A 400 year old historic landmark strategically positioned at the entrance of the charming village of Braemar, is due to reopen in late summer 2023 after extensive conservation and re-development work.
One of the few tourist attractions in Scotland run by a community, the seat of the Clan Farquharson has been managed by a local charity, Braemar Community Limited, since 2007.
Over the course of 15 years, community volunteers, with the help of a small team of staff, have been keeping the Castle open to visitors, increasing footfall, raising funds for basic repairs and delighting tourists and locals with a host of wonderful stories, community events and historic re-enactments.
In 2019 this ambitious community began a £1.6m project called Raising the Standard, to preserve the Castle fabric, re-develop its grounds and deliver an exciting and innovative programme of activities to promote volunteering, learning and wellbeing. The project, which continues into 2025, has been made possible by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic Environment Scotland, alongside generous private donations.
The restoration of the Castle exterior and Curtain Wall included structural repair, re-harling and lime-washing. The work was essential to secure the building for the enjoyment of many future generations.
Visitors can now approach the building via a new, fully accessible path featuring a historic timeline. Inside the curtain wall, a newly appointed visitor cabin, offers accessible toilets, historic interpretation panels, digital interactives and a small, curated Castle shop.
Those interested in learning more about life in the Castle through its 400-year history can dive into an engaging guided tour, developed in collaboration with Bloomberg Connects, a free mobile app with digital guides to over 150 worldwide cultural spaces. The multimedia guide will be available for visitors through the Castle’s new website and allow visitors to explore the castle and its collection, whilst listening to the stories of its fascinating inhabitants.
As well as offering an enhanced visitor experience, the Castle team has been able to develop a range of collaborative partnerships with other local volunteer groups, institutions, and charities. One of the many examples is a collaboration with Gray’s School of Art where Castle inspired garments designed by the students as their end of year project will form part of the Castle’s changing exhibitions.
The redeveloped Castle grounds will be accessible 7 days a week and will include a new kitchen garden, a woodland trail and a restored Fog House, a Victorian garden folly with stunning views over the surrounding hills.
Please check Braemar Castle website for updates on opening times, special events and engagement opportunities.