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Aberdour Castle and Gardens

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by Time to walk about (subscribe)
We travel full-time as a family and I've just started blogging and freelance writing with no set place to call home, I'm now sharing my family's adventures online. Please visit my blog at www.timetowalkabout.com
Published June 12th 2020
Where Scotland's nobles once roamed
Nestled in the town of Aberdour in Scotlands Kingdom of Fife is the historic Aberdour Castle and gardens. With the main castle built back in the 1100s, it is thought to be one of the few castles of that era that is still standing.

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Our visit was on a cold November day, and although it isn't the best time to take a look around the ruined parts of the castle, it was still an interesting place to visit.

The castle and grounds are significantly larger than they first appear. Though parts of the fort lie in ruins, you can picture how big the original building was in its heyday.

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In 1564, Aberdour was acquired by James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton. He was responsible for creating the garden and turning it into a European-inspired lavish spectacle. Douglas took inspiration from his travels, with Italian designs being evident in the terraces, making it a unique and famous garden in Scotland. However, the gardens are no longer cultivated. Around the grounds, you can find some plants that have been brought here from around Europe, and in the 1990s, they replanted the orchard as it would originally have been.

The castle has links to Robert the Bruce, who granted it to his nephew, Thomas Randolph, 1st Earl of Moray, after he helped him during Scotland's wars of independence.

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We only spent around two hours looking around but had it been a warm day, we could have stayed longer. The tea room is open from 26th March to 30th September, 10.30 am to 4.30 pm, serving locally sourced produce, and if you buy a hot takeaway drink and bring a reusable cup, they will take 25p off to help save money and the environment.

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In the garden, there is a rare bee-hive shaped stone dovecote, or as they are called in Scotland, a doocot, This was used as a source of eggs and garden fertilizer from the bird poop.

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The entry price is one of the cheapest we have come across for a historic building, so even on our short visit, we did not feel ripped off. There was plenty to see, unlike some places we have been to that charge significantly more and are not as well presented.
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Why? To see one of the last standing 12th century castles
When: All year except 25 & 26 December and 1 & 2 January
Phone: 01383 860519
Where: Aberdour Castle Aberdour Fife KY3 0SL
Cost: Adult: £6.00, Child aged 5–15: £3.60, Child under 5: FREE, Concession: £4.80, Free for Historic Scotland members
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