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So, finally an update since I last landed in Aberdeen. After multiple trips to ASDA, I finally managed to settle in for the two days before I was whisked along with two of my flatmates on a day trip out to explore the area. They had their hearts set on visiting Dunnottar Castle and so, with a bit of digging around the internets for some information, we set off on a pretty sunny Saturday afternoon towards the bus station.

Dunnottar Castle can be reached by jumping on a number 7 or X7 (express) bus to Stonehaven. We got onto the bus, climbed up to the top and watched the gorgeous view of the land unfurl in front of us. It was a pretty pleasant bus ride that took us through Porthlethen. The bus took us along the coastline where we passed by a sprawling golf course by the sea. It was a beautiful course… but having to deal with the winds, I would imagine it’ll get pretty frustrating really quickly. When we finally arrived at the bus stop at Stonehaven however, there was one small detail that we forgot to think about.

Maps and directions.

And the fact that we didn’t know where the tourist information office was hurt our chances quite a bit. With a bit of ambling about in the general direction of where we thought the castle was (the picture showed it on a cliff, we presumed that it’ll be close to the water), I finally stopped a nice older woman and asked for directions.

On the website for the castle, it said that the castle entrance was located 5min away from the bus stop… and that the castle itself was located about a 15min walk away. Unless the path was still under construction, this was simply NOT TRUE. We trekked our way up and found little yellow signs that pointed us towards the castle. It took us through the little back roads of farms, another long road that also bordered more farms, and all this time, we saw not a single inkling or spec of anything that would resemble the castle.

But, we¬†persevered¬†and hoped that somewhere along the way, the road would end and we’ll finally arrive at our destination (because being lost in a bunch of farms with not a car in sight is a scary thing).

When we finally came to the main entrance, we collapsed in relief… and saw that there was still a bit of a trek towards the castle as it was located on one of two hills.

The trek down towards the castle

To be fair, the trek wasn’t all that bad but having sprained/pulled some sort of muscle in my foot, walking was starting to become increasingly difficult to bear. I limped along behind my flatmates as they ‘ooh-ed’ and ‘aah-ed’ at the scenery. The day was turning out just gorgeous and the greens and blues in the landscape really popped out. So here’s a few pictures from Dunnottar Castle and its surrounding areas for you to appreciate.

View of the sea

One of my flatmates saw a small narrow path going up towards a crevice in the rocks and we decided to climb it. We were rewarded with this view of the beach beneath the castle.

The same beach but viewed from one of the small windows in the castle itself.

The smithy in the large courtyard. Half of the chimney is still intact.

The AMAZING weather we got when we went up.

More of the gorgeous cliffs that surrounded the castle.

A restored drawing room within the castle. I want a room like this.

A view of the castle from the other hill/cliff side

It wasn’t until we were walking back looking for a place for some lunch that we found the tourism information office. When we asked where would be a great place for lunch, she directed us towards the harbour. So, we walked along the coast and the beaches that surrounded the town towards the habour. Considering how beautiful of a Saturday it was, there were LOADS of people about.

The beach at Stonehaven

Instead of eating at the few pubs that were crammed full of people, we opted for a small little cafe tucked away into a neighbourhood. It was a cosy little place where the staff were very friendly and welcoming and the food was filling and did not break the my wallet. After that, we caught the same bus back home to Aberdeen.

All in all, I would definitely visit Dunnottar Castle again. The ruins has its charms and I don’t think I have ever been in a castle with quite so many little secret holes that we could poke our heads into yet.

~JGM

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