Pitmedden Gardens is a National Trust Garden 14 miles north of Aberdeen.
“Pitmedden is a 17th-century walled garden on two levels. Original garden pavilions with ogival roofs look down on an elaborate spectacle of four rectangular boxwood parterres flanked by fine herbaceous borders and espalier-trained apple trees on south and west-facing granite walls. An avenue of yew obelisks runs from east to west and up to 30,000 bedding plants add to the wow factor of this immaculately kept formal garden.”Scotland’s Gardens
“Cared for by the National Trust for Scotland. Brilliant 17th-century design and meticulous maintenance give Pitmedden Garden its unique charm. With almost 6 miles of clipped box hedging, colourful parterres, over 200 fruit trees, and the sweet scents of honeysuckle and jasmine, Pitmedden really is a delight for the senses.VisitScotland
It’s hard to imagine a garden today being planted on such an extravagant scale. The heart of the property is the formal walled parterre garden. There are also extensive herbaceous borders with an abundance of colour and scent. Fountains, topiary, sundials and a fascinating herb garden add to the sense of discovery. The surrounding woods are a haven for birds and other wildlife.
Be amazed at over 30,000 annual bedding plants that make up the colourful designs, and explore the woodlands around the garden on the waymarked trail. The picnic area is an ideal spot to stop for lunch, and you can even enjoy a game of boules on our pétanque piste. The adjacent Museum of Farming Life boasts an extensive collection of domestic and agricultural artefacts.”
“He [Agricola] sent his fleet ahead to plunder at various points and thus spread uncertainty and terror, and, with an army marching light, which he had reinforced with the bravest of the Britons and those whose loyalty had been proved during a long peace, reached the Graupian Mountain, which he found occupied by the enemy. The Britons were, in fact, undaunted by the loss of the previous battle, and welcomed the choice between revenge and enslavement. They had realised at last that common action was needed to meet the common danger, and had sent round embassies and drawn up treaties to rally the full force of all their states.”Tacitus, Agricola (XXIX)
According to Tacitus, the Battle of Mons Graupius was fought between a Roman army under the command of Gnaeus Julius Agricola and the Pictish tribes of the North-East of Scotland. It probably took place in AD 83 or 84 and was said to have resulted in a convincing victory for the Romans.
Although never colonised by the Romans, there were several campaigns in the North-East which resulted in the establishment of temporary marching camps, with, possibly, a sizeable military presence at the site called Devana, which is presumed to lie near to mouth of the River Dee.
The exact site of the Battle of Mons Graupius is unknown but one possibility is near Bennachie, 25 miles north west of Aberdeen.
Bennachie has several tops, including Oxen Craig, at 528 metres, and Mither Tap (518m) which has an Iron Age fort on its summit. Though not particularly high, compared to other peaks within Scotland, the mountain is very prominent, owing to its isolation and the relative flatness of the surrounding terrain, and dominates the skyline.
The Gordon Way, a waymarked hiking trail, runs for 12 miles through the Bennachie Forest. The route is one of series maintained by the Forestry Commission and Aberdeenshire Council.
Castle Fraser is the most elaborate Z-plan castle in Scotland and one of the grandest ‘Castles of Mar’. It is located 16 miles from the Aberdeen, near Kemnay. The castle stands in over 300 acres of landscaped grounds, woodland and farmland which includes a walled kitchen garden of the 19th century. There is archaeological evidence of an older square tower dating from around 1400 or 1500 within the current construction.
“From the striking simplicity of the medieval Great Hall to the well-stocked library and Victorian bedrooms, a tour of the castle gives a sense of walking through history. Each laird stamped his personality on the family seat, from the various ways of spying on those in the Great Hall to trophies gathered on global adventures.
The panoramic views from the top of the round tower are spectacular, revealing the courtyard, gardens and estate beyond, ready to be explored. The distinctive peaks of Bennachie can be seen in the distance. There are two waymarked walks on the estate that offer magnificent views of the local area.
The traditional walled garden includes specimen trees, herbaceous borders, a medicinal border and organically grown fruit and vegetables.
Explore the Woodland Secrets adventure playground, featuring wooden sculptures, a bamboo snake walk, tepees, a tree hut and a giant xylophone.
Dogs are welcome in the grounds, but we ask dogs to be on the lead near the children’s play area and in the courtyard.
Relax in the tearoom where you can enjoy home baking, tasty soups and sandwiches.”VisitAberdeenshire