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Haddo House


Haddo House is set in a large country pack a few miles North of Aberdeen and is one of the grandest houses that we have visited.

The history of Haddo House is an interesting story - it was first designed in 1732 by William Adam as a Georgian property, then refurbished in 1880 for the then owner's wife. It seems that the wife was quite demanding and she wanted the house to be "modernised" (to be a little more contemporary Victorian). The modernisation was done at a cost of £1.25 million, a staggering sum when you realise it was the1880's!!!

You read guidebooks that rave about ceilings etc., but Haddo House really does have some fantastically detailed ceilings - see picture below. Throughout the  house you need to look up to discover the splendid designs and hard work that have gone into them. All the more amazing when you realise that they are made from paper mache and they have lasted the passage of time so well.

Haddo House has played host to most members of the Royal Family since Queen Victoria and her husband stayed at Haddo in 1857. The tour of the castle includes a visit to the room where she slept.

The most interesting room at Haddo House is the Library. This is an attractively spacious room with countless books and 2 fire places. You can really picture yourself sitting here on a winter's afternoon reading a good book or a newpaper in front of the fire. Look for the secret door in the bookcase (bookshelf XVI) and the intriguing painting of Lady Ishbel Countess of Aberdeen. By means of some clever optical trick the shoe of Lady Ishbel always points in your direction, as you walk around the room!

After visiting the plush rooms upstairs, you take a tour of the servants areas downstairs. One of the downstairs rooms contains a collection of very detailed castle paintings from James Giles. All the castles featured are in Aberdeenshire. We never knew there were so many!

The tour of the castle is normally conducted by a guide and takes about an hour. You don't get to see all of the house as the South Wing was kept as the private residence of Lady Haddo until her death in 2009.

The cafe at Haddo House is worth a special mention as it is housed in the old stables  which have been attractively converted and the walls of the cafe are decorated with old porcelain bowls from the kitchens.

This is another property where you don't visit as many rooms as you might anticipate for such a large house, however, what you see is of such quality that we think you will be happy to pay the entry fee.

Please Note that all House Tours are guided and places ought to be pre-booked to be guaranteed. Details of how to book tours are on the NTS website.


Ellon, Aberdeenshire, AB41 7EQ

Operated by:

National Trust for Scotland

Opening Hours:

February to December - Friday to Monday,11am - 4pm with guided tours at 11am, 1pm and 3pm
Tours should ideally be pre-booked by email to [email protected]
The Courtyard Cafe is open Friday to Monday 10am - 4pm. / Grounds open all year.


£ 16 adult, £ 12.50 senior, Family £ 36.50




Explanatory text: French, German, Italian, Spanish


The house is accessible, parts of the garden, shop, restaurant







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