Conquering Castles

We’ve been a bit castle crazy recently… It wasn’t intentional. It kind of just happened. Dunnottar has been on my list for a long time. I wanted to go and take a picture the same that was on my Pinterest board. Bamburgh has always been luringly enticing, atop a beach and overlooking the sea. An Itison voucher for Drummond Castle gardens, valid only over the Easter weekend made a choice for us and the cliff edged Tantallon Castle last weekend added to the list of recently visited cool castles.

Dunnottar, reached via the Angus Coastal Tourist Route on a lovely sunny day, Historic Scotland’s advice was to park in Stonehaven and follow the coastal path until the castle’s gaze came into view. A lovely walk. I definitely recommend. This castle is undoubtedly made more spectacular due to the land it sits upon and view it holds.

Host to the filming of the 1990 movie version of ‘Hamlet’, Dunnottar has played a prominent role in the history of Scotland due to its strategic location and defensive strength. I really loved this castle. A definite worthy destination on a Scotland trip lasting a week or more. Do bear in mind though, with high wind speeds and frequent bad weather, this castle is not always open and may shut early. Website updates advise but do check before venturing!

Our second castle visit, traversing the border, rattling over a level crossing, spying Lindisfarne in the corner of our eyes (also on my list), the mighty Bamburgh Castle impressed itself down upon us. Bamburgh’s appeal? It’s on a beach! 🙂 With a very nice view! Very well kept and maintained, it was easy to spend time here capturing different angles and views and exploring its holdings. Popular, with a Royal Navy ship named after it, it has also featured in popular movie fare – the recent Macbeth adaptation, Elizabeth, Ivanhoe and El Cid.

Our third visit, it was the gardens which were the main attraction. Welcomed by an avenue of trees, statues, water features and well carved hedges create the Drummond Castle Gardens landscape. Spring just in bloom, already impressive, though a little muted, I’m sure in summer it is a colourful masterpiece. A really peaceful place, it is a definite drop in and have five minutes to yourself, resting in any number of its winding nooks kind of place.

The cliff edged Tantallon Castle was host to our last visit. Built in the 1350s, watching the Bass Rock and its large gannet population, the castle has an awesome coastal view from atop its battlements. Deceptively small seeming externally, there are lots of levels and castle areas to hold your attention. Different from the castles preceding it, it held a different sort of charm for me.

Family and friends now thinking I seem to have developed some kind of castle obsession, it is difficult in a country full of them not to visit them! My love of exploring somewhere new, coupled with scenic locations to allow for pretty pictures to be made, it just so happens these beautiful locations happen to have castles atop them :-). Go and visit them. You’ll see for yourself how cool they are. In the sunshine preferably of course! 😉

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