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Dunnottar Castle

Enjoy the stunning scenery surrounding this fine medieval fortress and learn about the dramatic historical events that took place here over the centuries.

Dunnottar Castle is set in a striking cliff-top location, on a rocky promontory 160 feet (49 meters) above the turbulent sea. Legendary figures ranging from royalty to modern celebrities have visited the castle, a once impenetrable fortress the oldest part of which dates back to the 13th century. Wander around the evocative ruins of this historically significant site and admire the magnificent views of the sea on three sides.

The site of the castle is believed to have been inhabited from as early 5,000 B.C. William Wallace, Mary Queen of Scots, the Marquis of Montrose and the future King Charles II are all known to have visited the castle. Perhaps the most famous historic event associated with the site, however, took place in the 17th century when a small garrison held out against Oliver Cromwell\u2019s army for 8 months to save the Scottish Crown Jewels. Look for information boards detailing the castle\u2019s history as you explore the site.

Follow the steep steps leading up to the castle, stopping to admire the lovely sea viewpoints found along the way. Almost all of the castle buildings are roofless ruins today. More recently, the castle was visited by Mel Gibson during the filming of Hamlet, as well as James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe for the filming of Victor Frankenstein.

The castle\u2019s most well-preserved remnant is its 14th-century keep. The oldest surviving section is the chapel, which dates back to 1276. Save time to explore the drawing room, which was wonderfully restored in 1926.

After visiting the castle, continue along the well-marked coastal path leading down to the fishing village of Stonehaven. Look for puffins along the way, which are known to nest on the cliffs. Don\u2019t miss the Black Hill War Memorial, which commemorates the soldiers who died in World War I. The memorial looks like a ruin, but it was purposefully designed this way to symbolize incomplete lives.

Dunnottar Castle is a 15-minute walk away from the closest bus stop. To get to Stonehaven, take a bus or train from Aberdeen. Parking is available at the castle, which has an admission fee. The castle is open daily with regular holiday closures. Discover the rich history of this scenic castle.


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Top Hotel Deals

See all 255 Hotels near Dunnottar Castle
The Ship Inn £88
The Ship Inn

The Ship Inn

5 Shore Head, Stonehaven
     
    4.3
    of 5, from 49 reviews
    3.0 out of 5.0

    Situated on the waterfront, this inn is within 1 mile (2 km) of Stonehaven Tolbooth and Dunnottar Castle. Storybook Glen and Grassic Gibbon Centre are also within 12 miles (20 km).

    Belvedere Hotel £50
    Belvedere Hotel

    Belvedere Hotel

    41 Evan Street, Stonehaven
       
      4.2
      of 5, from 8 reviews
      3.0 out of 5.0

      Situated in Stonehaven, this hotel is 0.5 mi (0.8 km) from Stonehaven Tolbooth and 1.6 mi (2.6 km) from Dunnottar Castle. Storybook Glen and Grassic Gibbon Centre are also within 12 miles (20 km).

      Shorehead Guest House £79
      Shorehead Guest House

      Shorehead Guest House

      14 Shorehead, Stonehaven
         
        4.8
        of 5, from 32 reviews
        4.0 out of 5.0

        Situated in Stonehaven, this guesthouse is within 1 mile (2 km) of Stonehaven Tolbooth and Dunnottar Castle. Storybook Glen and Grassic Gibbon Centre are also within 12 miles (20 km).

        15 Shorehead B and B
        15 Shorehead B and B

        15 Shorehead B and B

        15 Shorehead, Stonehaven
           
          4.8
          of 5, from 13 reviews
          3.0 out of 5.0

          Situated in Stonehaven, this bed & breakfast is within 1 mile (2 km) of Stonehaven Tolbooth and Dunnottar Castle. Storybook Glen and Grassic Gibbon Centre are also within 12 miles (20 km).

          The Harbour Tower
          The Harbour Tower

          The Harbour Tower

          82A High Street, Stonehaven
             
            5.0
            of 5, from 1 reviews
            4.0 out of 5.0

            Situated by the sea, this apartment is within 1 mile (2 km) of Stonehaven Tolbooth and Dunnottar Castle. Storybook Glen and Grassic Gibbon Centre are also within 12 miles (20 km).

            Woodside of Glasslaw Guesthouse £67
            Woodside of Glasslaw Guesthouse

            Woodside of Glasslaw Guesthouse

            Woodside of Glasslaw, Stonehaven
               
              4.8
              of 5, from 79 reviews
              4.0 out of 5.0

              Situated in Stonehaven, this guesthouse is 1.5 mi (2.4 km) from Dunnottar Castle and 1.7 mi (2.8 km) from Stonehaven Tolbooth. Grassic Gibbon Centre and Storybook Glen are also within 12 miles (20 km).

              Rooms at 31 £48
              Rooms at 31

              Rooms at 31

              Stonehaven, Stonehaven
                 
                5.0
                of 5, from 1 reviews
                3.5 out of 5.0

                Situated in Stonehaven, this bed & breakfast is close to Stonehaven Tolbooth and Dunnottar Castle. Regional attractions also include Drum Castle and Duthie Park Winter Gardens.

                The Mill Inn Apartments
                The Mill Inn Apartments

                The Mill Inn Apartments

                12 Bridgefield Terrace, Stonehaven
                   
                  5.0
                  of 5, from 3 reviews
                  4.0 out of 5.0

                  Located in the heart of Stonehaven, this apartment is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) from Stonehaven Tolbooth and 1.3 mi (2.2 km) from Dunnottar Castle. Storybook Glen and Grassic Gibbon Centre are also within 12 miles (20 km).