Craigievar Castle is listed as Britain’s best kept secret in Lonely Planet’s travel guide

0

A pink Scottish castle – so beautiful it inspired Walt Disney – has been named in a top travel guide as Britain’s best-kept secret.

The beautiful Craigievar Castle, near Alford, Aberdeenshire, is believed to be the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle.

The fairytale castle is the centerpiece of the company logo and two of the world famous theme parks.

But the true 16th-century house has now taken on a claim to fame again, as it recently topped Lonely Planet’s list of ten lesser-known British destinations to visit in 2021.

Run by the National Trust for Scotland (NTS), the beautiful castle beat Benmore Botanic Garden in Strath Eachaig, Scotland, and the lesser-known Rhyd Ddu trail from Snowdon, Wales, to the top of the list.

Iain Hawkins, CEO of NTS North East, said: “We are delighted to receive this recognition for Cragievar Castle.

The castle was believed to be the inspiration for Walt Disney's Cinderella Castle (pictured)

The beautiful Craigievar Castle (photo left), near Alford, Aberdeenshire, is believed to be the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle (photo right). Slide over to see both images

Why is Craigievar Castle Castle pink?

Construction of Craigievar Castle began in 1576, but the beautiful building was originally not pink.

The seven-story castle was completed in 1626 after it was bought by merchant William Forbes.

But originally it would have been a cream color.

This is because it has a hairy finish – consisting of lime and aggregate.

In 1824, the building was inherited by Sir John Forbes – who immediately ordered a report on the building’s condition.

The report concluded that the harling needed to be redone with a pigment to make it better match the granite details of the castle.

The result was the beautiful pink castle that can still be seen.

Although, of course, it is no secret from members of the National Trust for Scotland and the people of Aberdeenshire.

“It’s a favorite of mine, because with changing light conditions, the view seems to be different every day.”

Built in 1576 and completed in 1626, Craigievar is one of the most famous tower houses in the country.

The castle’s beautiful turrets, ornate corbels and carved stonework have attracted royalty, including Queen Victoria.

It was originally owned by the Forbes family in 1610 after William Forbes, who made his fortune as a merchant and traded goods between Scotland and the Baltic states, bought it.

He spent much of his wealth renovating the castle, which was completed in 1626.

The National Trust for Scotland (NTS) took over management of the estate in the 1960s.

A survey found that only 23 percent of the country knew the iconic castle was the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Cinderella castle.

The castle, which attracts thousands of visitors every year, was once adjoined to a lower enclosed wall, known in Scots as a ‘barmkin’.

Last month, the castle’s lost walls and fortifications were unveiled in a new project undertaken by the National Trust for Scotland.

Built in 1576, Craigievar is one of the most famous tower houses in the country.  The castle's beautiful turrets, ornate corbels and carved stonework have attracted royalty, including Queen Victoria

Built in 1576, Craigievar is one of the most famous tower houses in the country.  The castle's beautiful turrets, ornate corbels and carved stonework have attracted royalty, including Queen Victoria

Built in 1576, Craigievar is one of the most famous tower houses in the country. The castle’s beautiful turrets, ornate corbels and carved stonework have attracted royalty, including Queen Victoria

It was originally owned by the Forbes family in 1610 after William Forbes, who made his fortune as a merchant and traded goods between Scotland and the Baltic states, bought it.

It was originally owned by the Forbes family in 1610 after William Forbes, who made his fortune as a merchant and traded goods between Scotland and the Baltic states, bought it.

It was originally owned by the Forbes family in 1610 after William Forbes, who made his fortune as a merchant and traded goods between Scotland and the Baltic states, bought it.

A survey found that only 23 percent of the country knew the iconic castle was the inspiration for Walt Disney's Cinderella castle

A survey found that only 23 percent of the country knew the iconic castle was the inspiration for Walt Disney's Cinderella castle

A survey found that only 23 percent of the country knew the iconic castle was the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Cinderella castle

Using 3-D technology, archaeological studies, and plans and paintings from Craigievar Castle, the 16th-century ‘barmkin’ walls have been rediscovered and mapped.

Visitors can now walk the lines of defense and discover another chapter of the castle’s history.

Lonely Planet’s Tom Hall said: ‘London has always dominated UK tourism, and for good reason, but the whole country is overflowing with historic sites and natural wonders.

The pandemic made us all pause and re-evaluate how we travel, and I think now is the perfect time to update that bucket list with some of these under-the-radar places you might have overlooked in the past seen.’

The castle was selected as Lonely Planet’s most lesser-known UK destinations as part of a photo competition organized by the Japanese company Sony.

The castle is currently closed, but will reopen from May 27.

Lonely Planet and Sony’s top 10 lesser-known UK destinations to visit in 2021

1. Craigievar Castle, Alford, Scotland

2. Portmeirion, Wales

3. Tresco Abbey Gardens, Isles of Scilly

4. Oundle, Northamptonshire, England

5. Benmore Botanic Garden, Strath Eachaig, Scotland

6. Snowdon (Snowdon) from the quieter Rhyd Ddu Path, Wales

7. Howtown & Martindale, Cumbria, England

Lincolnshire Wolds

9. Holkham Beach, Norfolk, England

10. Marshwood Vale, Dorset