A Deeside tourist attraction could become even more popular with families if plans for a new play park are approved.
The National Trust for Scotland wants to create the colourful, action-packed park at Crathes Castle behind its cafe.
As part of the revamp, staff also want to create a view point looking over the castle, near Banchory, its walled gardens and the surrounding countryside.
The proposals have now been lodged with Aberdeenshire Council, and in a supporting statement architect David Chouman said he believes they would “enhance the visitor experience to this magnificent property”.
He tells councillors the existing children’s play area near the woods off the main public car park is “too remote” from the cafe and gift shop.
He states: “This would complement the new family-friendly area within the cafe building, the proposal is to create a new children’s play area within an existing clearing within the woodland to the west of the cafe building.”
Gareth Clingan, property manager at the castle, said yesterday that the existing play park would remain and that it would be refurbished in a couple of years.
The preferred plan for the new park includes an elaborate climbing frame and slide, log swing and agility trail.
Mr Clingan added: “One of the things about Crathes is that it’s very much a family visitor attraction. We want to create somewhere that is part of a cafe experience where parents can watch their kids while they’re having a coffee and know they are playing safely.
“Brodie Castle, one of the trust’s other sites, recently refurbished its park too and has seen great results so we wanted to go along the same route.”
As well as the 16th century castle, said to be haunted by the Green lady, visitors can enjoy the walled gardens or a woodland walk. There is also an aerial activity park within the grounds, as well as a range of family-activities throughout the year – including the popular Enchanted Castle light and sound show in November.