WEDNESDAY 22 JUNE
We are really having no luck with the weather. It continues to be cold and wet, only reaching 10 degrees C today. There was quite a bit of rain overnight and it was still raining this morning.
Last night we looked at the map and decided that Braemar would be a place to aim for today. We even got organised and booked accommodation for two nights. It was only about 100 miles of travel, so should be a nice easy day.
As we were riding along we saw the sign to another castle. This one was Crathes Castle, another National Trust property. I’m so pleased that we joined, as if we see a property we generally go in for a look, which we probably wouldn’t have done otherwise.
This castle has been managed by the National Trust since 1951 and it is lovely. What I really liked was all the textiles on display. Some were ancient, while others, like some tapestry chair seat covers, have been worked by the ladies of the National Trust Guild. There was a lovely patchwork quilt on a bed. It was in panels with a red sashing running the length of the quilt. On the cream panels there were lots of irregular shaped fabrics appliquéd with herringbone stitch. It was all lovely and faded. Just beautiful.
Once again no photos were allowed inside. However, you were allowed to take photos from an upstairs window. You can see the window on the top right hand side of the photo above. This is the view.
You can also see this little turret. It was actually used as a water closet. Rather flash.
The grounds are extensive and have a beautiful garden. The Trust do a marvellous job with the management of the property.
We seemed to take quite a bit of time at the castle and gardens, so had to get a bit of a wriggle on.
We followed the River Dee from Aberdeen. It is nearly in flood after the recent rains. Along the way we came across this rather lovely suspension bridge.
Another lovely bridge over the river, this one at Ballater, which was a nice town to visit.
In the end, our supposedly simple drive took us all day, so tomorrow will be a day of exploring the area.