Due to masonry inspections, there is currently no visitor access to Aberdour Castle and Gardens. St Fillan’s Church and Silver Sands Beach remain open.
Aberdour Castle is one of the oldest datable standing castles in Scotland. This small castle is packed with history and reveals much about changes in architectural styles and the fortunes of its owners.
Tucked away in the complex are the remains of a two-storey hall-house, which may date to the early to mid-1100s. The castle was extended in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries and served as home to many generations of noble families, including the nephew of Robert the Bruce.
Explore the remains of the tower house and hall house, the central range (originally containing the great hall), and the east range which is the only part of the castle still roofed.
Here you can see the long gallery and the precious 17th-century painted ceiling decorated with fruit, foliage, and heraldic emblems.
To see all around the castle, you’ll need to take one of the guided tours available during the summer months.
Used in the Outlander TV series, Aberdour doubles as Sainte Anne de Beaupré’s French monastery to which Jamie flees. On a guided tour, you can see the old kitchen and long gallery which were used in filming.
Of particular charm is the walled garden planted with scented flowers. It is thought that many plants such as pink sorrel, periwinkle and feverfew were brought here as part of a cultivation programme. You can also see the old terraces, the orchard and a bowling green. Look out for the 16th-century beehive-shaped doocot – or pigeon house – where you can enjoy views over the Firth of Forth.
St Fillan’s Church
Adjacent to the castle is St Fillan’s Church which may predate the castle. Legend has it that in the 18th century, the Countess of Morton ordered it to be flattened so that common folk could not congregate so close to her residence or get in her way when hunting. Thankfully, the church survived intact, and the building has been restored in recent years. It has an interesting graveyard in which the gravestones bear the occupations of the deceased.
Silver Sands Beach
A few minutes from the castle is Aberdour Silver Sands beach. This popular beach looks out to the islands of Inchmickery and Inchcolm and has a children’s putting green and bouncy castle in the summer.
The Fife Coastal path passes the beach and there are some nice coastal walks to be had.