Spectacular scenery with a touch of the unusual
A place time has left alone and the North Sea has yet to claim....
Our first visit to Dunnottar Castle was when my sons were little boys, they had lots of fun scrambling around the ruined castle pretending to be the heros of the past amid the film props. It took me a long time to return, but finally did on a sunny Sunday in November. Dunnottar Castle sits one hundred and sixty feet perched on a massive cliff rock,...more
Stonehaven (or Stonehyve in the 16th century) developed as as Iron Age fishing port and lies about 20 miles south of Aberdeen. The castle is the main attraction but the harbour and Toll Booth Museum (oldest structure in the town itself) is well worth spending time - especially as the best restaurants and pubs are to be found round the waterfront....more
The backdrop to Mel Gibson's 1990 version of 'Hamlet', Dunnottar Castle is deeply impressive. Sitting atop a flat-topped rock jutting out to sea, sheer cliffs on three sides with only a narrow causeway connecting it to the mainland, it's easy to understand why the castle was built here and why it held out for so long against Cromwell's...more
If you have a spare 2 hrs think about visiting Dunnottar Castle. It is located 1 mile south of Stonehaven and is a very atmospheric place as it is situated on a cliff overlooking the sea. Although it is in ruins, there is still enough structure left to look around and there are good boards and a museum area giving you details of the history. Kids...more
The Cambus O May Suspension Bridge was built in 1905 and is a well maintained very beautiful bridge. From a small car park on the right hand side of the road we crossed over the River Dee to the woodland on the other side. This is a popular spot in summer where you can sunbath on the flat granite slabs, have a swim and enjoy a picnic in the scenic...more
Cambus O May woods are a perfect place for walking in all seasons. The woods are a mix of birch trees and conifers. There are many marked trails, some offer disabled access and some more difficult and challenging ones for the more active. We only had a short walk as we were losing day light and when it gets dark here it is pitch dark with no light...more
Aberdeenshire has one hundred and fifty miles of coastal trails. Stonehaven is a small part of these stunning trials. Walking here on the cliffs is a great way to spend some time with the wind in your hair and sea spray in your face with nature up close and personal. The beach curves round the headland and is mostly single and stone if you like...more
The town of Stonehaven has its roots firmly anchored and closely tied to the sea. Although the harbour today is mostly used for pleasure, water skiing, canoeing and small pleasure boats, the little fishing boats still provide the town and restaurants with their daily catch of fresh fish. We had a pleasant time just strolling around looking at the...more
Precariously set upon a cliff side near Catterline, The Creel Inn overlooks the deep blue North Sea and serves up seafood caught from the waters just below the restaurant. But as equally important, The Creel Inn pays special attention to beer and provides one of the better beer listings on the Northeast coast of Scotland. I have had the fortunate...more
Architecture has always been one of the most fascinating draws for me when travelling. For obvious reasons, food ranks up there as well. When my foodie friend BGK described The Carron to me, we placed it on the “must-do” list for my next trip to Scotland…the opportunity came in July 2007 under the guise of what has become my annual business trip to...more
We popped into the Ship Inn to warm up after walking around the harbour. Situated in close proximity to the sea it has lots of seafaring connection. Here you will find the bar area serving real ales and over 100 brands of malt whiskey. They have a nice restaurant area where we took a seat by the window to watch the fading late afternoon light. The...more
There really is not much nightlife in this part of Aberdeenshire, it is a very rural place and so dark in winter. We spent two days just chilling out with friends in the hotels homely and comfortable lounge. In past visit in summer we have walked the old railway line between Cambus & Ballater or Cambus & Dinnet to go for a drink in the local pubs.
Dress Code: Dress up for dinner - it makes you feel good
Stonehaven is very easily reached from the major east coast cities in Scotland.
From Aberdeen, it's just 20 minutes by train, with departures regular throughout the day - and cost is just £3.90 single. By bus, it's closer to an hour to one hour and ten minutes, so best way is the train.
From Dundee, approximately 50 minutes by train (again - regular departures as it's on the main Edinburgh-Aberdeen line), with a cost of £11 one way.
Edinburgh by train is 2 hours away, and costly at approximately £30 single (varies according to time of train - but book in advance and its £15)
The Shell Hoosie had a Christmas Display in their window, inside you will find nice trinkets and gifts made out of shells. They also have some pretty ornamental lighthouses which I love to collect.
What to buy: If you are looking for snacks and soft drinks you will find what you want here too
What to pay: Depends on what you buy I bought a little lighthouse for £5.00
The splendid granite built Tullich Tower sits alone high on a tree clad hill. It used to be a fine restaurant and small hotel known locally as the Fairy Castle because of its proprietors. Sadly today it is now a private residence as bigger tourist class hotels have now taken over the market for restaraunts and hotels. Tourism keeps changing so...more
The interior of the Chaple is very beautiful with its marble inlaid walls and story telling stained glass windows depicting Scottish Saints. The pews don't face the Altar as in most Chaples but sit side on facing each other. In past days when the College was home to boys studying for the Priesthood, the Chaple was an important part of their...more
While visiting the Museum I heard the sound of a piper and asked the guide what was going on - we had noticed a lot of cars parked around the front of the college but had seen nobody about. The guide told us if we wanted to see the Church we would have to wait as a group of Eagle Scouts, ex pats from U.S.A.. were inside with their families for a...more
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Winter visits can bring exceptional photo opportunities when the temperatures dip to -4 and below. Wear a warm fleece under a winter jacket and good walking boots. A cosy scart & gloves is also handy. The winter pictures were taken just out side a tiny place called Garlogie on the road back to Aberdeen from Ballater. The hoar frost can sometimes harm plants but paint a pretty wintery scene.
The old railway line which used to run from Aberdeen to Ballater was created to transport Queen Victoria to her beloved Balmoral. It now provides a pleasant seven mile walk from Ballater to Dinnet. We walked the four miles with the dogs from Cambus to Ballater stopping of in a quiet glade to enjoy a picnic lunch in the surprisingly warm sunshine. I...more
The Blairs Estate covers 1000 acres the land was gifted to the Catholic Church by John Menzies of Pitfodels. Have a walk around the estate following its dirt track road, we started our walk from the Blairs College. Follow the path through the woods and see some stunning Beech, Sycamores and Douglas Fir trees. Continue along past the campsite then...more
Salmon fishing is a popular sport along the River Dee. The river is divided into many fishing beats all with their own fishing huts on the lovely banks. Permits are required and they can be very expensive. Be very careful where you cast your line (see photo) overhead are electrical power lines so do remember salmon fishing rods are very long indeed and you wouldn't want to catch the unexpected!
Equipment: Rods can be hired from the local sport shop in the village of Ballater or sometimes from your hotel. Both these places sell fishing permits.
The area around Stonehaven with its seascapes and south Deeside and Royal Deeside with its forests and hills provides a wide diversity, but always great scenery. Sparsely populated with fishing, farming and forestry the only main industries, there is always something to take your interest here. The forestry Commission has control over a lot of the...more
Stonehaven meets all the requirements for disabled visitors. The law in Scotland is changing in the next few year and will mean all attractions and buildings must be equipped to facilitate easy access for disabled visitors. Unfortunately Dunnottar Castle can not implement these changes because of its cliff top position. There are one hundred and...more
Wherever you go, whatever you do, sampling the local beer is definite must.What do the locals drink, what beer is most popular, which beer is hardest to find, does it come in a half pint glass just like grandma used to drink…or better still, a full pint glass like I drink??? These are all good questions that need to be answered...Scotland is truly...more