Monday, April 12, 2010

Dunnottar Castle

The weather was beautiful this weekend, so we took a bus ride out to Dunnottar Castle. The castle is situated on a beautiful hill on the North Sea. It is just south of the coastal town of Stonehaven.

This castle and its location have a long history, starting with the Picts in the fourth century (or earlier). It is an incredible ruin and we all enjoyed exploring.

To get to the castle, you have to walk down about 100 stairs (Joshua lost count at some point) to the bottom of the ravine. At low tide there are rocks and pools that would be fun to explore (we didn't have time on this particular trip). Then you hike back up the other side, another 30 or so stairs. This takes you to the main tower (a.k.a. the keep). This tower is the main defense and it is a fortress. At the bottom is the dungeon and across the way are the barracks and the weapons storage.

Once you pass through the defenses, you come to the living space.
It has open lawns and green spaces where the kids can run around.

Most of the buildings were labeled so we could identify them. It was more like a community built on a hilltop with a single castle, like you think of in fairy tales. There were buildings for the servants, the family's quarters, the stables, the chapel, the smithy, and a few more that I can't remember.

Joshua loved the ruins and has not stopped talking about them since our visit. He also keeps asking when we are going to see another castle. "Scotland has lots of castles," he says.

We were astonished by the scenery and the beauty all around us. The shore and the cliffs were amazing. All around us was quiet except for the sound of the birds and the sea (and our children running around).

If you look out the far window of the family's quarters, there is a colony of puffins nesting on the edge of the cliff. This weekend was the first siting of the year. Check out my photo album to see pictures of the birds.

We had an incredible time exploring this castle and learning about the history that happened in this very place. We highly recommend this castle to anyone who is traveling in the area. 

Check out more pictures from out trip at: Dunnottar Castle - April 2010.


  1. Breathtaking and beautiful. Oh thank you for sharing your pictures here.

  2. Wow, that looks amazing! I love that you're taking advantage of your surroundings (and taking us--your readers--along for the adventure). :-)

  3. I knew you would love it! You had a great day for it! I didn't realize puffins nested there. I've never seen them. You got some great family shots too!


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