Five things to do in and around Ellon
Just 16 miles away from Aberdeen lies the attractive town of Ellon, next to the River Ythan.
With so much to see and do in the town, it is no surprise that it is home to over 9,000 people.
ASPC takes a look at five ways to spend a day in the area.
Designed in 1732 by famous architect William Adam – who also designed the stately House of Dun in Montrose – Haddo House is home to impressive decorative ceilings, beautiful paintings and fantastic furniture.
A refurbishment in the 1900s means the interior is decorated in a classic Victorian style.
If the weather allows, you can spend time in the extensive grounds, including a formal terrace garden and the Haddo Country Park – home to lakes, monuments, woodland walks and a deer park.
Balmedie Country Park
Based just nine miles outside Ellon is Balmedie Country Park, home of Balmedie Beach.
During the Second World War, Balmedie Beach was designated as a bomb cemetery. Defused and unexploded bombs from Luftwaffe raids in Aberdeen were brought to the beach, in order to be cleaned of explosives or detonated on the foreshore. Three pillboxes were built on the dunes at Balmedie to protect a small radar station consisting of three masts.
Its flat sandy beach with dunes makes Balmedie a great place to go for a wander, with 1700 metres of boardwalk over the dunes.
Described by some as one of the most picturesque castles in Scotland, Tolquhon Castle was commissioned by Sir William Forbes (the 7th Lord of Tolquhon) to be impressive – although there were still plenty of deterrents to keep away potential attackers!
Lavish decorations make the castle a great place to explore – including a secret compartment above the laird’s quarters where he hid his valuables, and statues of both Sir William and his wife Lady Elizabeth.
The Prop of Ythsie
Bearing a resemblance to a rook on a chess board, the Prop of Ythsie (pronounced ‘icy’) was built in 1861 as a memorial to George Hamilton Gordon, the 4th Earl of Aberdeen, and provides beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.
The name George Hamilton Gordon may seem familiar – this is because the Earl was also Prime Minister between 1852 and 1855.
Also owner of Haddo House for a while, the Prop of Ythsie was raised in Gordon’s honour by tenants who were grateful for the improvements he had carried out to the estate. As such, the Prop can be seen for miles in surrounding directions.
The walk to the Prop is not very difficult, while the tower itself has approximately 90 spiral steps to the top.
McDonald Golf Club
For those who love a round of golf, visit the scenic 18 hole golf course, named after benefactor Sir James McDonald who gifted the woodlands to the people of Ellon in 1926.
Originally a nine hole course before its expansion, the parkland features a natural stream which twists in between holes.
The back nine holes were developed later, with the last two reputed to be the hardest finishing holes in the North East of Scotland!