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  • South Mains Cottage - Craigievar Castle - Scottish Lowlands - 1060434 - photo 1

South Mains Cottage - Craigievar Castle

(Ref. 1060434)

Craigievar near Alford, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Aberdeenshire & The Coastal Trail Show on map


Sykes rating

  • 6 Guests

  • 3 Bedrooms

  • 2 Bathrooms

  • Pets Yes


  • Off road parking
  • Garden / Patio
  • Cot available
  • Highchair available
  • Washing machine
  • Dishwasher

Reviews & Ratings

Accuracy of the listing
Facilities and Maintenance
  • All reviews
  • cottage (10)
  • location (8)
  • lovely (8)
  • property (7)
  • stay (7)
  • castle (7)

15 Customer Reviews

  • "Everything was lovely."

    Our family enjoyed our stay. Thank you.

    Reviewed by Logan5.0Apr 2024

  • "It was a fantastic cottage very clean."

    Unfortunately no internet but that's life. Only concern which I raised in the visitors book was that the three steps into property were a bit awkward for me and perhaps a hand rail would be useful.I suffer with back problems. However this will not deter me. We are seriously considering rebooking.

    Reviewed by Vanessa5.0Oct 2023

  • "We found the road within the castle to be hard on the car as it had many potholes."

    I thought the steps to the property were uneven and dangerous, we would have liked a parking spot and an outside light. I know the sensory garden was open which was lovely but not signposted at all. An outside bench would have been appreciated and although we booked it knowing it didn’t have internet, every other National Trust property we have stayed at did have the net and we really missed it.

    Thank you for your feedback. With the work ongoing at the Castle and the contractors are going up and down with lorries etc we do try and repair the potholes as best as we can. There is a parking spot which isn't marked at the moment but we plan to expand this area. The ‘sensory garden’ is actually managed and run by the local Camphill adult home as they grow produce for themselves. Property Owner

    Reviewed by Susan3.1Sep 2023

  • "Please provide a clothes airer and some extra pegs."

    Somewhere to hang coats in the hallway would really help.

    Reviewed by Eleanor3.8Aug 2023

  • "Lovely cottage in a superb location."

    Very quiet (castle being renovated at time of stay) with nice walks from door. Property very comfortable and well equipped with plenty of the basics - could do with some coat hooks by front door though as nowhere to hang wet gear. Very enjoyable stay and excellent location for exploring the North East of Scotland.

    Thank you for your comments, Craigievar is in a lovely part of Aberdeenshire, very peaceful. We are due to refurbish the cottage over the winter and we will look to see if we can install some hanging area. Property Owner

    Reviewed by Paul5.0Aug 2023

  • "Beautiful setting,very peaceful, lovely walks for the dogs…… Why l have marked it down is that ,the area is known for the changeable climate, in a cottage for 6 people there is no where to hang coats , let alone wet coats."

    Our gripe is about some small fixtures and fittings.

    Thank you for your feedback and it is great to read that you enjoyed the peaceful surroundings. We are refurbishing South Mains over the winter and will see if we can provide somewhere to hang wet coats. unfortunately the cottage doesn't have a lobby. Property Owner

    Reviewed by Susan3.4Aug 2023

  • "There is a washer and clothes line but no pegs provided?"

    There is no outdoor table and chairs or loungers to enjoy the garden in nice weather? The groundsman was clearing old roots adjacent the cottages were the parking is suppose to be . The owners should level this off and perhaps gravel this area to make a better parking space/spaces for the cottage as the current arrangements are no good . Have stayed at all three cottages and they are in a great location.

    Thank you for your feedback which we have taken note of. Property Owner

    Reviewed by Robert3.8Jun 2023

  • "We had so much fun on our Scotland trip."

    The countryside where we stayed was beautiful. We loved our little cottage and all the character it had. We enjoyed walking around the castle and seeing the cows nearby. We wished we could have stayed longer at our cottage but had so much fun. We had no trouble with getting in or our stay. The host left very good instructions for how to access the property. We visited Balmoral Castle and Five Castle while we stayed at the site. Thank you for a wonderful stay!

    Thank you so much for the kind words and we hope to welcome you back to NTS. Property Owner

    Reviewed by Ginger5.0Jun 2023

  • "We thoroughly enjoyed our stay."

    A truly stunning property and location. Whilst the castle is closed the grounds were open. We hope to return once the works have been completed and the woodland and castle are open. The closure didn’t dampen our spirits as it was wonderful to have the site almost exclusively to ourselves.

    Reviewed by Julian5.0Apr 2023

  • "Parking issues no proper allocated spaces When parked car outside cottage we were asked to move onto muddy ground by national trust employee to let farmer have access to track."

    If this area was cleared and gravelled there would be plenty of parking

    Thank you for your feedback. The website does state off-road parking for 3 cars, and the reason we asked the guest to move his car was that it was parked in the middle of the track that runs through the grounds and provides access for the farmer who rents fields from the National Trust for Scotland. During the winter we hope to extend the parking area as far as we can, but it will still mean that guests must keep the track clear for both NTS and farmers vehicles; in order to avoid a problem like this again we will provide a map in the cottages showing available parking. Property Owner

    Reviewed by Robert3.1Oct 2022

  • "In a great location to explore Aberdeenshire."

    What a lovely cottage set in the grounds of Craigievar castle. The cottage was cosy, clean, and full of character I think my mum wanted to move in. What a shame that we couldn't explore all of the walks because of fallen trees but a good excuse to return. I would definitely recommend.

    Thank you very much for the kind words about the cottage at Craigievar Castle. Unfortunately quite a few of our estates in the North East have lost trees due to the winter storms. You would be very welcome to return to Craigievar or any of the other NTS cottages and apartments. Property Owner

    Reviewed by Natalie3.8Apr 2022

  • "Overall we were very pleased with the cottage."

    It had obviously been recently painted and was generally very clean. The beds were made and the fridge and bathroom were spotless. The cottage is cosy, welcoming and in a fabulous location. The only niggles were that the electric fire in the lounge doesn’t work (it wasn’t needed because the heating works very efficiently), the kitchen flooring looks very tired and the cupboard doors could do with a good scrub. Also a coat rack would be a really useful addition. Finally please attach the fire blanket to the wall as this caused my father some concern. We had a lovely week at Craigievar which is a perfect location for exploring the area and would happily return again in the future. I would confidently recommend this company and this property to anyone thinking of a holiday rental.

    Reviewed by Emma4.4Apr 2022

  • "Had a great stay, this was a lovely location and comfortable cottage."

    Let down by a few wee issues. Double bed did not have a sheet on, and this could not be supplied for 2 nights. I feel whoever set up the cottage should have fixed this on the day, or at least left a note apologising. Nightlights on upper landing not working - electric socket out of order. This made trip to the downstairs bathroom perilous at night for my elderly parents. Hot tap in kitchen urgently needed fixing - came gushing out at high pressure, spraying us on several occasions, before we learnt to be wary. Also, while we understand caution about Covid, kitchen would have benefitted from wooden spoon (or silicon if you want it dishwasher safe), teapot, measuring jug and weighing scales.

    Reviewed by Laragh4.7Oct 2021

  • "The property was ok."

    Kitchen supplies are in need of renewal as knives were inadequate, can opener was broken and things like a ladle or whisk not present. Seating in the lounge for 7 is a push with all the other furniture present. Window in up stair bedroom is in need of repair as the trim is not attached. Location however excellent for walking, cycling and exploring the area. Castle was closed so cannot comment on that aspect. Would we stay again? Unsure.

    Reviewed by Andrew2.8Oct 2021

  • "Wonderful location, loved all the walks from the door, the castle and grounds are lovely and the cottage feels very cosy."

    We had such a nice time, we got lucky with the weather and we loved the surrounding countryside. The kids loved playing in the river Dee and Balmoral is a great place to visit, there are endless places to walk and we saw lots of wildlife. We were sad to leave at the end of our stay!

    Lovely to read that you enjoyed your time at this unique estate. It is a great area for a mix of castles, scenery, beautiful trees and rivers. Property Owner

    Reviewed by Adam4.7May 2021

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  • Over two floors
  • Three bedrooms: 1 x double, 2 x twins
  • Ground-floor bathroom with bath, shower over, basin and WC
  • Ground-floor shower room with basin and WC
  • Kitchen/diner
  • Sitting room
  • Electric central heating
  • Electric oven and hob, microwave, fridge/freezer, washing machine, dishwasher
  • TV and DVD player
  • Fuel and power inc. in rent
  • Bed linen and towels inc. in rent
  • Travel cot and highchair available
  • Off-road parking for 3 cars close to the cottage
  • Garden
  • Two well-behaved dogs welcome
  • Sorry, no smoking
  • Shop ad pub 5.3 miles
  • Holiday guests have access to the estate grounds outside of the regular opening hours
  • Note: There is no WiFi at this property and mobile phone reception can be poor
  • Note: There are 3 steps up to the path leading to the entrance of the cottage, Internally there is a staircase to the first floor and all the bedrooms
  • Note: Dogs are not allowed on beds or any of the furniture, you may like to bring an old towel to wipe muddy paws
  • Note: The charging of electric vehicles is not permitted
  • Note: If the Accommodation becomes inaccessible due to bad weather the National Trust for Scotland will take all reasonable steps to inform you and to offer an alternative National Trust for Scotland property
  • Note: The opening times, visitor facilities and entry prices of all National Trust for Scotland properties and attractions can be viewed on their website here
  • Note: Check-in from 5pm, check-out by 9.30am.

The property

Alford 5.4 miles.

Set amidst the stunning scenery of National Trust for Scotland’s Craigievar Castle and its beautiful estate grounds, is this historic semi-detached dwelling, South Mains Cottage, offering six guests a home from home in Aberdeenshire.

Originally built for the workers on the estate, the cottage is furnished in a classic country style, echoing the history of the building in its interior, offering everything you need for a fantastic break in Scotland.

Discover a lovely furniture arrangement within the sitting room after a long day of walking, with a feature fireplace adding a traditional feel to the décor and a TV to enjoy on a quiet evening.

The country farmhouse kitchen is a true delight; prepare your meals here and admire the quaint features, like the large Belfast sink, with a dining table and chairs to gather around at mealtimes.

A spacious ground floor bathroom offers a bath and an overhead shower attachment, so you can enjoy either a refreshing rinse or a hot soak.

The second bathroom is a shower room also situated on the ground floor.

Head upstairs to find the three bedrooms, consisting of a double room with dual aspect windows and another original fireplace, along with two twin bedrooms, both with plenty of storage for your personal belongings.

Spend time out in your own private garden as you sip your morning coffee before heading out on a morning stroll about the grounds, taking in the picturesque views of the unique, pink castle.

Let South Mains Cottage be your haven to return to after each Aberdeenshire adventure.

Note: This property can be booked with Refs. 1060436, 1060432, together sleeping 14 guests.

The major conservation project at Craigievar is nearing completion. Some minor ground works will remain ongoing throughout Spring 2024.

EPC Rating: Band E

Short-term Holiday Let Licence No: AS-00041-F

Craigievar Castle Cottages

Enjoy an unforgettable holiday with your loved ones at these three delightful cottages, nestled on the splendid Craigievar Castle estate, with a magnificent pink castle providing a fine example of Scottish Baronial architecture, maintaining its beauty across four centuries, with the help of the wonderful preservation work of National Trust for Scotland. Surrounded by extensive parkland, amounting to 37 hectares, guests at North Mains Cottage, South Mains Cottage and Steading Cottage can enjoy free reign of this magnificent landscape. There is plenty of wildlife holding residence here too; you can explore the waymarked woodland trails and catch sight of red squirrels, roe deer and perhaps even the elusive wildcats that roam the area. Take a guided tour around Craigievar Castle to learn of the rich family history and see the lovingly preserved collection of family portraits and ornate original furniture. The castle lies near to the town of Alford, where guests can find essential amenities, a local butcher’s, a shop and a pub, whilst the Alford Heritage Centre offers you the chance to learn more about the local history as it pays tribute to the workers of the area, with displays on past village and farm life. Take a scenic drive through Royal Deeside's ancient Caledonian pine forest to reach another National Trust for Scotland location, Mar Lodge Estate, a spectacular setting for walks and picnics in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. Here you can enjoy opportunities for mountain-biking, shooting, fishing and stalking, as well as a variety of rambles across the landscape, with the winter months offering brilliant downhill and cross-country skiing at Glenshee. Find even more delights slightly further afield at the National Trust for Scotland’s Pitmedden Garden & Museum of Farming Life, with over 30,000 annual bedding plants and plenty of agricultural history to discover, as well as the equally impressive Haddo House, a Palladian-style stately home designed by William Adam. The 'Granite City' of Aberdeen is within reach via car or the regular local buses from Alford, with a world of attractions to explore, from the many eateries and pubs, to the waterside scenery and beaches, you'll have no trouble filling a day out here with exciting activities. Make wonderful memories with your loved ones at the enchanting Craigievar Castle Cottages.

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About the location


Aberdeen 25 miles

Nestled in rural Aberdeenshire, the small town of Alford sits by the River Don and the hills of Bennachie and Coreen and has a variety of shops, restaurants and amenities. Steeped in history, the town is home to the Battle of Alford battleground and Alford Heritage Centre as well as the Grampian Transport Museum. For those who love the outdoors, the nearby Haughton and Murray country park offers an abundance of beautiful walks, and the 18-hole Alford Golf Course is ideal for both experienced and novice players. In the surrounding area there are a number of castles including the National Trust for Scotland's, Scottish Baronial Castle Fraser and its historic walled gardens. An ideal location for exploring Aberdeenshire, there is something for everyone in Alford.

There is no WiFi at this property.
Note: There are 3 steps up to the path leading to the entrance of the cottage.
Note: If the Accommodation becomes inaccessible due to bad weather the National Trust for Scotland will take all reasonable steps to inform you and to offer an alternative National Trust for Scotland property.
Note: The opening times, visitor facilities and entry prices of all National Trust for Scotland properties and attractions can be viewed on their website here
Note: The major conservation project at Craigievar is nearing completion. Some minor ground works will remain ongoing throughout Spring 2024.

This property offers the following short breaks:

  • Winter
  • Off-season
  • Last minute
  • Christmas