Destination of the month: Dunnottar Castle
This stunning medieval ruin has a real ends-of-the-earth feel, perched as it is on Scotland's beautifully-wild east coast
Words by Susie Kearley
Dunnottar Castle is a ruined medieval fortress, located on a dramatic outcrop on the Scottish coast at Stonehaven, south of Aberdeen. It was once home to the Earls Marischal, one of Scotland's most powerful families.
The castle was attacked by Vikings in the ninth century, was captured by William Wallace in 1297, and was visited by Mary Queen of Scots in 1562. You can learn a lot more about the castle's lively history when you visit.
The many steps up and down the castle ruins may pose a challenge for some, but the stunning views make up for the exertion. There are glorious panoramas that will take your breath away, and if you look closely, you might see some of the local wildlife, including puffins and dolphins.
There's not a lot of parking at the castle, so the custodians ask people to arrive by public transport, or walk there from nearby Stonehaven town. Dogs on leads are welcome, as long as you take their 'presents' home!
Where to stay
Stonehaven Queen Elizabeth Park Caravan and Motorhome Club Site
Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire AB39 2RD
OPEN 1 March – 6 January 2020
PRICE From £20.30 (members' rate, couple, EHU)
This campsite is located on Stonehaven Bay, a short walk from Stonehaven town and harbour. The town has small shops, restaurants, and an open-air swimming pool. You can walk two miles along the coast to Dunnottar Castle.
There's a route along the beach, or trails through the countryside. If you're after indoor attractions, the next town of Cowie has an indoor leisure centre, and you'll find plenty to do in Aberdeen. Keen golfers might enjoy a game at Stonehaven Golf Club. Facilities on the campsite include washrooms, laundry, Wi-Fi and disabled facilities. Non-members are welcome.