Stonehaven and Dunnottar Castle

The day after my birthday we decided to go and see Dunnottar Castle.  The forecast predicted showers increasing to steady rain into the afternoon, but at 10 am, it was pretty sunny.  We decided to risk it and take the 15 or so mile drive down south to Stonehaven.  I’m really glad we did.  Throughout the walk dark clouds would pass by, but for the most part it stayed sunny without a drop of rain.  If anything, the clouds made the castle on a cliff in the distance look more dramatic.

Walk to Dunnottar Castle in  the distance

Walk to Dunnottar Castle in the distance


Amber waves of grain in Scotland

Amber waves of grain in Scotland

You can drive pretty much right up to the castle, but there’s no fun in that for Stella and us…so we drove and parked by the Tolbooth in Stonehaven and walked over.  It was about a 3 mile walk round trip and totally worth it.   The views are breathtaking, and despite some gradual uphills, not too difficult.  You’re also able to walk up to the WWI memorial this way and would miss it driving straight up to the castle.

ww2Probably the most difficult part of the walk is actually down and then back up to the castle itself which everyone has to do regardless of where they park.  This castle is also in ruins like Slains Castle, but kept up and thus, they charge admission (£6 per person, dogs for free, but they must be kept on a lead).  The positioning on the cliff top is really quite stunning, but I kind of prefer the creepiness of Slains Castle.  Also, there were a lot more people at Dunnottar since it’s more of a sanctioned attraction.  Regardless, I’m glad we went.  The weather held out and it was a beautiful day.full castle family


Looks like painting on the wall.















When we started to walk back to Stonehaven we saw more clouds in the distance.  We arrived back in Stonehaven just as it started to spit.  We were starving, but we had Stella so we sat outside at a table in front of The Marine Hotel.  E went in and got a pint for himself, a diet coke for me, and put in an order for crab claws and garlic bread to share.  The rain was tolerable for awhile, but as the food came out it started raining harder and the temperature had dropped.  The waitstaff asked for the second time if we’d like a table inside, but we pointed to Stella, and then, to everyone’s delight, they told us dogs were allowed inside!  Well, we jumped all over that and the three of us got a table inside with our food, and I ordered a yummy latte.

Stella in a bar!

Stella in a bar!

I couldn’t have been happier.  It was super cozy inside and with a wide range of individuals including the mandatory drunken football hooligans.  It was great.  And I am so sad that I didn’t grab a picture of our food.  The little loaf of garlic bread with a sweet baslsamic drizzle, and a full clove of oven baked garlic.  And then 6, small but meaty crab claws sautéed with peppers and onions.  It was the perfect snack.  And the rest of the menu looked pretty amazing too…I think we’ll definitely have to go back.


  1. Venetia

    Luv your blog and the pictures are beautiful…must be amazing to see in person. curious as to the economy and how easy/difficult it would be to obtain employment in the area where you live??

  2. sandra glatthorn

    Sometimes cloudy days and rain have unexpected benefits.The weather added its touch in the pictures of Dunnotar, giving it an aura of desolation and haunted beauty. Great photos. the “most difficult part of the walk” looked damned difficult to me…I think it’s not for the faint of heart or the aged. And how good would that latte have tasted if the rain had not pushed you inside, dog included?

  3. kristen

    I live on stonehaven st. The views are just as breath taking.

    1. Lauren (Post author)

      Haha, I can only assume!


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