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For centuries, our often-extraordinary castles have inspired some of the world’s most famous storytellers. Robert Louis Stevenson, started writing Treasure Island while staying close to Braemar Castle in the Cairngorms National Park, surrounded by a sea of green.
If that doesn’t impress you, how about this - Bram Stoker stayed near Slains Castle and they say he conceived Dracula at this dramatic clifftop site. And seven-storey Craigievar with its pink walls and array of turrets and towers is said to be the prototype for Walt Disney’s iconic fairytale castle that features at the start of all Disney films.
Franco Zeffirelli even used the spectacular Dunnottar Castle – a spectacular ruin on a seacliff crag where the Scottish crown jewels were once hidden from Cromwell – to create the tormented world of his Hamlet. More recently, Dunnottar Castle was the inspiration behind Disney’s Brave and Daniel Radcliffe & James McAvoy even filmed parts of Frankenstein at the castle!
Aberdeenshire’s most famous castle is Balmoral found within the shadows of Lochnagar nestled in Royal Deeside. The castle and estate were purchased by Queen Victoria in 1848. Today it continues to be the summer residence of the Royal Family, a country escape from the hustle and bustle of monarch life. The castle was lovingly described by Queen Victoria as “my dear paradise in the Highlands”. When the Royal Family aren’t in residence, visitors are welcomed to explore parts of the castle and the famous grounds.