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National Trust Aberdeen

Guide to the National Trust for Scotland in Aberdeen and the NTS properties in Aberdeenshire with an offer for free membership and gift

National Trust Aberdeen

Join and get entry to properties owned by The National Trust for Scotland.

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The National Trust Aberdeen have many properties throughout Aberdeenshire and have an active series of events throughout the year. These include events for children and events for children. For example some hold concerts throughout the summer and at Halloween the kids and grown ups can take part in parties at most throughout the Shire. Some grounds host assorted events ranging from bat walks, jousting tournaments, highland games and even an annual steam and vintage fair.

Those in our area include:

Castle Fraser

Craigievar Castle

Crathes Castle

Drum Castle

Fyvie Castle

Haddo House

Leith Hall

Mar Lodge Estate

Pitmedden Garden

There are links to each of these on the AboutAberdeen Scottish castles page which takes you to each AboutAberdeen review with photographs.

As a member you get an NTS Scotland sticker for your car that entitles the holder to free car parking. This is particularly useful for Crathes which many members use to enjoy the park, woodland walk and picnic area or restaurant on a fine day.

They have guides in most rooms whilst others have timed guided tours by knowledgeable staff. In the experience of the AboutAberdeen team the staff are very helpful and are pleased to answer and questions. They have been a great help in compiling our ghost story collection at the Ghosts And Ghost Stories Of Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Scotland page.

They are old historic buildings and wherever possible there is disabled access. Some like Drum do involve climbing stairs to reach certain rooms, Great Halls and even the roof. Others have disabled access to many rooms though and our reviews or the NT handbook will give disabled visitors more information.

The gardens are mostly accessible for disabled visitors and this is certainly the case for the splendid Pitmedden and their delicious tearoom. There is also the option to buy plants and flowers from their team of gardeners. Plant sales often include seasonal bulbs and specialist plants.

Most allow you to take photos from outside the attraction but ask visitors not to take pictures inside their attractions. However many guide books have many professionally taken photographs with the history of each attraction. To preserve the paintings and furniture visitors are asked not to touch exhibits or sit on the antiques such as the four poster beds.

Dogs are not permitted within them but many locations have dog walking areas. Haddo House even has a small assault course for exercising dogs!

Each new member will be given a guide book. This is packed full of information for making the most of your membership. This includes facilities at each NT property such as toilets, parking, disabled access, shops, restaurants, directions, facilities for visually impaired visitors and mobility impaired visitors and any holiday accommodation.

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Most have a cafe or restaurant that serves hot meals, snacks, cakes and drinks. For example some sell home made cakes and sandwiches and hot soup whilst others sell a wide selection of cooked meals and desserts.

Located next to the restaurants are shops that sell a wide variety of souvenirs and keep sakes, postcards, books, stationery, cuddly toys, games, soft furnishings and gifts.

It is possible to pay a one of admission charge but if you are on holiday it is worth buying a membership which gives you admission to those throughout the UK. This usually works out cheaper if you are to visit over three. You also get a gift and several months membership extra. Joining is easily done online and is often cheaper.

Membership to the National trust can be done individually, as a couple or as a family. There are offers for retired people and gift membership is available and is an ideal present for Christmas or a birthday. This includes a personal gift card and welcome pack.

Another alternative is to buy a discovery ticket which gives the holder unlimited access to NTS properties for a set period of three days, one week or a fortnight.

The National Trust for Scotland Aberdeen work closely with schools and pupils throughout Aberdeenshire often go for an educational visit or school project.

They are often used for parties and weddings and a most common wedding venue is the picturesque Fyvie or the fairytale looking Craigievar.

Some are available for hire for social or corporate events. In addition a member can rent out a holiday cottage at a range of Scottish properties that also include lighthouse keepers cottages, crofts, apartments and many historic buildings. These holiday accommodation are for self catering though towels, sheets, etc are provided. Open fires are stocked up in the winter. Period furniture is kept in the historic homes for visitors to enjoy and modern furniture such as cots and child safety gates are provided so that you can relax and enjoy your holiday.

Such holiday accommodation ranges from sleeping 2 to 30 people. It is advised to book as early as possible because they can get fully booked, especially at peak times such as the school holidays, summer and at Christmas or the New Year.

They have a cruise ship called the Black Prince which has been used as an NTS holiday cruise ship since 1953. It has a crew strength of 200 staff and can accommodate up to 400 people. Most Black Prince cruises have a theme and onboard entertainment such as Aberdonians from the Scotland the What? team and the Orkney celebrity from Big Brother on channel 4 TV and panto star Cameron Stout.

Typically the Black Prince cruises sail twice a year with one week long cruise around the Scottish Isles whilst a two week cruise goes abroad to various countries and destinations such as Oporto, Greenland, Reykjavik and St Petersburg. The Black Prince cruises depart and arrive at Scottish ports. The cruises often have themes and special interests and have a series of lectures from leading experts.

As part of the membership you will be notified of each event in your area and events nationwide. These include banquets, re-enactments, craft fairs, ghost walks, ghost hunting, steam fair, behind the scenes tours, open air theatre shows, concerts, live music, traditional Scottish entertainment, murder mystery events and special dinners.

Do consider becoming a volunteer to help support them. Activities and jobs include working as a guide for the NT, working in the shops or restaurants, administrative work, recruiting and event organisation.

There are also weekend and day projects that volunteers can get involved in such as working outdoors creating paths and woodland walks. You may not get paid for such work but you will get company, experience, free transport and meals. The Thistle Camps are for longer projects and these working holidays involve volunteers working on conservation projects at the countryside properties.

For the younger member there are summer camps called Trailblazers Camps. These are for 16 to 17 year olds and in between work teenagers can enjoy activities such as canoeing, go karting and sailing.

They welcome legacies and encourages members to consider them when making their will.

Listed below are the other Scottish National Trust for Scotland properties:

Dumfries and Galloway

Grey Mare's tail, Thomas Carlyle's Birthplace, Rockcliffe, Threave and Broughton House.

Scottish Borders

Robert Smail's printing works, Priorwood garden and dried flower shop, Harmony garden and St Abb's Head National Nature Reserve.

Edinburgh and the Lothians

House of the Binns, Newhailes, Mallery Garden, Inveresk Lodge and Preston Mill and Phantassie Doocot, No 28 Charlotte Square Edinburgh, The Georgian House, Gladstone's Land in the Lawnmarket of Edinburgh.


Hill of Tarvit Mansionhouse, Falkland Palace, Royal Burgh of Culross and Kellie Castle.

Ayrshire and Arran

Goatfell, Brodick Castle, Bachelors' Club, Culzean Castle and Country Park and Country Park and Souter Johnnie's Cottage.

Greater Glasgow and Clyde Valley

Weaver's Cottage, Holmwood, Greenbank Garden, David Livingstone Centre, Kittochside The Museum of Scottish Country Life. The Tenement House in Glasgow at 145 Buccleuch Street Garnethill, Hutcheson's Hall and Pollok House.

Argyll, Bute and Loch Lomond

Arduaine and Crarae Garden, The Hill House, Ben Lomond and Geilston Garden.


Menstrie Castle, Ben Lawers, Moirlanich Longhouse, Dollar Glen, Alloa Tower, Bannockburn and The Pineapple.


Killiecrankie, Craigower, Linn of Tummel, The Hermitage, Dunkeld and Branklyn Garden


Barry Mill, JM Barrie's Birthplace, Camera Obscura, House of Dun and the Angus Folk Museum.


Glenfinnan Monument, Glencoe and Dalness.

West Coast Islands

St Kilda, Canna, Pabbay, Berneray, Mingulay, Staffa, Burg and Iona.


Inverewe Garden, Corrieshalloch Gorge, Torridon, Falls of Glomach, Balmacra Estate and Lochalsh Woodland, Kintail and Morvich.

Inverness, Nairn, Moray and the Black Isle

Miller House and Hugh Miller's Cottage, Culloden and Brodie Castle.

Northern Islands

Unst, Yell and Fair Isle

There are various jobs with them and more information is available directly with them.

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