Slains Castle is the bare shell of a 16th century residence once belonging to the Earl of Errol. With plain-looking stonework, large windows and seemingly little by way of defence, it doesn't look like a stereotypical castle. Despite this, the windswept ruin oozes character, surrounded by spectacular coastal scenery (watch out for the cliffs). The spot seems to be rich in wildlife too - seabirds, seals and a fox have all been present on our visits. Enter with care (as the building isn't maintained) and you can explore a fair proportion of the ground floor, though exactly how much might depend on how much you like nettles. If you find the atmosphere somehow chilling, perhaps it's because Dracula's castle may have been dreamt up here: author Bram Stoker once stayed at Slains.
|[View from the coast to the south]|
Name: Slains Castle ★★★☆☆
Location: Off A975 a mile east of Cruden Bay, G.R.: NK 102361 / campus bench golf
Open: Always (access to interior may be blocked by a fence)
Anything else? Nearest parking is at a bend on the A975 a mile north-east of Cruden Bay. From here it's a 15-min walk to the castle, south on a track.