Dunnottar – Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire

Narrow Road

Our ‘plan’ was to head north from Stirling to Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire. I was very excited about visiting Dunnottar Castle, a medieval fortress.

At some points our chosen road was barely a lane wide, making for a trepidatious journey. The countryside was green and beautiful, as one would expect from Scotland.

Sunny day in Scotalnd

There was an interesting ‘castle’ squished up uncomfortably to the side of the highway. It looked very old, with its unusual silver spires glinting in the sunlight.

I made my husband stop, so I could take a photo.

Highway Castle Spikey Spires

We wondered how the residents felt about their highway abode, surely once (100’s of years ago?) situated perfectly, accessible to the main thoroughway.

Close enough now that I would be VERY worried about vehicles crunching through the medieval stone of my living room.

Memorial In The Distance

As you round the corner to Stonehaven, the Black Hill War Memorial awaits you, perched up on a hill overlooking Dunnottar Castle.

From a distance it is reminiscent of Roman ruins – which was what the lady at the Castle told me it was!

Rolling Hills

Scottish humour? Perhaps. But the same lady also told me she didn’t know which direction ‘Fyvie‘ Castle was – though it is less than 45 minutes away.

Dunnottar Overlooking

I already knew that Dunnottar was going to be spectacular from photos I had seen online, but really, of all the castles, it is one of the most incredible to ‘come upon’.

Path to Dunnottar

The path itself is a bit long and at times almost arduous, so consider that fair warning. If you can handle the trek, no sight is more rewarding than that of the ruins of Dunnottar.

Perched upon a cliff high over the North Sea, the fortress has hosted many famous visitors. Montrose, the gentleman I had just learned of through a note card atop his memorial in St. Giles (remember this post?), had spent quality time here.

Birds Above Dunnottar

From dunnottarcastle.co.uk;

William Wallace, Mary Queen of Scots, the Marquis of Montrose and the future King Charles II, all graced the Castle with their presence. Most famously though, it was at Dunnottar Castle that a small garrison held out against the might of Cromwell’s army for eight months and saved the Scottish Crown Jewels, the ‘Honours of Scotland’, from destruction.

Impressive, to say the least! Dunnottar isn’t referred to as one of Scotland’s greatest ruins for nothing.

Dunnottar on the Cliff

The castle and keep were blasted down and rebuilt many times, over a number of centuries – there has been recorded action on the site since 681.

Many additional photos in the slideshow.

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Follow this trip by heading to the ‘8 Country EU Tour‘ section. Enjoy many more photos of Scotland by heading to the Habitual Runaway on Facebook.


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