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Dunnottar Castle, Stonehaven

Must see · Castle · Tourist Spot
Perched atop steep cliffs that plunge 50 m (160 ft) down to the North Sea, Dunnottar Castle is what's left of the strategically located home of one of Scotland's noble families. The ruins spread across a 3.5 acre (1.4 hectare) plot on the cliff’s edge. One of the largest buildings is the tower house, which stood 15 m (49 ft) when at its full height. It had a great hall and upstairs bedrooms for the castle's lord. Wear good walking shoes to the site because the parking lot is located at the base of an 800 m (2,600 ft) footpath that leads up to the castle. Hours change seasonally so please check website for all up-to-date information. Make Dunnottar Castle a centerpiece of your Stonehaven vacation itinerary, and find what else is worth visiting using our Stonehaven travel route planning app.
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Dunnottar Castle reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
3,123 reviews
  • Well managed timings for arrival at the castle to allow for covid restrictions with plenty of time to explore the castle and grounds. Agree with the website that the best way to get there is to walk.....  more »
  • I'm so glad we decided to tour Dunnottar Castle last week. There's certainly plenty to explore for the ticket price. The views of the caste (on the walk from the bay) and from the castle itself are...  more »
  • I’ve been to this castle twice now and it’s just as stunning in the misery of rain as it is in glorious sunshine. Plenty of things to see and read about even with some areas being closed due to...  more »
  • Great walk from centre of Stonehaven to this historical gem. Walk along the coastal path, well signposted, and take a breath before descending the steps down then up to the castle. Be careful, not for the unfit. Reasonable entry fee then explore and take in the history of the place. Return same way. Don't be tempted to do a circular route by walking due west away from the castle. This walks alongside a roadway.
  • You have to get there for sunrise. No questions about it it was the morning I've ever seen. The sunrise is spectacular and changes literally second by second. Now getting down to the Castle is not for the faint-hearted or out of shape. It is a massive track many stairs then up just as many stairs steeply. And that just gets you there then you need to climb all over the castle and more steps. And then remember that crazy trip you had to take to get here, well now you get to do it and reverse to go back and when you think you're finally done it's about a quarter of a mile walk back to the car park. That's the warning. That being said it is so worth. Amazing ruins, great scenery on the water, a 900 year old in the middle. We went to 11 castles in Scotland. This was probably our favorite.
  • Driving back to Edinburgh we stopped in for a quick look. Looks like a super cool place to explore. Next time I'll take the full tour. Great place to take photos. It's like something out of a fantasy novel and I'm sure it has been inspiration for many.
  • Ruins of a great castle with a long and colourful history in a stunning location. I would recommend parking somewhere in the harbour at Stonehaven (parking is free everywhere - yes, FREE) and walking to and from the castle via an amazing coastal route, if walking is no problem. Highly recommended day out, especially with children!
  • Very interesting Castle with amazing views along the coastline. We walked to Dunnottar from Stonehaven, which is around a 30-40min walk, but not particularly challenging so suitable for most (not kids buggies though). There's the option of a visit to the war memorial along the way too. The castle itself has a really interesting history and is well worth the reasonable admission fee.

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