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Dunnottar Castle

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Visit the castle most famous for its role in protecting the Scottish Crown jewels from theft and destruction.

This dramatic and haunting ruined medieval fortress sits atop a rocky headland, surrounded by sheer cliffs that drop into the crashing waves of the North Sea, 50 metres (160 ft) below. Only a narrow strip of land joins the mainland to the headland, along which a steep path leading up to the castle’s gatehouse. Seen from afar, it’s quite the romantic sight.

The castle contains various buildings, including the 14th century tower house and the 16th century palace. The headland is believed to have been inhabited since Pictish times (5000 BC to 700 AD) and fortified since the early Middle Ages. It has played a prominent role in Scotland’s history due to its strategic defensive location. The fortress hasn’t been completely impenetrable, however, as Vikings managed to invade it in the 9th century.

The castle was the residence of the Earls Marischal, once one of the most powerful families in Scotland, and it had also over the years been graced by William Wallace, Mary, Queen of Scots, and the Marquis of Montrose. Besides its beautiful settings, Dunnottar Castle is most famous for its role in protecting the Scottish Crown jewels from theft and destruction.

The castle is open year-round.

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Tours including Dunnottar Castle

You could experience Dunnottar Castle through any one of these tours below.

10 days / 9 nights

Apr - Nov

The Castle Trail & Scottish Highlands

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17 days / 16 nights

Apr - Oct

Grand Tour of Scotland



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