Scotland Travel Blog
9th June 2021
We frequently visit the beautiful and historic region of Aberdeenshire on our private tours of Scotland. Indeed, our very first multi day tour of Scotland, back in 2005, was to the area around Kildrummy Castle and Speyside. Our guests stayed at the Kildrummy Inn, and I am glad to say it is still welcoming guests today. We still book guests into the Kildrummy Inn, and I look forward to my next visit to this charming Inn to enjoy their hospitality and fabulous food. Kildrummy Inn - Home
On this trip, I am heading a little further north, closer to the north coast of Aberdeenshire. I am spending two days in this region of Northeast Scotland to look at places to include in our tours of discovery. I am looking at one or two famous sites, and some hidden gems, which I must admit, I am excited about seeing!
We love it when we receive enquiries for tours of Scotland, and when we are asked to include Aberdeenshire or Speyside, this makes us even happier! The region still has many unexplored gems, and the area does not suffer from over tourism hot spots.
As I travel north and east leaving the cities of Edinburgh and Dundee behind, I arrive in a beautiful green and hilly region with views of the Cairngorms in the distant west. Moving further north, and with still the same views of green, and hill and mountain, the North Sea comes into view, and I am truly in awe of this landscape. I turn off the A90 at the Stonehaven junction, (a coastal village I love to visit, and I am happy to say that our guests have enjoyed this stop on many occasions too.) Our stop is the dramatically situated, Dunnottar Castle. And, on a day like today, where the skies are blue with high wispy clouds, and the sun beams its light and warmth over this historic landmark, I ask, Is there a better castle anywhere in the world? It is an outstanding sight to see this ruined castle and its outbuildings, sitting on a high headland of grass topped, pebbled red rock cliffs. Not only is your eye drawn to the castle, but after you have surveyed this landmark, you are then naturally drawn out to sea – The North Sea, and today, it is as blue as the Mediterranean or the Caribbean!
The rock where Dunnottar now stands has a long history. A place of worship was established here in the 4th Century. In the 9th Century, invading Vikings destroyed the castle and killed King Donald II of Scotland. William Wallace captured the castle from the English in 1297, burned the church and destroyed the castle. From the 14th Century, Dunnottar Castle was home to the powerful Keith clan. In 1392, Sir William Keith, built the tower house, also known as the Keep, and this still stands today. Mary Queen of Scots visited the Castle in 1562 as did her son King James VI in 1580. One of the greatest story’s to emerge from the castle is that it was under siege from Oliver Cromwell and his army in 1651 – 1652 and although the residents of the castle did eventually surrender, they did manage to smuggle out of the castle the Honours of Scotland (The Scottish Crown Jewels) right under the noses of Cromwell’s army! They were taken to nearby Kinneff Church, where they remained until the restoration in of the monarchy in 1660. You can find out more about Dunnottar Castle on one of our private tours. Main Page - Dunnottar Castle - where legends come to life.
Moving further north I pop in to say hello to one of our favourite pubs / restaurants / rooms - The Red Garth The Redgarth It was they who recommended we see our next place, a Highland Cow farm! We are happy to include this farm experience on our tours. Our guests will be able to get up close with the much-loved highland and hairy, cow horned beasts. The local farmer acts as a guide and gives a fascinating insight to these much loved and iconic Scottish animals. Your Instagram pictures will be loved!
Another favourite visit of ours in this part of Scotland is the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses - Fraserburgh (lighthousemuseum.org.uk) This truly is one of the great museums in Scotland. I am not stopping here on my visit, but I do look forward to our return here. I am heading just a little further west, along the coast to a beautiful little church. Sitting high above the coastal village of Rosehearty is Pitsligo old parish church. This small church is now a ruin, but a beautiful one at that. It dates to around 1630 and has the most beautiful bellcote, a small framework or shelter for one or two bells. The sun is still shining, and I manage to get some wonderful photographs of this beautiful structure. I also pop next door to Pitsligo Castle to wander this rarely visited ruined castle. The castle dates to c.1424 and has an impressive tower-house. The castle was built by the Frasers of Philorth and then passed to Forbes family and it is they who extended the castle. It is certainly an authentic castle experience visiting Pitsligo, given the fact that you must take care while walking around this fabulous ruin! You can learn more about the clans, Pitlsigo and the local area on one of our private tours of Scotland. Custom Private Tours | Scotland (jamescampbelltours.com)
My last stop of the day is at one of our favourite beaches to walk the sand, shingle, pebble and grass and take pictures of rock formations and caves! You too can enjoy the natural beauty of Scotland, and off the beaten track places when you tour with us.
It has been a wonderful day of sightseeing and touring around the stunning corner of Scotland, and I now head for my accommodation for the night, a little campsite in the middle of beautiful rolling countryside. The evening is sunny and warm, and I settle down with a nice meal cooked on my stove, and a book for company. What a wonderful world it is… Part 2 is out next week…
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