Slains Castle and Bullers of Buchan

I’m sure in due time I will really come to like Aberdeen.  I just don’t see that happening before September.  Our temporary housing is definitely “out of town” and I’m stranded without a car every day.  Luckily, I have:

  • Stella dog to talk to
  • My consulting gig to keep me busy
  • This blog to “talk” at length about my day to day
  • The internet and VPN to watch my Americaner shows
  • My Fitbit to remind me to get off my ass

I feel it will be hard to give this city my all until I’m in my preferred neighborhood and house, have friends and things to do, and a means of travel.  Until then, I have decided every weekend I need to go out into the most beautiful country side or do something quintessential Scottish to keep my in love with this country.

Last weekend we drove out to (New) Slains Castle.  Don’t let the name fool you, New Slains castle was first constructed in the 16th century (although there have been some updates) and is currently a “roofless ruin.”  It’s pretty magical I think, and sits right on a cliff where sadly, just about a year or so ago a young man died from falling.  It’s steep people.  Just being in a castle feels pretty magical and I think I liked it more because it was in ruins.  There are stairs up to nowhere and super creepy stairs down to dark, dark, cellars and perhaps tunnels.  We used the iPhone flashlight…but we didn’t get too far because E and I are pansies and we spooked ourselves out and turned back and ran back up into the daylight.

Getting there was easy peasy.  About a 20-minute drive to Cruden Bay.  I think you can drive closer to the castle and walk, as well as a few cars drove right up to the castle while we were there on a pretty rough rode.  But we wanted the walk.  Past the golf course, maybe a ½ a mile, you’ll see a Parking sign on your left.  Then you start off by walking through a great little trail in the woods.  Once you come to a clearing you’ll see Slains off in the distance.  It’s a super easy walk, one that I’d invite my 70-year-old mother on.  Stella had a grand ole time, as seems to be the Scottish norm, she was leash-free and loving it.

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Slains Castle

Slains Castle

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IMG_0123 copyWe tried to follow a trail up to the Bullers of Buchan (collapsed sea cave and historic fishing village) but there was a sharp cut-in by the sea that we couldn’t see to find a trail around once we hit it.  We decided to walk back to the car and drive up a couple miles to another Parking lot and take the Bullers of Buchan walk along the coast.  It was pretty incredible and terrifying.  The path is so narrow that we put Stella on a leash with her sport-bra in case she lost footing she wouldn’t plunge to her death/get choked to death.  We even made it down to the rocky shore, a little past the actual Bullers which is still all amazing, beautiful, and terrifying landscape to be on.  Unfortunately, no seals, puffins, or dolphins for us.  On our way back we passed a house with a women outside who said the best time to see the seals was in the morning.  By the time we were there, it was already well into the afternoon.  But just as we were coming up from the shore and heading back to our car, the sun came out.IMG_0124 copy

IMG_0131 copyOverall, it was a great day.  I got to remember why we moved here (other than that whole E got a job thing…), found a restaurant along the way that I really want to try (Cock & Bull anyone?), it didn’t rain at all, the sun came out, I totally hit my 10K steps, E got to see Cruden Bay golf course which looks amazing, AND we swung by Trump’s golf course….couldn’t see much, but his club house looked pretty unimpressive.



  1. Nate

    Good stuff! Sounds like it’s an adventure over there…love the blog!


    1. Lauren (Post author)

      Thanks Nate! Doors open if you find you way up here.

  2. Pam LeBlanc

    Loved reading your blog! I’m from Scotland originally but now live in the US, so it makes me laugh (in a nice way!) reading what you guys experience coming to my country compared with my experiences coming to the States 🙂 Looking forward to reading more! Cheers!


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