After looking all around Dunnottar Castle we decided to walk along the coastal path to the First World War memorial that we could see in the distance.
We had no idea how far away the memorial was and I had a horrible feeling it might be as much as five miles but it only took us about 20 minutes to reach it, it’s very deceptive. We found out it’s a Second World War memorial too.
It’s a lovely coastal walk and the cliffs look like something out of a British Rail travel poster.
It was a blustery day and the sea was quite wild in places, what a great way to blow any cobwebs way, if you still have any by then!
Here’s a short video showing some of the rocks and nearby headland.
Back to Dunnottar Castle and after what seemed like a fairly long walk there which wasn’t really long, just a bit uneven underfoot we reached the castle itself.
It looks impregnable but William Wallace captured this castle in 1297. Click here to read more about its history.
I was fairly puffed out by this stage!
As you can see it was a lovely sparkling blue sky day.
Mots of the windows have window seats, it must have been lovely to sit there with embroidered cushions on them, admiring the view, reading or doing yet more embroidery.
There’s only one room in the castle which has been restored so you can see what it would have looked like.
Getting out of the wind gives you a very good idea of how cosy the castle could have been in its day, epscially with the addition of tapestries on the walls and maybe curtains and carpets, or at least rushes on the floors.
But most of the castle is in ruins, it’s almost more interesting to be able to see how it was built though, seeing the skeleton of the castle rather than its skin I suppose.
Tomorrow I’ll show you the scenery surrounding the castle.
On Friday morning we left home to travel up to Aberdeen so that Jack could go to a football match there the next day, but we stopped off at Dunnottar Castle near Stonehaven on the way. We had never been there before, but since we visited it seems to be popping up everywhere as it featured on a TV programme yesterday and when I visited the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh today I saw a beautiful atmospheric painting of it by Waller Hugh Paton, see below.
This castle is not for the faint-hearted or those who aren’t too good on their feet as there are lots of steps leading down towards the castle and then yet more steps leading up to it, the ground is uneven, but it all adds to the atmosphere. The location is fantastic as the castle is built on the edge of cliffs, 160 feet high above the North Sea with wonderful views out of the windows of what is now a ruin. It must have been an amazing place to live in in its heyday though and the lady of the castle had a wooden balcony at her bedroom window although I’m not sure that I would have fancied sitting on a balcony hanging over the sea.
Given the location and rockiness it’s not surprising that Dunnottar has long been a fortification with the Picts having a wooden fort there before a stone castle was built in the early 1300s. King Aethelstane of Wessex made a raid on the place in 934 but in the year 900 it was the Vikings who were having a go at King Donald II here. Mary, Queen of Scots visited – where didn’t she visit I ask myself, but at least she wasn’t imprisoned here. I took lots more photos, but I’ll keep those for another day.