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  • North Mains Cottage - Craigievar Castle - Scottish Lowlands - 1060432 - photo 1

North Mains Cottage - Craigievar Castle

(Ref. 1060432)

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


Sykes rating

  • 4 Guests

  • 2 Bedrooms

  • 1 Bathroom

  • Pets Yes


  • Off road parking
  • Open fire
  • Cot available
  • Highchair available
  • Washing machine
  • Dishwasher

Reviews & Ratings

Accuracy of the listing
Facilities and Maintenance
  • All reviews
  • cottage (22)
  • stay (12)
  • location (11)
  • our (9)
  • comfortable (9)
  • great (8)

25 Customer Reviews

  • "We had a lovely stay at this magical cottage."

    The grounds were sublime. Perfect base for visiting historical sites. We will most definitely return. John and Lynne Leicestershire

    Reviewed by Lynne5.0Jun 2024

  • "Super stay at an immaculate little cottage so close to an amazing castle."

    Although we were well aware in advance of the possibility, what a pity we were just a little too early for the castle's re-opening - the outside of which looked great with the scaffolding down. We will definitely have this on a future itinerary to take a tour round the inside. We left as the ground staff were busy remedying the horrendously potholed drive, so the next visitors should hopefully see this aspect of the works completed. The cottage has no wifi or phone signal, again known to us in advance, but we found availability of both quite close to the cottage in the castle grounds which proved useful. A really lovely peaceful stay.

    Many thanks for your lovely comments. The castle reopens on 31st May 2024 after extensive work to the exterior and North Mains Cottage was refurbished in March 2024. We currently have a project to install wifi in all the cottages, this is taking some time and some locations are proving very challenging but hopefully we will over come this. Property Owner

    Reviewed by Fay4.7May 2024

  • "Really comfortable stay."

    Thank you very much for your review. All three cottages at NTS Craigievar Castle have been refurbished this year . Property Owner

    Reviewed by Roger J D5.0Apr 2024

  • "The cottage is really cosy and had everything I needed for my stay."

    It’s in such a peaceful location and the walk around the castle grounds is beautiful. The whole house was immaculate and the kitchen was well stocked with cooking utensils, pots and pans etc. (and I really appreciated the little pint of milk in the fridge!) It’s a great base for exploring further afield but also for staying in and appreciating the surroundings!

    Reviewed by Gillian4.7Mar 2024

  • "Good, comfortable, well kitted out cottage."

    Good widespread views to look out upon. Good location to explore with the dog, he was well happy and says he wants to come back

    Many thanks for your lovely comments about the cottage, It has just had a refurbishment along with the other 2 cottages at Craigievar. Property Owner

    Reviewed by David5.0Mar 2024

  • "Lovely cottage lovely and quiet a home from home would recommend it to family and friends."

    Reviewed by Donald5.0Nov 2023

  • "A wonderful cottage."

    Modern bathroom and kitchen. Felt like home to us could easily live there. Very good central heating kept the place cosy. Did light the log burner a few evenings but bought the kindling and logs from the garage in Alford( Coop was a lot more expensive- £4 at the garage but £11.99 at Coop). Couple of things we could have done with was a jug and a pair of food tongs and maybe consider a grab rail in the bath/shower? Other than that everything was fab. Ideal location for exploring all the castles and stone circles. Would book cottage again even just to see Craigievar Castle in it's full glory. Thanks

    Reviewed by Kim5.0Sep 2023

  • "We loved North Mains Cottage!"

    It was a beautiful cosy home in a stunning location. Everything was super clean and comfortable! The only improvement I could think of would be for guests to have access to the gate adjacent to the property, to get into the garden. The garden looked beautiful, and we had lovely weather, but we did not like to disturb our neighbours by constantly passing their property so could not make use of the garden. Everything else was perfect and we would definitely stay again. Thank you.

    Many thanks for your comments and we hope to welcome you back. The gate beside North Mains was put there to stop all the walkers using the wrong route to the Hill / Red Trail and disturbing guests in North Mains. . We initially didn’t lock it but people still used it and left it open. We did provide the cottage with a key for the gate but this was lost on several occasions so we are at abit of a loss on what to do to ensure guests privacy. Property Owner

    Reviewed by Sarah4.7Aug 2023

  • "Great cottage, clean and comfortable."

    The amenities are good and you can park next to property. Our kid and fur babies loved it. Brilliant base to visit family and explore. Would highly recommend and happily stay again!

    Reviewed by Louise5.0Jul 2023

  • "Fabulous location, the cottage was lovely and clean, well equipped and so quiet."

    With unrestricted access to the castle grounds it was a lovely place to stay with our dogs and the amazing weather helped. :)

    Reviewed by Alison5.0Jun 2023

  • "Inaccurate information = It is not self contained on one level."

    It is keypad controlled entry not a safe key box The toilet/ bathroom needs a sign over the door to say “ low door watch your head “ as it is very low. The property does not have access to a back garden. You have to leave the property and go around another property (semi detached) to access the back space. The shower was out of order you got 5seconds of hot water then it ran cold. The on site manager was aware of this and a plumber had apparently been called for but he did not arrive during our holiday. Horrific having a cold shower!! Otherwise it was a great holiday.

    thank you for your feedback and we have asked Sykes to investigate why this short sentence on the main page mentions single storey as we have no details saying that on our back of house system. We are unsure what you mean by the key pad as we have key safes fitted. You are quite to say that access to the back area is via the side of the other semi detached property, we do not advertise a private garden but do say that you have access to the whole estate at Craigievar. Property Owner

    Reviewed by Julia3.4Apr 2023

  • "Very comfortable and cosy cottage."

    Beautiful location and great for a respite from electronic communications.

    Many thanks for your very positive comments about your stay. Property Owner

    Reviewed by David5.0Oct 2022

  • "Vielen Dank für den tollen Aufenthalt."

    Das Cottage ist super ausgestattet, gepflegt und sauber. Wir haben uns sehr wohlgefühlt. Wir können das North Mains nur empfehlen und werden bestimmt wieder bei Sykes buchen. TOPP!!!

    Vielen Dank für Ihre freundlichen Kommentare. Property Owner

    Reviewed by Josefine5.0Sep 2022

  • "We left a note about our having repositioned two items of furniture, a sofa in the sitting-room and a drop-leaf table in the kitchen: both had been placed hard up against radiators, completely blocking their heat output - very wasteful of heat and electricity!"

    The cottage was basically comfortable, but the sitting-room lighting was far too weak for reading, writing, doing jigsaws, sewing, knitting etc.

    Many thanks for your comments and your suggestion for increasing the level of lighting. We will pass this onto the property manager and ask them to look at purchasing more lamps. Thank you for letting us know that you repositioned the furniture, obviously with rising energy prices we need to try and ensure the cottages are as efficient as they can be. Property Owner

    Reviewed by Michael4.1Sep 2022

  • "The cottage was dark and uncomfortable beds and settees."

    Poorly equipped. The lounge had a boarded up window making it even darker and insecure. We paid alot of money for a weeks holiday and a comment in the visitors book implied the window had been broken since 2017!

    Thank you for your feedback which we do value from our guests. We have checked with our property manager and the window was broken recently. We found glass outside the cottage and a circular hole so we are not sure how it occurred. We can assure you that it has not been in this condition since 2017. John our property manager did come to see you on your arrival to explain the situation. We do have the glass on order and a glazier booked but unfortunately because of the rural location of the castle and cottages he cannot come until October. The cottage is an old building which has low ceilings and small windows so they do lack natural light on very dull days. We are going to look at adding extra lamps in the cottage and we do have a new suite on order for North Mains. Property Owner

    Reviewed by Janet2.5Aug 2022

  • "It is an absolute delight to be able to stay at a location such as Craigievar."

    Early morning or late afternoon walks, before lots of people arrive are very special. The North Mains Cottage is a restful and wonderful place for a holiday.

    Thank you very much for the lovely comments about North Mains at Craigievar. We hope to welcome you back to Craigievar or one of the many other NTS cottages. Property Owner

    Reviewed by Anne5.0Jul 2022

  • "Loved the cottage would definitely go back beautiful grounds and Craievar Castle was spectacular"

    Thank you very much for your great review and we look forward to you returning to Craigievar or any of the other National Trust for Scotland cottages. Property Owner

    Reviewed by Robert4.7Jul 2022

  • "The cottage was lovely and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay."

    One or two things need attention, broken lid of toilet waste bin and leaking cold tap over kitchen sink. A couple of things would have been useful like a toilet brush and a duster or two, which would have made cleaning at the end of our stay much easier. But none of these things detracted from our enjoyment and comfort in the cottage.

    Many thanks for your comments and we have passed on your comments to the property team to action your suggestions. Property Owner

    Reviewed by Fiona4.7Jun 2022

  • "A delightful and well-appointed cottage."

    There was plenty of space in the living area, the beds were comfortable, and the house was warm. Parking near the cottage was tight but OK. The kitchen was well-appointed and excellent in every aspect except the cooker (which was out of the Ark and could have been upgraded at any sale for a tenner!). Disappointingly, the kitchen floor was wet in puddles when we arrive and the toilet was still dirty. A bathroom shelf was hanging off the wall (removed on request). Only one window opened and it was hard to cool the cottage down or to ventilate it. But a good spot and we'd go back there happily.

    Thank you for your feedback. We are formalising plans for soft refurbishments across the NTS cottages and have noted your comment about the cooker, the shelf and the windows. We are very sorry that the cottage was not spotless when you arrived. Property Owner

    Reviewed by Andrew3.8May 2022

  • "A stunning location, the house was exactly as it said, cottage living at its best."

    The new bathroom with the heated towel rail was fab, perhaps a non-slip math for inside the shower, as it can get quite slippy. A few pegs for the line would be great but not a big deal. Such a warm and cosy property and we were spoilt with the location, the wildlife at night and the Tawny Owl in the woods behind us, picture-postcard perfection. We were rudely interrupted on Wednesday night by a couple who thought it would be funny to knock three times on the Kitchen window, at about 9.30 pm, frightening our dogs and our child, not funny at all. As far as I could tell in the dark, they were staying in a campervan in the car park. But otherwise, a nice relaxing place to stay away from phones, emails and technology.

    Many thanks for your feedback and the suggestions of the anti slip mat for the shower and some more pegs. We have sent these suggestions onto the property manager. We try to prevent overnight parking /camping at Craigievar but not always successfully. Some have removed the signs that say no campervans or campers. Property Owner

    Reviewed by Bernice5.0Apr 2022

  • "Great little cottage in a superb location."

    Very peaceful and great for walks and lazing about. The cottage is conveniently situated with easy access to the Cairngorms, Balmoral and the east coast. The cottage is very clean, comfortable and well equipped. It is also very warm - you’ll not need the log burner unless it is minus something silly outside! The bedrooms are spacious and comfortable. The bathroom is modern with an electric shower - however the shower is tepid at best. This is not a major problem but should be looked at for future stays - this is one of the coldest parts of the UK after all! Despite this, there is very little to find fault with the place. We’ll definitely go back.

    Thank you very much for the feedback. It is in a great location, very quiet and light pollution. We will investigate the cool shower. Property Owner

    Reviewed by Peter4.7Apr 2022

  • "Very rough uneven surface to cottage and we found it not well signposted I dark which resulted in us damaging our car."

    We also had a power cut due to ? Toaster problem

    The normal road up to the cottage suffered badly in the recent heavy rain and parts of it were washed away; we couldn't get a contractor in for a number of weeks hence the uneven state of the access route. That is assuming the visitor followed the advice we have always given to ignore satnav instructions when coming from the south; these always try and bring you up the south drive which is unsuitable for motor vehicles. There are no signs on that drive to the cottages. There are signs on the north / normal drive to the cottages but one of them has had one of the uprights smashed by a car driving into it, so the sign is propped up on the ground - it will be replaced for next season. All electrical devices were PAT tested at the start of the season; I offered to drive out to rectify the problem but the client said it wasn't necessary. Property Owner

    Reviewed by Margaret4.4Oct 2021

  • "Comfortable cottage in a great location for exploring Aberdeenshire."

    Thank you very much for your feedback, and yes it is a great location for seeing beautiful Aberdeenshire . Property Owner

    Reviewed by Michael3.8Jun 2021

  • "A very peaceful and restful stay - no internet or phone signal, a bonus!"

    Would definitely stay again. beautiful surroundings and excellent walks for the dog.

    Reviewed by Susan4.1Jun 2021

  • "The cottage was everything we were looking for as a peaceful break , location perfect and the castle although not open spectacular ."

    However the one fault in our stay was the horrendously uncomfortable bed which did dampen our experience . Lack of sleep was a problem . In my opinion if you upgraded the sleeping facility it would be perfect !

    Thank you for your comments about your stay in North Mains. The bed is about 4 years old and is a firm mattress but following on from your comments we will re-assess the bed when we can assess the cottage. Property Owner

    Reviewed by Dorothy4.4Jun 2021

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  • Two first floor bedrooms, 1 double, 1 twin
  • Ground-floor bathroom with bath, shower over, basin and WC
  • Kitchen
  • Living/dining room with woodburning stove
  • Electric central heating with wood burning stove( Please provide own logs)
  • 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
  • Cot and highchair available
  • Off-road parking for 2 cars close to the cottage
  • Access to the castle grounds
  • Two well-behaved dogs welcome
  • Sorry, no smoking
  • Shop & pub 5.3 miles
  • Holiday guests have access to the estate grounds outside of the regular opening hours
  • There is no WiFi at this property and mobile phone reception can be poor
  • 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
  • The opening times, visitor facilities and entry prices of all National Trust for Scotland properties and attractions can be viewed on their website here
  • The Charging of electric vehicles is not permitted.

The property

Alford 5.4 miles.

Originally built as a home for the workers of the National Trust for Scotland’s 18th century Craigievar Castle estate, North Mains Cottage is a charming semi-detached dwelling offering four guests a wondrous base for an adventure to Aberdeenshire.

After a stroll around the parkland, take a seat on the inviting sofa, beside the traditional woodburning stove in the living/dining room, soaking up the delightful décor of the room.

North Mains Cottage has been carefully furnished in an antique, country style, in keeping with its history, and there are plenty of unique delights to find, including a beautiful antique chest, which houses the TV.

Head into the bright and spacious kitchen, with sunny yellow walls and a host of appliances to assist you in cooking up a feast for your loved ones, as well as a handy washing machine and dishwasher.

Serve up your home cooked feast in the dining area at the classic round table, before retiring upto one of the two bedrooms for your night’s rest.

Choose from two lovely twin bedrooms, with plenty of storage for your things and Scottish tartan blankets, they offer the perfect setting for waking up to views of the splendorous castle's pink turrets and stunning estate grounds.

The charming ground floor bathroom features traditional wood-panelled walls and is home to a bath with an overhead shower, where you can freshen up and prepare for the day ahead.

Spend quality time with your loved ones in this idyllic setting at North Mains Cottage.

This property can be booked with Refs. 1060434, 1060436, together sleeping 15 guests.

EPC Rating: Band F

Short-term Holiday Let Licence No: AS-00042-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.

View on map

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.

Note: 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.

This property offers the following short breaks:

  • Winter
  • Off-season
  • Last minute
  • Christmas