Dunnottar Castle

Stonehaven, United Kingdom

Dunnottar Castle is a ruined medieval fortress located upon a rocky headland on the north-east coast of Scotland. The surviving buildings are largely of the 15th and 16th centuries, but the site is believed to have been fortified in the Early Middle Ages. Dunnottar has played a prominent role in the history of Scotland through to the 18th-century Jacobite risings because of its strategic location and defensive strength.

Dunnottar is best known as the place where the Honours of Scotland, the Scottish crown jewels, were hidden from Oliver Cromwell's invading army in the 17th century. The property of the Keiths from the 14th century, and the seat of the Earl Marischal, Dunnottar declined after the last Earl forfeited his titles by taking part in the Jacobite rebellion of 1715. The castle was restored in the 20th century and is now open to the public.

The ruins of the castle are spread over 1.4 hectares, surrounded by steep cliffs that drop to the North Sea, 50 metres below. A narrow strip of land joins the headland to the mainland, along which a steep path leads up to the gatehouse. The various buildings within the castle include the 14th-century tower house as well as the 16th-century palace.



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Founded: 15th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom


4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Tom Ryan-Elliott (7 months ago)
If you're in Aberdeen, I'd highly suggest getting a coach down to this as it's a beautiful view of the castle. It's a must see if up in Scotland. An alternative is taking a train to the nearby town and then a taxi but the coach seems easier and actually cheaper. It's a must see castle that's great for pictures and videos.
Amber Helms (7 months ago)
This is a must see for anyone’s bucket list. Dunnottar castle is amazing and the views breathtaking. It’s only 12$ to tour the grounds. The history is fascinating. It’s a long walk so wear comfortable shoes. The parking is limited so it’s best to go early because it does get pretty packed after noon. They do have a small concession area and bathrooms (by the parking lot and once you get to the castle).
Farah Mathres (7 months ago)
Gorgeous views when you get to the castle and once in. Getting there by car is straightforward and the roads are good. The parking is small but free, and people come and leave, so a spot freed up as we arrived mid-afternoon. The walk down the steps leading to the beach and then back up to the castle are quite doable with a 7-year old. The views once up in the castle area are breathtaking and the grounds are very well-maintained. Everything about this castle is beautiful and worth the visit. I highly recommend it!
Doug D. (7 months ago)
Words cannot describe the beauty and serenity of Dunnottar Castle! 360 degree views, stunning landscape. If you're a fan of ruins then it's an absolute gem! One thing to note is the trek into the castle is quite extreme, so kids and elderly should take extra care. Also it's not disability-friendly.
Adam Strelec (8 months ago)
The climactic approach to the castle and the experience on the castle grounds were both equally memorable. Grounds and many features of the castle are well preserved and signs detailing information about areas within the castle grounds were clear and detailed. Recommend a coastal walk either before or after the castle tour too because in my opinion you can get more breathtaking views of the castle as you walk in the direction of the war memorial away from the castle.
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