A guide To: Duff House

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Duff House

The Out About Scotland complete guide to Duff House

About Duff House

The historic coastal town of Banff in the north-east of Scotland is popular not only with tourists exploring the rugged coastline and myriad coves and beaches, but also with golfers keen to play on the numerous courses in the area. Other attractions in the town include the community-run Banff museum and the magnificent Duff House, one of the finest Georgian stately homes in Scotland.

Duff House is a beautiful building and one that’s unexpected in such a quiet wee coastal town like Banff, but a visit here is well worth making the time for because it offers a fascinating walk through its beautiful rooms and the outside grounds are a lovely place to go for a wander – especially in spring when the wildflowers start to bloom.



Things to do at Duff House

Built as a giant status symbol by William Duff, the First Earl of Fife, Duff House never fails to impress visitors who come not just to admire the architecture of this impressive building, but also the splendid collection of national treasures on loan from the official collection of the National Galleries of Scotland.

The entire estate is jointly run with Aberdeenshire Council and Historic Environment Scotland while the artworks have been included as a way to open up Scotland’s national collection to audiences who might not be able to visit the main collections in the Edinburgh Galleries.

While the mansion-house is a peaceful place today, its beginnings were surrounded by in-fighting between William Duff (the owner) and William Adam (the architect), which meant that the grand carved east and west wings of the original design were never completed. However, the house is stunning in its current form and visitors will enjoy both viewing the baroque architecture and exploring the 18th-century decorated rooms with their highly detailed furniture.

Although William Adam died before he could receive the debt owed to him for building Duff House, he would no doubt be proud to see modern-day tourists enjoying the beautiful salon and drawing rooms, the fine art, and the Dunimarle library with its collection of over 4000 rare volumes.

But it’s not just the inside of the house that’s worth making the journey for. Externally, Duff House is surrounded by landscaped grounds with paths leading past several ornamental follies as they make their way alongside the River Deveron, before finishing at the gothic Duff family mausoleum hidden deep inside woodland.

The walk back through the grounds will be enough to work up an appetite for the on-site cafe and its mouth-watering selection of home-baked food, while the kids will no doubt be entertained by the well-stocked gift shop at the main entrance. All-in-all, Duff House is definitely recommended for visitors exploring this part of Scotland.


What I liked about this attraction

  • The house is interesting to explore. There’s lots to discover during your visit
  • The cafe is great
  • The walk through the nearby woodland is lovely

What I didn’t like about this attraction

  • I haven’t got any negative comments about this attraction

Address and directions map

AB45 3SX


Contact details

Prices and opening times

  • Member/Explorer Pass holder: Free
  • Adult: £7.50
  • Child aged 5–15: £4.50
  • Child under 5: Free
  • Concession: £6.00


  • 1 April to 31 October: Daily, 11am to 5pm. Last entry 4.30pm
  • 1 Nov to 31 Mar: Thursday to Sunday, 11am to 4pm. Last entry 3.30pm


  • 25 and 26 December
  • 1 and 2 January


Accessible for the Disabled

Virtual tour



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Craig Smith

Craig Smith is your guide to the best attractions in Scotland. He loves exploring the Scottish wilds and is happiest when he's knee-deep in a muddy bog in the middle of nowhere.

Out About Scotland