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Visit Dunnottar Castle for an unforgettable experience. A dramatic and evocative ruined cliff top fortress in a truly stunning setting. 

As you wander around the extensive buildings - from the keep through the barracks, lodgings, stables and storehouses to the less-ruinous chapel and drawing room - you will discover the importance of Dunnottar, an impregnable Castle that holds many rich secrets of Scotland’s colourful past.

William Wallace, Mary Queen of Scots, the Marquis of Montrose and the future King Charles II, all graced the Castle with their presence. Most famously though, it was at Dunnottar Castle that a small garrison held out against the might of Cromwell’s army for eight months and saved the Scottish Crown Jewels, the ‘Honours of Scotland’, from destruction. Crown, sceptre and sword now take pride of place in Edinburgh Castle.

A darker chapter in the history of Dunnottar is that of the ‘Whig’s Vault’. The gruesome story of the imprisonment in 1685 of a group of Covenanters who refused to acknowledge the King’s supremacy in spiritual matters.

The Castle was the home of the Earls Marischal once one of the most powerful families in the land.  The last Earl was convicted of treason for his part in the Jacobite rising of 1715, and as a result his estates, including Dunnottar, were seized by the government.

The buildings were thereafter much neglected until 1925 when the 1st Viscountess Cowdray embarked on a systematic repair of the Castle.  The Castle was officially made open to visitors thereafter. 

The Green Tourism Business Scheme Gold   Scottish Tourist Board 4 star castle

As many of our visitors will already be aware, this summer we plan to carry out certain works to buildings at of Dunnottar including the Keep and the roof at Benholm's Lodging from April to October 2014. These essential, works are part of our ongoing commitment to the preservation and protection of the this special site.

The work will involve scaffolding in certain areas which will be visible from the adjacent cliffs and potentially helicopter lifts for materials. We will endeavour to keep as much of the site open for visitors to enjoy for the duration of the works. It is our aim to ensure as little disruption is caused to detract from your enjoyment of visiting our site.

Opening Hours 2014/2015

1st October 2014 to 31st March 2015 - 10am to 5pm (last entry is 4.30pm)

Weather dependant so please call first.

Closed 25th & 26th December and 1st and 2nd January.

1st April to 30th September 2015 - 9am to 6pm