Castle Fraser is the most elaborate Z-plan castle in Scotland and one of the grandest 'Castles of Mar'. It is located near Kemnay in the Aberdeenshire region of Scotland. The castle stands in over 300 acres (1.2 sq km) of landscaped grounds, woodland and farmland which includes a walled kitchen garden of the 19th century. There is archaeological evidence of an older square tower dating from around 1400 or 1500 within the current construction.
Legend has it that a young princess was once staying at the castle when she was brutally murdered while asleep in the 'Green Room'. Her body was dragged down the stone stairs, leaving a trail of blood stains. As hard as they tried, the occupants of the castle could not scrub out the stains, and so were forced to cover the steps in wood panelling, which remains today. It is said she still stalks the halls of the castle during the night. It is more likely, however, that the stone stairs were covered to make them easier to climb as they were used as the servants stairs in the 19th century.
Some scenes in the 2006 film The Queen, starring Dame Helen Mirren, featured Castle Fraser as a backdrop.
Today, the castle is owned by the National Trust for Scotland. The castle is open to visitors from Easter to October. The grounds and walled gardens are open year round. It can be hired for weddings, dinners, conferences and corporate events and has a holiday apartment in the Stables.