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

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

Country Kids

The Places We Will Go

35 thoughts on “A Visit to Merida’s Home – Dunnottar Castle, Scotland

  1. 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?

  2. 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!!!

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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? 😉 )

  7. 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.

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