Walk: Dunnottar Castle & coast - Stonehaven's crown jewels

Aberdeenshire | Stonehaven | Half day walk | ★★★★

[Coastline between Stonehaven & Dunnottar Castle]

The unlikely headland ruin of Dunnottar Castle is located about a mile south of the pretty fishing town of Stonehaven. The erosion-prone, rocky coastline in between must be one of the most photographed parts of Scotland's east coast, such is the popularity of the clifftop jaunt to the castle, where the Scottish crown jewels were once concealed from Oliver Cromwell's army in the 17th century. Quiet roads to the west link the castle to the lesser known local's haunt of Dunnottar Woods. Demolished Dunnottar House is the story linking the two parts of the walk: this country house was constructed in the 1700s to replace apartments at the castle; the forest follies you pass on return were built by its owners.

[Stonehaven from the coast path]

📌 Walk: Dunnottar Castle & coast - Stonehaven's crown jewels ★★★★
Start / finish at Stonehaven harbour car park off High Street, 5-min walk southeast of Stonehaven town centre, G.R.: NO 878855 ///unfounded.slower.fantastic

▶ 6 km / 4 mi | ▲ 190 m | ⌚ Half a day | Moderate
Features: Stonehaven ★★; Stonehaven War Memorial; Dunnottar Castle ★★★★; Dunnottar Woods & follies
Terrain: Steep ascent then clifftop coast path to castle, (mostly) quiet road middle section, then paths for return through Dunnottar Woods with some mud.

Route & map

Car park - Stonehaven War Memorial by coast path - Dunnottar Castle - Mains of Dunnottar - East Newtonleys - car park at top of Dunnottar Woods - Dunnottar Woods & follies - Stonehaven - start. Check the map in the car park as you enter Dunnottar Woods to choose your return route.

Route credit: Scotland Off the Beaten Track
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On our visit

Wildlife: Seagulls and other birds.
Weather: Dry and breezy; sunny in Stonehaven but cloudier for the middle of the walk.

Chronological photo guide

[Stonehaven harbour]

[Looking back towards the harbour from the coast path out of town]

[View ahead towards the distant castle]

[Looking back towards Stonehaven]

[Strathlethan Bay]

[Dunnottar Castle beyond Castle Haven]

[Bowdun Head]

[Dunnottar Castle (24/10/10)]

[Woods of Dunnottar]

[Burn of Glaslaw]

["Shell house" folly in the woods]

[Reward yourself with a deep-fried Mars bar back in Stonehaven! (24/10/10)]


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