Explore the beautiful history of Brodie Castle

The beautiful Brodie castle is a must visit when exploring the Moray area.  The 16th– century castle has something for everyone – history, a wonderful art collection, beautiful gardens and a nature trail.

Brodie Castle is a beautiful rose coloured building with a rich history | Credit: Dr. Richard Murray

 

Brodie Castle was home to the Brodie clan for over 400 years, originally being built by the clan themselves in 1567.  Upon visiting the beautiful rose coloured building you can see how it has been shaped by history, with the original 1500s architecture having 17th century and Victorian additions.

When you have finished taking in the outside of the building, you can then venture inside to experience a unique insight into the past.  Stepping inside the castle is like stepping back in time, with priceless art work, antiques and other quirky historic artefacts.  The art gallery contains beautiful work from many artists, varying from Dutch Old Masters to modern watercolours.

On the outside, Brodie Castle is surrounded by beautiful gardens spanning over 71 hectares of ground.  The beautiful gardens boast incredible displays of a variety of flowers in the springtime, including bright blooming daffodils.  These gardens are great for a relaxing walk and for breathing in the tranquil surroundings.

Beautiful Daffodils bloom in the Brodie Castle Gardens | Credit: J. Thomas

There is also an adventure playground for the children, as well as a natural trail with observation hides for catching a glimpse of wildlife.  Therefore, there is something for the whole family!

The history at Brodie Castle doesn’t stop at the building itself – there is also a Pictish monument located on the close as you approach the castle.  Known as ‘Rodney’s Stone’, the two-metre high stone slab has some beautiful images carved into it.

Originally found in the grounds of the old church of Dyke and Moy, the stone has a large cross on one side and intricate engravings on the other, including two fish monsters, a “Pictish Beast”, a double disc and z-rod.

Rodney’s Stone sits on the close as you approach Brodie Castle | Credit: Ann Harrison

The castle is also located near Macbeth’s Hillock, where it is claimed that the hero of the Shakespearean tale had his encounter with the Weird Sisters.

The castle and estate’s opening times vary per season, right now in June Brodie Castle is open from 10am to 5pm daily, but from July until the end of August it will have extended hours of 9:30am until 6pm.

Ticket prices are: £11 for an adult, £35 for a family, £29 for a family with one adult, £9.50 for concessions and £6.50 for children.  For more information about ticket prices, visit the Brodie Castle website.

Brodie Castle is only a 20 minute drive from Carden Cottages.

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Moray Walking festival showcases the great walks in the area

The Moray Walking Festival is returning for another year from Friday 14th June to Sunday 23rd June – but Moray’s great walks are here all year round.

The festival allows you to explore and discover Moray’s natural, historical and cultural landscapes.  With all sorts of activities including: walking, cycling, white water rafting, health walks, heritage events, bushcraft and more – there is something for everyone at Moray Walking Festival.

The main aim of the festival is to allow you to explore the stunning scenery that Moray has to offer.  Whether you opt for a gentle stroll or a challenging hike, the beautiful surroundings will help you on your way.

Prices vary based on individual events, information and tickets can be found on The Moray Way website.

If you can’t make it in time for the festival, don’t fret!  Incredible walking trails can be found in the Moray area all year round.  There are plenty to choose from, including coastal walks, hill climbing and woodland adventures.

In fact, there are many walking trails that are right on the doorstep of Carden Cottages that will help you explore the area.

Quarrelwood Ancestors Trail – 2.5 miles – 1 hour 30 minutes estimated walking time

The Ancestor’s trail is a woodland walk of around 2.5 miles, with a few short steep sections and various surfaces.  The beautiful woods was used in the Neolithic era for ceremonial purposes because of the Henge, where pottery and a Bronze Age axe mould were found.

Some fantastic wildlife can be found in this area, including roe deer, red squirrels and a large variety of bird life.

Millbuies Loch Trail – 1.5 miles – 1 hour estimated walking time

The beautiful loch, created by the damming of streams to provide angling facilities on the loch, makes for a beautiful, leisurely walk with picturesque views.  It is a generally flat and easy trail, with a distance of less than two miles.

The area also provides plenty activities, including a grass area for play with picnic tables and barbecue points.  Red squirrels, roe deer, badgers, rabbits and pine martins can also be spotted at Millbuies.

Brodie Castle Path – 2.5 miles – 1 hour 30 minutes estimated walking time

The Brodie Castle Trail is made up of many beautiful paths offering a wide variety of scenic and historic features along the way.

The paths around the pond and the woodland paths are suitable for wheelchairs and mobility scooters, however the rough paths and slopes of the walk make it unsuitable for wheelchairs and buggies.

Culbin Forest (Route 99) – less than 2 miles – 2 hours estimated walking time

Located between the coastal sand dunes of Findhorn Bay and Nairn, this walk route has a wide network of paths, including the “all abilities trail”, known as Route 99.

This route winds through forest and mossy clearings, up hill 99, and offers a “squirrels-eye” viewpoint that makes the walk worth it.

River Findhorn – 8 miles – 5 hours estimated walking time

This circular walk through and around the town of Forres follows the banks of River Findhorn and showcases some of the less frequented beautiful countryside spots of the town.

With a 5 hours estimated walking time, this long, but relatively level, route allows you to take in some fantastic scenery along the way.

Clarkly Hill – 3.5 miles – 1 hour 45 minutes estimated walking time

A circular route beginning in the Pictish Fort town of Burghead, passing through farmland and Rocky shores.  This route offers spectacular views of the Moray Firth along the ridge of Clarkly Hill.

The route is generally level, with a gentle slope rising from the Burghead – Lossiemouth Road to Clarkly Hill.

The Moray Way – 95 miles – 6 to 9 days estimated walking time

Linking existing walking routes to form a circuit of 95 miles, The Moray Way can be walked comfortably in six to nine days.  The long route encompassed a wide variety of Scotland’s scenery into one walk including: beaches, clifftops, wide straths, farmlands, forests, open moorland and mountains.

The Moray Ways website has more information about fantastic walks in the area.

The route is circular and can be started from many points.  I would recommend starting from Forres when staying at Carden Cottages.

Walkers can experience history, beautiful scenery and interesting wildlife on this trail.

All of these walks are right on the doorstep of Carden.  With different routes to match different abilities it would be near impossible not to find a trail that suits you.

After your long relaxing walk, you can unwind in the comfort of your luxury cottage at Carden.

 

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