IT is a fairytale castle that is said to have been the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Cinderella.

The pink 16th century Craigievar Castle in Aberdeenshire has captivated visitors and now has the chance to make its mark across the world after being unveiled as the first to get its own 3D Instagram filter app.

Conservation charity the National Trust for Scotland and Lidl GB have teamed up to create the app which allows the castle to be superimposed into the users “real-world environment anywhere in the world” via their smartphones.

Users can summon up the castle in an instant on their smartphone or tablet, via the face filter on Lidl’s Instagram, or by using a QR code, found within The Lidl Book of Big Adventures booklet

The lifelike “sensory projection” appears on their screens and can be placed anywhere in the real world.

Moving the phone around, the castle can be seen from every angle.

The AR filter was conceived during the coronavirus pandemic to allow visitors to experience the Aberdeenshire castle, which has remained closed this year, in an innovative way.

The entire exterior of the 26.3m (86ft) high building, which dates back to 1576, was meticulously scanned with a fleet of drones.

Hundreds of images were then combined to build the model, which were then used to craft the 3D Instagram filter.

Now the NTS and Lidl are on the lookout for the most imaginative, entertaining and fun locations that the public have placed the castle up until the end of October.

Dr Daniel Rhodes, National Trust for Scotland archaeologist said: “It’s brilliant to be able to share Craigievar with people in this way, especially just now. It’s a lot of fun to have a pink castle popping up in your living room and being able to fly around it but what you’re seeing on your phone is a conservation-grade scan of the property.

“That’s valuable to us in a number of ways. It gives us an incredibly detailed documentation of the property that we can refer back to in future years and you can really see how the castle was constructed over the centuries by the different habitants. It also shows off the property in a way that’s never been done before in Scotland.

“Using an augmented reality model within Instagram is hugely fun and it’s a way of bringing conservation and our country’s history to people in a way that wouldn’t have been possible until a few years ago.”

Nestled on a picturesque hillside near Alford, building of the Scottish Baronial style castle started around 1576.The elegant pink tower house is among the best preserved and the most loved in Scotland. Its exterior remains virtually unchanged since William Forbes completed it in around 1626.

In 1824, Sir John Forbes paid for a new roof, and had the castle completely reharled using pigments that made it more closely match the colour of the granite detailing, and the result was a distinctly pink colour.

Until then the exterior finish of the castle had been a cream colour. Meanwhile as little “improvement” as possible was undertaken within the castle, and as much of the original panelling and furniture as possible was retained. As a result Craigievar Castle became a very early example of a tourist attraction, and people started to journey from increasingly far afield in order to visit.One such visitor was Queen Victoria, who turned up unannounced in 1879 and on finding no one at home, she simply wandered around this “strange and curious old castle” until the residents were alerted to her presence and returned to greet her.

Craigievar remained a family home for the Forbes-Sempill family until 1963 when it was bequeathed to the NTS.

In accordance with the former owner’s wishes, artificial light has not been installed in the upper floors.

This means that the castle’s extensive collection of historic artefacts and art is seen in the shifting light from the sun, exactly as they would have been when they were made.

Ross Millar, regional director for Lidl GB, said: “At Lidl, we’re ‘Big On’ supporting Scottish families to lead healthy and active lifestyles, and that means helping find ideas to spend fun and wholesome time together.

“We’re delighted to be launching this innovative project with National Trust for Scotland, and hope that people have trolley loads of fun exploring this magical Scottish landmark in a truly unusual way.”