Dunnottar Castle
Dunnottar Castle
5
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
About
Perched atop a 160 foot rock and surrounded on three sides by the North Sea, these dramatic and evocative cliff-top ruins were once an impregnable fortress of the Earls Marischal, once one of the most powerful families in Scotland. Steeped in history, this romantic and haunting ruin is a photographer’s paradise, a history lover’s dream and an iconic tourist destination for visitors the world over.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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See what travellers are saying
  • colin e
    Stonehaven, United Kingdom77 contributions
    Fantastic and well worth a visit
    Despite this being on our door step and visited many times over the years, I have never visited them actual castle during the winter months. The views are amazing, staff super friendly and very informative and visiting on a cold winters day gave a real appreciation for the conditions people lived in at the castle and how cold certain eras would have been. A great afternoon out with the kids, exploring and discussing the history and how the castle was built and a must see for any one visiting or simply just living in the area
    Hi, thanks for taking the time to leave a review, great to hear that you and the family enjoyed your visit. Thanks for giving the staff a nod of appreciation, Martin, Castle Custodian
    Written 12 March 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited December 2022
    Written 29 December 2022
  • Eimear99
    Ireland2,177 contributions
    Magnificent!
    The only reason I gave this 4 rather than 5 was because it was actually closed when we visited due to bad weather! It is simply stunning and the views surrounding the castle are amazing. We were so lucky with the weather as despite there being very high winds and it being freezing cold, we had lovely blue skies! The castle is just 2/3 miles outside Stonehaven. It is definitely worth a visit even if it is closed!!
    Hi, thanks for taking the time to leave a review, sorry to hear the Castle was closed for your visit, the weather has been a bit unkind lately. Glad to hear you appreciated the Castle regardless, Martin, Castle Custodian
    Written 12 March 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited January 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 15 January 2023
  • Fordy40
    Shrewsbury, United Kingdom467 contributions
    Incredible
    What an experience visiting this castle, thankfully the weather was on our side and it was made perfect for wondering around. The history behind this castle is extraordinary and a must see. £9 for adults to go in and there’s no rush to get you in and out. The views are amazing, clean and the grounds are well maintained. Lovely little gem
    Hi, thanks for taking the time to leave a review, glad to to hear the weather was kind for you. We like to hear that visitors took their time to enjoy the Castle to the fullest and that the appearance was appreciated, Martin, Castle Custodian
    Written 12 March 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited February 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 12 February 2023
  • 12Adam12
    Mackay, Australia22 contributions
    Dunnottar Castle- an historic experience
    Dunnottar Castle was our favourite castle in Scotland (we have seen a lot). The preservation of all the different buildings really helped show what life was like over the past thousand years or so. The presentation by the Scottish Tourist Board was professional and added to the quality experience.
    Hi, thanks for taking the time to leave a review, great to hear the Castle was your favourite, that is very high praise, Martin, Castle Custodian
    Written 12 March 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited February 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 23 February 2023
  • Hailey
    Inverness, United Kingdom15 contributions
    GO HERE
    If you're anywhere near Aberdeenshire, you NEED to come to Dunnottar. An absolutely beautiful experience. Lots of incredible history, but also beautiful scenery and great walking areas. There's also a really nice cafe across from the entrance near the car park where you can get a MEAN hot chocolate. This castle is stunning, and has seen so much history. To be able to share in that even just a little was humbling and inspiring.
    Thanks for taking the time to leave a review and for recommending us as a must-see part of Aberdeenshire. Great to hear that you enjoyed all aspects of your visit and also had a fine hot chocolate from our great food van team, Martin, Castle Custodian
    Written 23 March 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 18 March 2023
  • Merryheart
    Singapore, Singapore901 contributions
    Castle ruin with a stunning view
    Dunnottar Castle is located on a rocky outcrop along the Aberdeenshire Coastal Trail. The castle is perched atop a 160 foot rock and surrounded on three sides by the North Sea. Absolutely beautiful evocative cliff-top ruins that is so beautiful. It was so cod & windy when we were there but the amazing view was well with the drive from Aberdeen.
    Thanks for taking the time to leave a review, glad to hear that you enjoyed your visit even on a cold day, Martin, Castle Custodian
    Written 23 March 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 19 March 2023
  • Caroline S
    Dundee, United Kingdom97 contributions
    Unique views unique experience
    A superb historical visit, a must for anyone interested in Scottish castles and their history. Dunnottar is on the top of my list from all the castles I've visited! It's a unique experience,with unique views, all areas have information signs, and you really get a feel of life in the castle! Toilets on site, cafe stall in the car park Staff helpful and informative. Take note it closes if there are high winds so check out opening days before you visit. Lots of steps up and down, quite steep sides so not for those with vertigo!
    Thanks for taking the time to leave a review, having us top of your list of Castles is such a compliment. The steps and location are certainly part of the unique experience, it is always great to hear that our guests felt it a worthwhile part of the experience. Thank you also for showing appreciation of our hard working staff, Martin, Castle Custodian
    Written 23 March 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 22 March 2023
  • AmyEG3318
    Toronto, Canada167 contributions
    A Must-See!
    Stunning views, incredible ruins...there's nothing like Dunnottar. There is a bit of a long walk from the car park to the castle (and a TON of stairs), so it's not all that accessible for those with mobility problems, unfortunately, but if you don't mind the walk, do go and see it for yourself. (The stairs to/from the castle are fairly even, and there is a spot with a bench about 1/3-1/2 way down/up, but once you get to the castle, the stone steps are very uneven, as is fairly common in medieval castles, so be aware). Once you get into the castle grounds, you're able to go most places without worrying about stairs. There are some (for example, if you want to climb up into the keep), but you're not forced into any building you don't want to go to and are able to go pretty much anywhere/everywhere at your leisure. Highly recommend if you're physically able. (Note: if it's been rainy, the lawn can get a bit slippy and muddy, so be aware of this as well).
    Hi Amy, thanks for taking the time to leave such a comprehensive review, glad you enjoyed your visit, Martin, Castle Custodian
    Written 4 April 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 26 March 2023
  • Ethan B
    Catacamas, Honduras50 contributions
    A must see castle!
    This castle is amazing! The history behind the castle is fascinating and the setting is beautiful. We have toured other castles in the area, but this experience stands out as unique. It was great being able to explore the ruins as a family and it was not too crowded. I would recommend this for any family wanting to explore a bit of history.
    Thanks for taking the time to leave a review, great to hear that you and your family all enjoyed your visit, Martin, Castle Custodian
    Written 22 June 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 25 May 2023
  • Craig
    Reading, United Kingdom6 contributions
    A stunning visit back in time.
    If you don't like climbing a lot of stairs then this might not be for you, otherwise get climbing and have a great time. Absolutely stunning setting and though this is a "ruined" castle there is more than enough structure to be able to imagine what life might have been like living there. Plenty of information boards that tell you the history. There are only two small downsides. Though there were plenty of information boards around to tell you about the history of the castle they were all in English. Fine for me but there were plenty of tourists there from overseas and I could see no information facilities for them. Perhaps QR codes for different language voice guides might be a good idea. Secondly there is a huge amount of hogweed growing around the grounds. Considering that this is a plant that can cause severe burns to the skin some warning signs might be in order. Loved the place, would visit again, but the two downsides are the only things stopping me from giving it a perfect five.
    Hi Craig, thanks for taking the time to leave a review, glad you enjoyed your visit. The hogweed has been particularly bad this year due to the weather conditions. It is primarily in the areas of rough grass where guests should not be for safety reasons but we are considering how best to try and deal with it, there are no particularly easy solutions unfortunately, Martin, Castle Custodian
    Written 9 July 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 3 July 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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5.0
3,334 reviews
Excellent
2,735
Very good
525
Average
59
Poor
11
Terrible
4

Pammy351
Dublin, Ireland12 contributions
Oct. 2023 • Family
I would recommend a visit to Dunnottar Castle.
It is mainly outdoors and many of the paths are either cobble stones or grass so wear strong walking boots with a good grip.
There are a good few steps down to the site.
You can spend as long as you like walking around the various ruins.
There are amazing views from practically every window.
There is a walk down to the small stone beach.
Definitely worth the 2 hours spent there - this included having a yummy burger and chips served from a mobile catering unit.
Written 10 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Many thanks for taking the time to leave a review, great to hear that you enjoyed your visit to the Castle, it sounds like you took the time to explore everything there is to see and glad you enjoyed the great food as well! Martin, Castle Custodian
Written 11 October 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Wheresmebus
Nantwich, UK299 contributions
Sep. 2023 • Couples
Walked to this via the cliff top route from Stonehaven, the unfolding views of the castle en route are quite breathtaking. The access to the castle is via a lot, yes note this, a lot of steps, first down and then up, there is no other way to get in. Once in the site, facilities are very sparse. There are loos, but limited. Take your own refreshments. It’s really worth the visit. Payment is card only, no cash accepted. There is a car parking are just off the A92 and access road. Facilities there are also very limited, though plans indicate intended improvements. The site is privately owned, it is not HS or NTS. Is it worth the money? Yes, just about. But there are an awful lot of castles in Scotland.
Written 30 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks for taking the time to leave such a thorough review, glad to hear that you enjoyed your visit. The strong historical defensive position of the Castle unfortunately also makes it challenging to reach for some modern day visitors. There are indeed a lot of Castles in Scotland that suit a variety of tastes and preferences, happily a lot of our visitors are very positive as to our ranking amongst them, Martin, Castle Custodian
Written 3 October 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Lesley H
Derby, UK339 contributions
Sep. 2023 • Couples
Stunning scenic location. Good parking and access to steps to castle.
Well maintained ruins and grounds and good information boards. Not too busy which was wonderful and we were able to use our Historic House membership on entry.
You need to be fit to climb the steps and access the castle and have a head for heights but it’s so worth it. Loved it.
Written 20 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks for taking the time to leave such a thorough review, great to hear that you enjoyed your visit and found the information provided to be of value. Thanks for taking the time to express appreciation for how well kept the Castle is, our staff put in a lot of effort to ensure it looks its best, Martin, Castle Custodian
Written 21 September 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Joanne W
Fort Wayne, IN7 contributions
Jul. 2023 • Solo
Beautiful coastal ruins of special castle. It takes some energy to get there and make your way through the entire sight with all the stairs and close quarters, but it is well worth it. The walk from there to the village of Stonehaven is also beautiful and worth the time and effort. Both the bus and the train can get you there.
Written 13 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks for taking the time to leave a review, I'm glad you enjoyed your visit to the Castle and managed to take in the fantastic walk to Stonehaven, Martin, Castle Custodian
Written 15 September 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jessica K
15 contributions
Sep. 2023 • Family
Great castle to visit! Amazing views and with it's history it's so interesting. Great place for photos.
Written 13 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks for taking the time to leave a review, I'm glad you enjoyed your visit and found the Castle information interesting, I hope you got some great pictures, Martin, Castle Custodian
Written 15 September 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

holibobin
Aberdeen, UK223 contributions
Sep. 2023 • Family
Just the most stunning place to visit. The scenery is spectacular , there is lots of space to wander around without feeling overcrowded, so much to learn from the information around the castle. Absolute must for history fans. Big plus, dogs are allowed
Written 11 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks for taking the time to leave a review, I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed your visit and found the information provided to be of benefit, Martin, Castle Custodian
Written 11 September 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Gold Family Travels
Chicago, IL30 contributions
Sep. 2023 • Couples
Near Stonehaven we explored the breathtaking coast of Scotland in the Kingdom of Fife. We were completely mesmerized by our hike up and around the cliffs of Dunnottar Castle. An impregnable fortress atop a rocky outcrop on Aberdeenshire’s Coastal Trail, this medieval treasure is surrounded by the North Sea. This is a special place that I will make a point to return to and spend more time enjoying hiking the coast, the cliffs and lounging in the castle grounds. Simply a gem of a unique castle on the coast!
Written 8 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Lynne, thanks for taking the time to leave a review, I'm glad you enjoyed your visit, we look forward to welcoming you back in the future! Martin, Castle Custodian
Written 11 September 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

CarolineWR
U.K.275 contributions
Aug. 2023 • Couples
A photo of Dunnottar in a magazine was the catalyst for our 32-castle tour of Aberdeenshire & wow, we were not disappointed! This place is utterly stunning with lots of ruins to explore & plenty of information boards giving the interesting history of the castle. You need good weather - I would not want to visit in rain or wind. You need to allow time to just access the castle; 10 mins from the car park, then a long staircase down to almost beach level before ascending some really steep, uneven & deep steps to the ticket office. More steep steps around the place, then of course you have to reverse it all when you leave. Tricky at times, but so worth making the effort! Beware also of huge crowds of European tourists - visit early & on a sunny day if you can.
Written 2 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Caroline, thanks for taking the time to leave a review. That's certainly a lot of Castles to visit, I'm glad you enjoyed your visit to Dunnottar and found the information provided to be of value, Martin, Castle Custodian
Written 4 September 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Christine G
1 contribution
Aug. 2023 • Friends
Dunnottar Castle great place to visit and if u haven't a car like me u can get bus there then walk along cliff path to Stonehaven to look around harbour and have chips after our walk!
Written 30 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Christine, thanks for taking the time to leave a review, I'm glad you enjoyed your visit. Even if you have a car, that's a great way to spend the day! Martin, Castle Custodian
Written 31 August 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

dj423
Chelmsford, UK54 contributions
Aug. 2023 • Couples
Amazing castle, spectacular views all around and a really stunning setting. It’s a bit of a walk down and around but not a problem. Liked the history of the place and would recommend to anyone in the area
Written 28 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks for taking the time to leave a review, glad you enjoyed your visit, Martin, Castle Custodian
Written 29 August 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Dunnottar Castle: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Dunnottar Castle