Castle Holidays Scotland Self Catering – Fordyce Castle

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Lady Margaret cottage by Fordyce Castle AB45 2SN

Within only metres of Fordyce Castle, this beautiful Self Catering cottage is perfect for Castle Holidays in Scotland. Lady Margaret Cottage is situated within the Gardens of Fordyce Castle and is so close it is barely possible to stand in the gap between the Cottage and Fordyce Castle.

If you asked a child of about seven to draw you a village where a princess lives – they’d probably draw you Fordyce. It’s a magical place, a warren of tiny winding streets with its very own fairytale castle.”

The holiday cottage was built quite some time after Fordyce Castle and is named after Lady Margaret Ogilvie of Durne who was the wife of Thomas Menzies for whom Fordyce Castle was built in 1592. All on one floor Lady Margaret Cottage is furnished to a very high standard and overlooks the castle gardens which guests can enjoy. There is private parking for our guests by the garden. Guests then follow the path through the garden to the entrance door. The village Fordyce is also only 5 minutes away from miles and miles of beautiful coastline, numerous caves and ruins of castles providing homes for a wide range of wildlife. From here you can gaze out to sea or along the coastline, catch a glimpse of Seals, sometimes Dolphins and maybe the mysterious “Aurora Borealis” Northern lights……it is said that one third of the whole worldwide marine life from Seals and Dolphins to fine Crab and Lobster are said to be preserved on the Moray Firth coastline.


  • Traditional Cottage, Semi Detached next to Castle, Sleeps 4, Close to the Coast, Village location, Fridge / Ice Box , Washing / Dryer, Pets Welcome, TV / DVD, Free WIFI, Central Heating, Open Fire, Bedding and Towels.


The Village of Fordyce and the Castle

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Built in 1592 Fordyce Castle is situated in the medieval barony of Fordyce nestling in rolling countryside a mere mile from the sea. Fordyce Castle was built for Thomas Menzies of Kirkhill a wealthy merchant in Aberdeen and provost of Aberdeen in 1588 and 1599. His family were very wealthy and influential and had held the Provostship of Aberdeen for 94 of the previous 100 years. Thomas married Margaret Ogilvie who was the daughter of Alexander Ogilvie of Durne. When Margaret’s brother died she inherited the lands and titles of Durne and Thomas became Laird of Durne.

In the 17th century Lady Anne Dunbar inherited Fordyce Castle from her father Sir William Dunbar of Durn. In 1687 Fordyce Castle became part of the Seafield Estates when Anne Dunbar married the James the 1st Earl of Seafield and 4th Earl of Findlater. Fordyce Castle remained as part of the Seafield Estate for the next 300 years. While there is currently no accommodation available for let inside Fordyce castle itself the owners do let Lady Margaret Cottage which is immediately next door to Fordyce castle.

The origins of the village of Fordyce trace back to the 7th century. The celtic saint Saint Talarican established a church and Christian community in Fordyce. The later 15th century church was built on much earlier foundations. Fordyce Castle is next to the historic kirk and kirkyard. In 1499 the Kirkton of Fordyce was established as a baronry or burgh by James IV and Bishop Elphinstone of Aberdeen became the first Baron of Fordyce. While many of the houses in Fordyce are 18th century or later, the houses still follow the old medieval street plan and hence the houses are close together and follow a narrow lane that delightfully winds through the village following the Fordyce burn (stream). The village is well known for its beautiful gardens and in the spring and summer is awash with colour. From the village there is a public footpath to the sea which is just a mile distant.


The Coastal Village of Portsoy

Less than 5 miles away lies the coastal fishing village of Portsoy looking out across the North Sea from its two 17th Century harbours, Portsoy sits pretty on the Moray Firth Coast, its pottery and ceramics noted for their delicate colouring. The port was principally developed for the exporting of Portsoy marble and a healthy trade was done with France (Louis XIV used Portsoy marble in the construction of two of the chimney pieces for the Palace of Versailles).

Every July Portsoy hosts a traditional and lively Scottish Traditional Boat Festival, a showcase of historic wooden fishing and sailing boats. The festival also includes food fayre, traditional music and a half marathon. Portsoy is situated on the National Cycle Route, with excellent rides to the east and west of the village. There are also fine coastal walks to be enjoyed, including to the tiny fishing village of Sandend, a few miles along to the West, with some fine sandy beaches along the way. The region also has some excellent golf courses at Banff and Macduff and no less than 18 castles, from ruins to stately homes, within an hour’s drive of Portsoy! Set overlooking the bay near to the 17th century harbour and village shops. The high proportion of return visitors confirms this park’s popularity

Aberdeenshire and Moray – their Fantastic Coastlines

Aberdeenshire has some of the most wonderful rural scenery to offer for you, along with the pretty local village of Gardenstown, there are also the coastal villages of Cullen, Findochty, Portsoy and Banff. So If you are looking for a relaxing holiday, somewhere to wind down and relax, then look no further, this accommodation offers you that and so much more.

The Moray Firth coast is also haven for wildlife, and you can often see dolphins, seals, otters, whales and falcons throughout the year. Roughly one half of its border consists of amazing coastline ranging from the awesomely rugged to the most wonderfully beautiful. The sunsets on the Moray coastline in themselves are renowned for their beauty as many a visitor will testify, its Northerly latitude and position making it a good place to even see the mysterious “Aurora Borealis” Northern lights.

The Landscapes

The land border runs through tremendous countryside, craggy mountains and desolate moors all indicating the feast of wonder and enjoyment held within an area of outstanding natural beauty. Aberdeenshire is awash with history and historic buildings, Neolithic stone age circles, iron age pictish carved standing stones, vitrified forts and medieval castles and keeps. Spend time touring the Moray cost, 16 miles away, with its picturesque fishing villages. fishing heritage centres, sea aquarium and historic harbours. Just a short distance away the Cairngorm National Park has an excellent selection of Skiing walking and cycling trails including hill, forest and river walks.

Skiing in the Cairngorms – yes you can !

Is within easy reach and on a clear, sunny day and with good snow, you can enjoy some decent skiing. However, at weekends, in conditions like these, expect the slopes to be very busy. Glenlivet ideally placed in the Cairngorms, offers easy access to both alpine (downhill) and nordic (cross-country) skiing, as well as the increasingly popular snowboarding. The high season is from January to April but it is possible to ski from as early as November to as late as May. (3 and 7 day Special prices available…please ask for details of availability)

The Lecht Ski Resort

Within and easy 60 minute drive you can reach the Lecht ski resort Tel (01975) 651440. This fantastic activity centre is best suited to beginners and intermediates, featuring an excellent Dry Ski slope. The longest natural run being 900m, there is also a network of short lifts on both sides of the A939 Cockbridge–Tomintoul road. Straddling the A939 on the famous Cockbridge to Tomintoul road, the Lecht 2090 sits feet above sea level amid the beauty of the Eastern Cairngorms. This natural playground offers exciting outdoor activities throughout the year from Deval Karts / ride (incl. Uplift), Quad Bikes / session, Fun Karts / session, Kiddie Karts / session, Chairlift / return ride, Summer Ski or Board.

Resort altitude: Top: 793m – bottom: 643m. Lifts in area 14 – up to date snow reports also the

Local Activities

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Close by is the market town of Turriff gained burgh status in 1512. Over the years, Turriff has developed as an important market town and service centre for the agriculture sector. Modern day Turriff is still the main centre for its rural farming hinterland, with a range of local shops, swimming pool, golf course, caravan park and sports centre. The cottages are close to nearby Turriff and give easy access to golf, shooting, fishing, shopping, pony trekking, historic buildings, castles, whisky distilleries (The Whisky Trail) and some of the most wonderful scenery that rural Aberdeenshire has to offer for you and your family. Turriff Show is perhaps best known for the ‘Turra Show’. Dating from 1864, this annual two-day agricultural show in August is one of the largest in Scotland, regularly attracting around 40,000 visitors per annum, and serving to highlight the importance of agriculture to the local area. Turriff Golf Course is a well-established parkland course with wonderful views. Founded in 1896 and extended to 18 holes in 1976, its lush, green fairways have been sympathetically laid out on the southern banks of the River Deveron.

The Wildlife and Nature in this region

The sandy coastlines of Morayshire and Aberdeenshire stretch from Stonehaven on the East coast to Nairn in the west. Short stretches of cliff run from Hopeman to Covesea and from Portknockie to Findochty and populations consist of Fulmars and Kittiwakes with a smaller number of Shags and Black Guillemots. The best rocky shores are between Burghead and Hopeman, at Lossiemouth and between Portgordon and Findochty.

Inland the areas then extend southwards to the Cairngorm mountains. Nearly half of the land exceeds 250m altitude and is therefore upland in nature. With the higher hills exceeding 600m including the arctic-alpine Cairngorm plateau, home to Ptarmigan, Snow Bunting and Dotterel. The extensive lower moorlands hold a good variety of scarcer species such as Merlin, Twite, Ring Ouzel and Whinchat. Golden Plovers are locally numerous, joined by a few Dunlin in wetter bogs. The extensive woodlands are largely composed of conifer plantations and in many areas these are sufficiently mature to have been colonised by Crested Tits, Siskins and crossbills. Capercaillies survive in small numbers. The younger moorland plantations hold breeding Black Grouse and Short-eared Owl and the birchwoods of the upland glens ring with the song of Willow warblers, Tree Pipits, Redstarts and Spotted Flycatchers in spring.

Winter waders include Purple Sandpipers in the muddy estuaries and the wide expanse of Findhorn Bay. In the Lossie and Spey rivers a wide variety of wildfowl, gulls and terns feed and roost on the estuaries and fishing ospreys are a regular feature in summer. Offshore, Burghead Bay and Spey Bay are well known for their flocks of wintering sea ducks with impressive rafts of scoters, Long-tailed Ducks and Eider. You will find some great viewpoints along the way, in particular looking over the broad sweep of Cullen Bay with its lovely golden sand and the Fiddle Rock – a curiously shaped rock formation – and past the opening known as the Whale’s Mouth.

The Moray Whisky Trail and Highland Games

Dufftown is famous for 2 annual Whisky Festivals in May and September. Dufftown itself is at the very heart of the Malt Whisky Trail. Whisky nosing and tasting sessions can be arranged all year at the Dufftown Whisky Shop. A chance to sample 6 different whiskies and to learn what makes them so different. The Whisky Festivals in 2006 are: the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival from Friday 28 April – Monday 1 May and Autumn Speyside Whisky Festival 22 – 25 September. From May to September each year, there are whisky nosings on Tuesday evenings and Ceilidhs on Thursday evenings. The Glenfiddich distillery is open to the public (free) while close by is the picturesque ruined Balvenie Castle with it’s renaissance facade maintained by Historic Scotland. Other local distilleries to visit and whiskies to taste include Macallan, Glen Grant, Glenfarclas, the Glenlivet (free tours), Aberlour and Cardhu.

Each year the village of Braemar, Scotland invites people from all over the world to attend the Braemar Gathering and Highland Games. The Gathering is always held on the first Saturday in September and it is perhaps the most famous and finest Highland Games anywhere. It features the finest Pipe Bands, pipers, Highland dancers, and athletes in a beautiful setting surrounded by hills. The patron of the Gathering is Her Majesty the Queen.


Activities on your doorstep

Here is a summary of attractions within this local area. Golf Courses this location provides easy access to many other wonderful golf courses; Huntly, Banff, Macduff, Oldmeldrum and Ellon to name but a few. Equestrian Activities – Aberdeenshire has the largest concentration of horses in Scotland and is the second largest in the UK. With this in mind you can imagine the amount of equestrian activities that are available around Turriff and the surrounding countryside; pony trekking, horse riding, driving and indoor & outdoor equestrian centres to name but a few.

Hill Walking and Climbing – One of the best ways to see any area and take in the splendour of the open countryside is on foot. From costal walks on the moray firth, to viewing the iron age vitrified forts while hill walking, or just simply enjoy and take in the spectacular views of Aberdeenshire. For the climber the Cairngorms are only an hour and a half’s drive from Turriff and offers some of the best climbing and Skiing that Scotland has to offer.

North East Scotland Falconry Centre – Offers an amazing opportunity to spend time with birds of prey. Enjoy learning basic falconry skills and handling techniques, meeting the birds and gaining an insight into the history of falconry. After an initial lesson you will be given the opportunity to handle and fly a selection of birds under the expert supervision of one of their experienced falconers. Or simply visit the centre and watch their experienced handlers display and fly the birds.

The Finest Scottish Castles

Fyvie Castle – Ghosts, legends and folklore are all woven into the tapestry of Fyvie’s 800-year history. Each tower of this magnificent Scottish Baronial fortress is traditionally associated with one of the castle’s five successive families – Preston, Meldrum, Seton, Gordon and Forbes-Leith. You can see their influences today among the medieval stones and the lavish Edwardian interiors, and imagine what castle life must have been like for the families and their royal guests – among them Robert the Bruce and Charles.

Delgatie Castle Turriff – Most recently the home of the late Capt. Hay of Delgatie, Feudal Baron, and is the Clan Hay Centre, this uniquely Scottish Castle has largely been in the Hay family for the last 650 years. It was taken from the Earl of Buchan after the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, when Robert the Bruce routed the invading English army. Mary Queen of Scots stayed at Delgatie for three days after the Battle of Cirrichie in 1562. Her bedchamber is on view to the visitor. Aden Farming Museum – Relive the story of our famous farming past in the beautiful surroundings of Aden Country Park. Start at the unique, semi- circular Home Farm steading by exploring the “Aden Estate Story” and the “Weel Vrocht Grun” exhibitions. Visit Hareshowe, a working farm set in the 1950s. Award-winning displays & audio-visual shows, Guided tours and costume guides, See oatcakes baked at the Horseman’s House and verity of other Exhibitions Aberdeenshire has a rich culture and has so much to see and do, from visiting the Pictish Standing Stones going back nearly 3,000, follow the Whisky Trial and visit some of Scotland finest distilleries, the Moray Coast with its bottle nose dolphins and small picturesque fishing villages. There is so much to visit, we can guarantee you wont be disappointed.

Further afield there are literally dozens more Castles to visit from Ballindalloch Castle near Aberlour on the river Spey to Balmoral a beautiful drive over the mountains to Royal Deeside where you are spoilt for choice with Drum, Crathes, Craigevar or castle Fraser. Between Forres and Nairn is Brodie and Cawdor Castles and to the east of Dufftown is the ruined Huntly castle and close to Turiff is Fyvie castle above with its 5 towers and 5 centuries of history, further a field castles such Balmoral, Braemar, Crathes and castle Urquhart on Loch Ness or cities such as Aberdeen, Elgin, Forres and Inverness are easily accessible.

Evenings out and local area information

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This Cottage is located within the Coastal Fishing Village of Cullen, which has Shops, Café, Restaurants and Pubs. Cullen is ideally situated for walking and playing golf. There is a harbour and a long stretch of sandy beach with excellent coastal walks to Sunnyside Beach as well as the ruins of Findlater Castle. The beautiful waters surrounding the village make an excellent spot for swimming. Cullen Skink is a traditional Scottish delicacy that has found its way onto menus across the globe. It is a creamy potato and smoked haddock soup, using fish fresh from the North Sea by which Cullen rests.

Castle Holidays Self Catering – Accommodation

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Lady Margaret Cottage is so close to Fordyce Castle it is barely possible to stand in the gap between the Castle and the cottage and was built quite some time after Fordyce Castle. The cottage is named after Lady Margaret Ogilvie of Durne who was the wife of Thomas Menzies for whom Fordyce Castle was built in 1592.

All on one floor Lady Margaret is furnished to a very high standard and overlooks the castle garden for our guests to enjoy. On arriving at Lady Margaret Cottage there is private parking for our guests by the garden. Guests then follow the path through the garden to the entrance door. The entrance door leads into a lobby. To the right is the Dining-Kitchen, to the left is the lounge, straight ahead is the bathroom and on following the corridor around there are two pretty bedrooms.

The large sunny fully equipped Dining-Kitchen has an electric ‘range cooker’, fridge / freezer, dishwasher, microwave, table and six chairs and a washing machine. Three large windows overlook the garden. Other essentials equipment such as glasses, crockery, cutlery and a corkscrew are also provided for your convenience.

The spacious lounge has comfortable sofas and armchairs. There is a large television and DVD, fireplace with a flame effect electric fire, French doors give access out to out to the paved sitting / eating area and the garden. The Master Bedroom has a large ‘four poster’ bed with a spacious built in wardrobe and mahogany dressing table.

The Twin Bedroom has matching beautiful brass beds. Again there is plentiful storage space and hanging space with the large built in wardrobe.

The attractive Family Bathroom has a traditionally styled ‘slipper’ bath and a separate shower.