian Online.

Cover of Ailish Sinclair's 'The Mermaid and the Bear'

Taking place mainly in a fictional castle, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR blends an often overlooked period of history, the Scottish witchcraft accusations, in particular the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic, with a love story.

See the press release here

Amazon UK

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From the Press and Journal: New book by Fraserburgh author highlights horrific extent of witch trials in Scotland 

Fireflies and Chocolate by Ailish Sinclair, out 2021

FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE was inspired by the kidnapped children and young people of Aberdeen. The story follows the adventures of Elizabeth Manteith from the castle and her determined efforts to get back home. There’s love. There’s derring-dos on the high seas… And there’s chocolate!

See the publisher’s Press Release here

Amazon UK

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Review from the Historical Novel Society

Writer’s Tip Jar

44 Replies to “Scottish Castles: here we go a-castle-ing!”

  1. Nice to see that there’s actually something inside. I was excited years back to visit Dover Castle to find it nearly empty. Takes away all the atmosphere you imagine when you’re standing outside the building otherwise.

  2. Craigievar is absolutely how a castle should look. We visited it a few years back and, as it was late in the day, got a guided tour all to ourselves. Such stories the guide had to tell!

      1. They’re excellent! Such a lot of historical ‘gossip’ that never makes the guide book, and unlike some tours, we had time to nose around on our own too.

  3. Another beautiful walk through some breathtaking castles. What a wonderful life you lead 🙂

  4. WOW!!! Love all these castles, but the last one in partiuclar. I like it when historical ambiences are recreated.

    Thanks so much for sharing this 🙂

  5. Oh my gosh, these are beautiful!! A castle tour through Europe is definitely on my “bucket list” (I’m in the US). I’m enamored with the pictures you took and how you described your journey ❤️

    I would also like to thank you for following my blog! Following yours, too – such wonderful material on here! So nice to connect with you ❤️

    ~The Silent Wave Blog writer

  6. Corgarff Castle – years ago, visiting friends in Ballater, they took me to Glenlivit distillery. On the drive back, I saw this white castle gleaming in the sun nestled in the folds of green fields. I took a picture from the car, and didn’t think more about it till I got home. Looking at my photos, I could see the corners of the star-shaped fort and the bright white building. I loved it. I had to search on maps along the route we drove that day to find out the name of the castle (and 10 years ago, that was harder than it sounds). In that photo, in my imagination, I can see soldiers and highlanders and people of old living and tending in that ancient place. Thank you for showing me the place up close and inside – it’s as magical as I imagined.

  7. I liked the pink castle. I saw a programme on TV this week about Portugal and didn’t realise how many beautiful castles there were in that country. We know Warwick,Cardiff and Bamburgh but there are many along the South coast of England that are worth a visit.

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