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Is Dunnotar Castle easy to access with walking difficulties?

It’s stunning from a distance, but Dunnotar Castle could be a tricky place to visit for some people.

It's a two mile walk from Stonehaven town centre and the views are stunning, but it's not ideal for those with walking difficulties. 

Is there an easier way to get there if you don't have a car? 

If anyone's been and wants to share their photos, feel free! I took a photo of Dunnotar Castle for my Higher Photography portfolio which I took on an old SLR and developed in the darkroom! If I find my portfolio, I will upload a copy of it here :) 


  • NatbeesFashionNatbeesFashion Member ✭✭
    Hello, I visited the castle 2 years ago and I have to say it is a bit tricky at some parts-especially if it is rainy!
    I remember walking down a steep hill telling my friend to be careful and not fall down, and before I even managed to finish my phrase I landed on the ground!

    I don't think there is an access to the castle via car because there is a specific part along the way that has to be crossed by feet. I think if you have people to take care of you and hold you along the way then it should be fine :) 
    Follow my trip around Scotland here  :)
    Also ask me any questions on Instagram or Twitter if you are visiting Aberdeen anytime soon and you need recommendations. 
  • DMWScotlandDMWScotland VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭
    I visited Dunottar Castle in 2010. I attach some photos, not the best quality with the camera of that time. I'd love to go back soon, such a beautiful location :)

    I blog about places I've explored in Scotland on Love Exploring Scotland  <3
    Follow me on FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube :)
  • Rachel26Rachel26 Member ✭✭
    edited June 2016
    Dunnotar is quite difficult in certain parts, beautiful but can be difficult when wet or if you go on a spooky tours. :o
  • CookieCookie Member ✭✭
    I visited in February, I had injured my arthritic knee a few weeks beforehand and I really struggled to go down the stairs to the castle. It took me three times as long to come back up, using  walking poles as well. I wouldn't recommend attempting it if you have any knee/hip problems.
  • KatKat Member ✭✭
    There is a car park close to the castle (gets very busy in the summer months) and the walk to the castle itself isn't long (from the car park) but it does involve descending and ascending a very steep staircase. 
  • MargaretMargaret Member ✭✭
    I would agree, bit tricky on the way up and down if you do have mobility problems, however, you could simply sit at the top of the grassy hill and enjoy these stunning views without entering the Castle itself if you wanted to - it really is worth it <3
  • ejfraser94ejfraser94 Member ✭✭
    It's a half an hour walk from Stonehaven itself, there is a route sign posted for the castle. The pathway for most of the route is along a cliff side, gorgeous views but it can be quite tricky at points. The walk to the castle itself involves going up and down several steps, plus the terrain leading to the castle is quite difficult. So I wouldn't recommend it if anyone is disabled or has problems with moving. 

    If you do plan to walk over to the castle, sturdy footwear is recommended. The castle does close if the weather is particularly stormy so keep an eye on their website. There is a car park but it's quite small and tends to constantly be busy with visitors. If you plan to visit Stonehaven this summer, they do have a Land Train that takes you to Dunnottar, I've been on it twice for a tour around the town and it's really cute. There's a food catering van close by and tours organised this year as well by the staff members. :smile: 
  • fishyprofishypro Member ✭✭✭
    Dunnottar Castle is truely amazing to see. We visited the castle whilst staying in Stonehaven. We followed the instructions from WalkHighlands webpage and the path proved to be quite challenging in places. There are a huge amount of steps to get to & from the castle. I would not recommend this for somebody with walking difficulties. The best thing that I can think of is to park up by the small car park close to the cliffs and to walk to the edge where everyone takes photos of the castle. Hope this helps you out VisitScotlandAmy
    Best regards
  • MogMJMRMogMJMR Member ✭✭

    Great tips above!

    Dunnottar is a favourite of mine too.

    As many have said the walk from the car park to the Castle itself can be a bit tricky for those with limited mobility or small children - around 100 steps to reach the castle peninsula.

    However, as for the walk from Stonehaven to the Car Park; this can be reduced by taking the Stagecoach x7 bus from Aberdeen or from Stonehaven town centre to the stop outside the Castle Road end - (Bus journey is 50 mins from Aberdeen; 10 from Stonehaven) - From the stop to the top of the steps the walk would be around 5 minutes (as a bonus you can see the castle from the stop so can't get lost!)

    Hope this helps.
    Based in the Scottish Borders, Aberdeenshire has a special place in my heart.
  • YourScotlandTourYourScotlandTour Member ✭✭✭
    There is also the Stonehaven Land train or a taxi to the car park. 

    However the walk down and up to the castle from the 'mainland' is lengthy and requires stamina!
    Bespoke tours.
    Whisky, Castles and Food a speciality.
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