Drumin Castle stands on a rocky bluff overlooking the confluence of the River Livet and the River Avon and protected by them on its north-eastern and north-western sides respectively. Brown tourist signs direct you to the castle from a considerable distance away, and there is a good parking area close to the bridge over the River Livet at the foot of the bluff immediately to the east of the castle.
From the car park a well made path of slopes and steps leads up to the side of the castle, where signs ask you to choose between visiting the castle itself, off to your left, and the walled garden to your right. Assuming you follow the signs to the castle you are led round what feels like, and then actually becomes, the path at the bottom of someone's garden before you come face to face with the south-western side of the castle.
Imagine a four storey tower house which has at some point been sliced vertically as if it were a cut-away model of what a tower house should be, and you get a reasonably accurate impression of what you find. Immediately next to the access path and south-eastern wall of the castle is the fence of the garden of the farmstead to the south. This gives this side of the castle a very enclosed feel, and helps explain where the missing stone from the castle ended up.
At ground floor level there are some fairly low walls on the south-east side, and within what is now a small courtyard is the open end of the vault which forms the floor of the first storey of the castle. Traces of rooms at ground floor level can be made out, but it is unclear how much of this exterior walling is actually part of the castle, or the result of later tidying up. The vaulting is obviously original, and within what would have been the basement of the castle there is what might be a blocked doorway or an alcove on one side.
A narrow set of steps at the southern corner of the castle leads up to the first floor, presumably once the main hall of the castle. From here you get a much closer view of the interior of the north-west and north-east walls, and this is also the best place to try to understand the layout of a castle which simply offers no distant views from this side. Better views are available if you follow the signs to the walled garden. This is an open space to the north-west of the castle, and does give some sense of what the complete structure might once have looked like.
Drumin Castle stands in an ideal defensive location which may have been fortified as far back as the Iron Age. In 1372 the lands in the area were granted by King Robert II to his fourth illegitimate son, Alexander Stewart, 1st Earl of Buchan, the younger brother of the future Robert III. Alexander Stewart is remembered by history as Wolf of Badenoch and best known for descending on Elgin on 17 June 1390 and destroying Elgin Cathedral, the second largest cathedral in Scotland, widely known as the Lantern of the North. He was forced to say "sorry" later, but goes down in history as one of Scotland's least pleasant characters.
Drumin Castle was probably first built in the 1370s, and rebuilt or updated by Sir Walter Stewart, Alexander's grandson, in the 1470 or 80s. The castle and surrounding lands were sold in 1490 to Alexander Gordon, 3rd Earl of Huntly. Drumin Castle was abandoned in the early 1700s. In more recent times the stonework has been consolidated and the castle was reopened to the public by HRH Prince Andrew on 14 July 2005.