Walk: Nice Keiss Castle

[Keiss Castle]

Castles often have a distinct atmosphere around them. The late 16th century tower house a mile up the coast path from Keiss has a particularly ominous one, making it a chilling destination for this short coastal walk. The castle is a precarious ruin, having been superseded by a newer one (visible just inland) centuries ago. Nevertheless it's still remarkably complete given its position, perched on the edge of a vertical sea cliff and threatened by erosion at each high tide. While the scenery isn't particularly spectacular on the approach path, there's plenty of man made interest, including two overgrown, iron age brochs (fenced, but with strategic posts placed to help you step over) and wartime coastal defences. A number of otters playing in the sea below the castle was an added bonus on our visit.

[Keiss Castle]

Name: Walk: Nice Keiss Castle ★★☆☆
Length: 2 km / 1 mile
Ascent: 20 metres
Points of interest: Keiss Broch; Whitegate Broch; Keiss Castle
Start / finish: Keiss harbour, G.R.: ND 351609 ///prospered.mice.tidal

Route: Start - Keiss Broch - Whitegate Broch - Keiss Castle - return by outward route
Terrain: Faint coastal path.
Wildlife today: A couple of otters, possibly more, in the sea by the castle. Shelducks, fulmars and other seabirds.
Weather today: Windy and overcast with rain threatening.

[Otter in the bay below the castle]


Route credit: Scotland off the beaten track

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