Destination UK

A Visit to Merida's Home – Dunnottar Castle, Scotland

Posted on
February 28, 2017

During our recent visit to Scotland our hosts, Louise and Graeme from Newton Farm gave us lots of fabulous suggestions of places to visit and one that stood out immediately was Dunnottar Castle.
Dunnottar Castle is a ruined medieval fortress located upon a rocky headland near Stonehaven, about an hour from where we were staying and is the inspiration behind Merida’s DunBroch family castle from the film Brave.
The castle is hidden from the road and is a short walk along an uneven path from the car park but as soon as it comes into view you know you are visiting somewhere special.
Dunnottar Castle
If you are travelling with babies or young children, be aware that there are 180 steps to tackle so you will need a baby carrier rather than a buggy, or in our case, Daddy’s shoulders.
Dunnottar Castle
This dramatic and evocative ruined cliff top fortress was once the home of the Earls Marischal, one of the most powerful families in Scotland and is steeped in history.
Dunnottar Castle
Of course the kids weren’t really interested in the history part, they just wanted to explore and who could blame them.
Dunnottar Castle
Dunnottar Castle is famous for being where a small garrison held out against the might of Cromwell’s army for eight months and saved the Scottish Crown Jewels, the ‘Honours of Scotland’, from destruction.
Dunnottar Castle
They have recently restored the Drawing Room to commemorate the Battle of the Honours which took place in 1650, which gave a real insight to what the castle may have looked like.
Dunnottar Castle
William Wallace, Mary Queen of Scots, the Marquis of Montrose and the future King Charles II have also graced the Castle with their presence throughout history.
Dunnottar Castle
Although the castle is ruined in places, there is still plenty to see and lots of rooms to explore with stunning views over the rocky coastline.
Dunnottar Castle
Due to its position on a rocky outcrop it is worth noting that the castle can close because of high winds. When we arrived the castle was closed, but thankfully the weather conditions improved enough for us to be able to visit, although the wind does howl around the castle and is quite spooky, especially in the Keep where we had to shelter from a brief rainstorm.
Dunnottar Castle
Tickets cost £17 for a family of 4 and Sebby was free as he is under 5.
Dunnottar Castle
If you are in the area I highly recommend a visit to Dunnottar Castle, the views are spectacular.
A Visit to Merida's Home - Dunnottar Castle, Scotland

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35 Comments
  1. Reply

    lauren porter

    February 28, 2017

    This looks fab! The views are amazing. I remember as a kid absolutely loving old castles and climbing on the ruins 🙂 Would definitely visit if I was in the area x

  2. Reply

    Louise Edwards

    February 28, 2017

    I love a good castle and this one on a clifftop looks awesome. You had beautiful weather but I bet it was chilly – all adding to the atmosphere of the experience though!

  3. Reply

    Talya

    February 28, 2017

    Wow what an absolutely breathtaking spot for a castle – that view! That looks like an incredible spot to visit.

  4. Reply

    Jen

    February 28, 2017

    I love castles, particularly those with a deep history. Loving the look of this gem. Will have to add it to my “to do” list.

  5. Reply

    Sophie

    February 28, 2017

    The castle looks incredible! What a view ????

  6. Reply

    Joanna

    February 28, 2017

    I love visiting places liks this such stunning views your photos are really beautiful

  7. Reply

    Sabina Green

    February 28, 2017

    Oh wow this looks amazing, I LOVE visiting Castles. This reminds me of Tintagel which was a great day out for us. I think I am going to have to add this one to my list 🙂

    • Reply

      Kara

      March 1, 2017

      Despite visiting Cornwall many times we have still not done Tintagel…….we also seem to visit in winter LOL

  8. Reply

    Shirley

    March 1, 2017

    Wow lovely photographs, i love to visit historic monuments. Castle is looking so amazing and beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Reply

    Cass Bailey

    March 1, 2017

    This loks like somewhere we would love as we love exploring places like this – the kids play hide and seek 😉

  10. Reply

    Liz Burton

    March 1, 2017

    What an absolute gem! It looks like a stunning place to visit – those views!! in your photo it looks exactly like the place they filmed in The Crown – I wonder if it was?

  11. Reply

    Jayne @ Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs

    March 1, 2017

    We love taking a look around castles. This looks like a stunning place, with such gorgeous views.
    You’ve taken some beautiful captures 🙂 x

  12. Reply

    Jen Walshaw

    March 1, 2017

    What a stunning place to visit. Pretty in the sunshine, but I can imagine it being quite haunting in the mists

  13. Reply

    Kristi Cathey

    March 1, 2017

    I love visiting ancient castles. They are very gorgeous and I have a feeling like I’m in the ancient time when standing in the hall. Must take note of this. Your pictures are amazing!!!

  14. Reply

    Baby Isabella

    March 1, 2017

    Woweee! What a castle, looks like something out of Game of Thrones! Reminds us of Dunluce Castle in N.Ireland x

  15. Reply

    Ali Chapman

    March 1, 2017

    I love visiting castles, so many stories to be told there. And £17 isn’t too bad for a family ticket is it?

  16. Reply

    Sonia Cave

    March 1, 2017

    Wow that is amazing! Imagine living there with all those views! #countrykidsfun

  17. Reply

    Coombe Mill - Fiona Cambouropoulos

    March 1, 2017

    Now this looks well worth the drive and the climb. I bet it was amazing back in its day and still looks pretty cool now. I can understand it being shut on a windy day, it sounds like you were very lucky with your visit. The views are quite spectacular, what a place to build a home.
    Thank you for sharing on #CountryKids

  18. Reply

    Lauren Moseley

    March 1, 2017

    I do love a castle and this one looks awesome. Love the views and history. What an amazing place to explore! #CountryKids

  19. Reply

    Helena

    March 1, 2017

    Brave is a great film and I do think this castle is quite spectacular. #CountryKids

  20. Reply

    Danielle

    March 1, 2017

    Wow lovely pictures I stay in Scotland and have never been here my little boy loves castles so maybe one day when he’s able to walk up it himself xxx

  21. Reply

    Kate Williams

    March 2, 2017

    That looks brilliant – love how you can climb all round it!

  22. Reply

    Cheryl | TimeToCraft

    March 2, 2017

    What a beautiful location. Looks a fun place to visit. You framed the view of the sea through the raggedly walls perfectly. #CountryKids

  23. Reply

    Cliona

    March 2, 2017

    Oh my God, that looks absolutely spectacular! Just the sort of place I love to visit and exploring Scotland more is definitely on my bucket list. We visited Glasgow a couple of years ago and it was fabulous but I’d like to visit the more remote areas too, it looks so stunning.

  24. Reply

    Fashion and Style Police

    March 3, 2017

    Wow this is so beautiful to look out. I would love to see this place in real life.

  25. Reply

    becky @lakessinglemum

    March 4, 2017

    One of my favourite castles in the world!

  26. Reply

    Anna

    March 4, 2017

    I absolutely love castle, and this looks breathtaking would love to visit one day. x

  27. Reply

    Jonny (Daisy the bus)

    March 5, 2017

    Wow! This looks absolutely amazing. The location, the ambience, even the weather!! Old ruins in wonderful locations like this are – in my experience – much more interesting for kids than heavily-restored castles or elegant palaces. Our four would love to explore every nook and cranny of this place. #ThePlacesWeWillGoLinky (p.s. “Thieves’ Hole”, surely? 😉 )

  28. Reply

    Sonia

    March 6, 2017

    Wow! It just looks amazing Kara! Those views!!!! I want to go now x Thanks for linking up to #ThePlaceWeWillGoLinky xx –

  29. Reply

    Coral -Way Too Much Luggage

    March 6, 2017

    We love it at Dunnottar , It is not very far from us and we love a walk at Stonehaven and then a visit to Dunnottar. It is such a spectacular setting. There is a little land train that leaves from Stonehaven square that runs around the town and also takes you up to Dunnottar.

  30. Reply

    Ninjakillercat

    March 9, 2017

    What a breathtaking location , it’s somewhere I’d live to go to.
    You’re making me want to go to Scotland again .

  31. Reply

    Deb Sharratt

    March 9, 2017

    Looks like you had a fab time. We are heading to Scotland soon and looking forward to seeing lots of great castles 🙂

  32. Reply

    Kel

    March 10, 2017

    Wow, this looks like a wonderful place to visit! I do love a good castle, and I’d very muchlike to visit Merida’s home!

  33. Reply

    Sarah Christie

    March 13, 2017

    Wow some of those views are just breathtaking, I love Brave so would love to visit, I am slowly falling in love with Scotland x

  34. Reply

    Natasha Haley

    April 20, 2018

    I have only recently heard of this castle and I cannot wait to go!

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KARA GUPPY
Bournemouth

Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog chelseamamma.co.uk