This small town lies near the River Don and was founded in the late 12th century as a royal burgh. It was only the fourth town in Scotland to be given a royal charter (1506).
Now in ruins, Halforest Castle – with 7ft thick walls - was built in 1296 and was one of the earliest of Scotland’s tower houses and played host to numerous members of royalty. Castle Fraser is another town house close to neighbouring Kemnay but is possibly Scotland’s most photographed ‘castle’. The nearby village of Monymusk has a Norman church and arts Centre.