Kincardine Castle: a Luxury Getaway in Scotland

Kincardine Castle from the park
Sometimes we think of what kind of life would we have if we were kings or queens. The harsh reality dictates that such opportunity is available only for a small percentage of noble people with “blue blood”. However, the Kincardine castle proves that any of us can make this dream come true. At least, for one night if you have spare money. What makes Kincardine castle Scotlands’s most visited party getaway place in Scotland? And is a Bradford Estate worth visiting?

Kincardine Castle History

It is important to know that there were several types of the castle with the same title: – the old Kincardine castle in Auchterarder

  • the new Kincardine castle in Auchterarder
  • the Kincardine castle of Royal Deeside.

They have a different history, that’s why it’s important to differentiate them.

Old Photograph Kincardine Castle Auchterarder Scotland

Old Kincardine Castle in Auchterarder

The old Kincardine castle was built in the 13th century (1460-1487), not far from a small Scotland town, Auchterarder. It’s more of a classic quadrangle fortress without windows, surrounded by a moat, and located in a miraculous place. The founder of the castle was Sir David de Graham of Cardross, who received the lands from the Earl of Strathearn. It was a mighty fortress that met its end during the War of Three Kingdoms. It was dismantled by Archibald Campbell in 1645. The remains of the castle became a part of the newly built church in Auchterarder.

New Kincardine Castle

The new Kincardine castle was built in the 19th century (1801-1803) and it was inspired by the Gothic style of architecture. It is located not far from the ruins of the old Kincardine castle.

Kincardine Castle of Royal Deeside

a couple in front of Kincardine Castle

The main “hero” of this article. It was built in 1894 as a part of the Kincardine Lodge. This Kincardine castle is more like a modern, rich and enormous castle-like house, located near Aberdeen City. If you love good ol’ ancient, grim, and cold classic castles – you are probably in the wrong place, cause the hospitality and comfort of this place are well-known in all Scotland.

During the pre-Great war period, the territory of the future castle was owned by a noble woman, Mary Pickering. She was the main reason why this castle was created. The heir of the castle should be Francis Pickering, the son of Mary Pickering.

However, he died during the First World War, being a commander of the 9th Rifles at Passchendaele near Ypres. The only available heir was his older sister – Ursula Pickering. The title would become fully legitimate after the death of Mary Pickering, which happened after the events of the First World War.

The Great War affected all parts of the community, and the Kincardine castle didn’t stand aside. It actually was refit into the hospital during both First World War and Second World War. The beds were placed on the empty floors to help the stragglers. The wards were located in such chambers as Drawing Chamber, Dining Chamber, and Billiard Chamber. The largest place of the house (the Great Hall) was the main room, where patients could relax.

Ursula had two daughters – Susan and Mary. Susan was the heir of the castle and also had 4 children – Andrew, Ronald, Margaret, and Robert. It’s said that the castle condition became worse while she was a legitimate heir. It happened because of the harsh economic reasons, mostly because of the very high taxes. Luckily, Andrew was there to save the day.

He became an owner of the Kincardine castle in 1979 and since then Andrew Bradford Kincardine’s most famous figure along with his astounding wide Nicky. He invested all his savings into the ennoblement of the castle, which paid out pretty well.

Eventually, the castle became known as the luxury resort place, providing the highest level of hospitality among the competitors.

In 2021, after managing a Kincardine castle for 40 years to great success, Andrew and Nicky decided that it’s time to move on. The legitimate heir of the castle became their son Edward. It was not an easy decision for the couple, as the Kincardine castle became something they really care for. They hope that Edward will improve the management nuances of the castle and estate so that the tourism aspect of the Kincardine castle stays prevalent.

Kincardine Castle Appearance

The Victorian style of the Kincardine castle makes it a very attractive place for all wealthy people, who would like to organize a party or spent unforgettable time with their loved ones. It’s definitely not the best place to role-play a castle siege, as the Bradford castle has neither moat nor windows to withstand some serious assault. Also, it’s a private territory, so now public visits are allowed by default.

Kincardine Castle sitting room

The Kincardine castle contains two twin towers with an arch and fire turrets – four round turrets and one square turret, similar to the classic Scottish tower castles.

The territory of the Kincardine castle is 3000 acres estate, and it’s located nearby of Cairngorms National Park.

There are 16 bedrooms in the castle, each with its own bathroom. In addition, there are 61 rented houses, located on the territory of the estate, including shops and offices. 33 workers (including the full-time chefs) are always ready to provide the best possible service for the guests of the Bradford castle.

Kincardine Castle Events

There are lots of events, which you can experience as a guest of the Bradford estate. Among them, you can participate in the:

  1. Wedding ceremony. Up to 40 guests can participate in the ceremony, and only a few weddings are held per year.
  2. Indoor and outdoor theater, opera, and concerts. Great Hall with its excellent acoustic is an especially great place for such sort of events. Up to 100 people indoor and 1500 outdoor.
  3. Important conferences and meetings. Great Hall, Board Chamber, and Drawing Chamber provide enough free space and a possibility for accommodation.
  4. Dinner parties. The antique layout of the Dining chamber (paintings, furniture) creates a perfect mix for up to 40 people to enjoy the best dishes and wines.
  5. Hunting, fishing, and sports activity (golf, etc.).

Kincardine Castle: Interesting Facts

Kincardine Castle main entrance

  • It is known that the daughters of Ursula were quite party-oriented girls and usually invited lots of guests to the castle. Eventually, it backfired, and their mother sold the furniture from most floors so that the castle could not accommodate more guests than necessary. This hilarious situation continued for more than 50 years.
  • The minimum amount of booked guests is 6, and you should spend at least 2 nights in the Kincardine castle.
  • It is located only 30 minutes from Aberdeen airport.
  • One of the main heirs for Kincardine castle (one of the sons of Mary Pickering) died in 1912. He was on the Titanic ship when the catastrophe happened. Francis Pickering (another son), was the next heir, however, his fate was a tragedy as well.
  • It is known that since 1996 the further investments were put into the development of gardens and their renovation.kincardine garden


back to Castles