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.
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.
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.
Of course the kids weren’t really interested in the history part, they just wanted to explore and who could blame them.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tickets cost £17 for a family of 4 and Sebby was free as he is under 5.
If you are in the area I highly recommend a visit to Dunnottar Castle, the views are spectacular.