Castle Closed this afternoon
We are very sorry but Dunnottar Castle will be closed this afternoon due to high winds inside the Castle. Last entry will be 12:30 pm.




Our Vision

Our vision is to provide a first class attraction for the many thousands of visitors who come to Dunnottar each year.

The Castle is recognised as one of Scotland’s national treasures and the construction of a purpose built visitor centre with amenities including interpretation, café and shop will significantly enhance the enjoyment of all those coming to see this iconic ruined fortress. We truly would like this to be a once seen never forgotten experience.

Our Proposal

Our proposal is to create a dedicated, sensitively designed visitor centre adjacent to the existing lodge and car park at Dunnottar. The building will showcase commanding views towards the Castle and include interpretation, highlighting the important role Dunnottar has had through Scottish history, as well as a café, shop, toilets, external sales kiosk and additional parking.

A small scale development of 10 new homes is also proposed. The homes, to be located on land lying to the southwest of Mains of Dunnottar Farm, will be delivered by local housebuilder, Fotheringham Homes. Income from the land sale associated with the new homes will bridge a crucial funding gap in the delivery of the £3.5M visitor centre.

VC Stills CARPARK FINAL 2909VC Stills Castleview draftVisitor centre cafe 002Visitor centre cafe 2VC Stills Pathwayview FINAL 2909Enabling site FINAL 2909

Proposed Location Plan


Proposed Site Plan


Proposed Floor Plan

Virtual Consultation


We have recently submitted a Proposal of Application (PoAN) to Aberdeenshire Council for the proposed development. Please note that a PoAN commences the formal consultation on the proposals and is not a planning application. You will have an opportunity to formally comment on the application to Aberdeenshire Council in due course.

VC Stills Castleview draft

Public Engagement

As you will appreciate, due to the current situation regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) it is not possible for us to hold traditional Public Exhibitions. We have therefore created this dedicated webpage to ensure that you have an opportunity to view, and importantly, provide feedback on the proposals.

As well as providing our Exhibition Boards and video of the proposed development, we held a live chat session, via this webpage on Wednesday 10th November, 2021. A further live chat session will be held on Tuesday 7th December, 2021 from 5pm to 8pm where members of the project team will again be available to answer questions and also give feedback to/discuss comments received to date .

A summary of comments received and our initial responses is contained in our Public Feedback Update (30/11/2021).

We welcome your feedback

We would like to thank you for taking the time to view the proposals for our Visitor Centre and we would be grateful if you could complete the online feedback form below. Alternatively, you can download the form and send it back to us at

Please note that comments made will be to the prospective client, not the planning authority. There will be an opportunity to submit representations to the planning authority, Aberdeenshire Council, upon submission of a planning application.

Please submit your comments by 5pm on the 24th November 2021.

Thank you for taking the time to view our proposals for a new Visitor Centre at Dunnottar Castle with associated small enabling housing development. We would welcome your comments and feedback on the proposals.

Please note that comments and feedback submitted will be to the applicant, not the planning authority. There will be an opportunity to submit representations to the planning authority, Aberdeenshire Council, upon submission of a planning application.

You acknowledge that we will only use your personal information provided as part of this consultation in accordance with our Privacy Statement. In relation to this consultation we will share your information our planning team, which includes the following third parties: Thain Harrington Edward Chartered Architects and Town Planning Consultancy Limited ("THE Architects"), Liberty One Communications Limited ("Liberty One"). For information regarding these entities processing of personal data, please see their respective websites at:

Liberty One:

THE Architects:

Contact Us

Thank you for your interest in our proposals and for taking the time to view our online public consultation. If you have any queries and would like to contact us see details below.


Steven Park (Liberty1)
01224 060 326


Postal Address

F.A.O. DCVC Consultation Team
Dunecht Estates Office
AB32 7AW


Below are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

The new visitor centre is located to the east of Dunnottar Castle Lodge. The location has been carefully chosen and the building carefully designed to avoid interrupting public views towards the Castle. The visitor centre’s location and the gentle slope to the cliffs mean that from within the Visitor Centre there will be spectacular views directed to the Castle. This will provide a fantastic draw for visitors and also make viewing and learning about the Castle more accessible to those who are less mobile and unable to descend/ascend the access steps.

The new visitor centre has been designed on the basis of customer research which established what facilities and amenities are most desirable. The Visitor Centre will provide for the following:

  • Ticket sales, reception and toilet facilities.
  • Interpretation
  • Shop
  • Café
  • Expanded car parking
  • Improved bus/campervan parking

Following the planning process it is anticipated that the Visitor Centre will take 15 months to build and it is hoped that it will be open to the public by Summer/Autumn 2023.

During construction access to the Castle will remain open. The new car and bus park will be built prior to the main visitor centre works commencing and a temporary access from the coast road at the south west corner of the new car park will be formed to allow its use during the construction period.

The improved facilities at Dunnottar Castle are forecast to increase visitor numbers providing additional positive benefits in the local area. An economic impact appraisal undertaken by BiGGAR Economics forecasts that the construction of the proposed visitor centre would nearly double the local economic impact with the Gross Value Added increasing from £1.5M to £2.9M. Further assessment of the economic impact indicates that directly and indirectly the development will result in an increase of 45 jobs in the local area.

There is a significant investment required in the development of a visitor centre in this location that both provides the facilities visitors are looking for and is of a high quality respecting the Castle’s importance as one of Scotland’s premier visitor attractions. The value released from the sale of the site for the enabling housing will bridge a crucial gap in the funding of the development.

Fotheringham Homes are working in partnership on the delivery of the project and have been central to the design of the houses. Fotheringham Homes are well known locally and will build and sell the homes.