Scottish Medieval Castles: Dunnottar Castle

Near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
(56.946°N 2.197°W)

Open to Visitors

Dunnottar Castle (Dùn Fhoithear,fort on the shelving slope” in Scottish Gaelic) is a ruined medieval fortress on the northeastern coast of Scotland. Although the site is believed to have been fortified in the Early Middle Ages, the surviving buildings are largely of the 15th and 16th centuries.

The earliest written reference to the site is found in the Annals of Ulster which record two sieges of “Dún Foither” in 681 and 694. The Scottish Chronicle records that King Donald II of Scotland was killed at Dunnottar during an attack by Vikings in 900. During the reign of King William the Lion (1165–1214) Dunnottar was a center of local administration for The Mearns county. The poet Blind Harry relates that William Wallace captured Dunnottar from the English in 1297.

Dunnottar is also known as the place where the Scottish crown jewels were hidden from Oliver Cromwell’s invading army in the 17th century. The cliff top fortress was the home of the Earls Marischal, once one of the most powerful families in Scotland. 

Visit Dunnottar Castle


Bike Access
Carpark (Free)
Food Van
Challenging / Areas Not Accessible
Historic view of Dunnottar Castle. Jacobite broadside, 1715.
Historic view of Dunnottar Castle. Jacobite broadside, 1715. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
The palace, from the south-west, with the Silver House in the foreground, and the chapel on the right
The palace, from the south-west, with the Silver House in the foreground, and the chapel on the right. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
Plan of Dunnottar Castle
Plan of Dunnottar Castle. Key: A Gatehouse and Benholm's Lodging · B Tunnels · C Tower house · D Forge · E Waterton's Lodging · F Stables · G Palace · H Chapel · I Postern gate · J Whigs' Vault · K Bowling green · L Sentry box · M Cliffs · N North Sea. Source: Wikimedia Commons.


Summer Season (1st April – 30th Sep)

9:00 – 17:30 every day.

Winter Season 2019/20 (1st October – 31st March)

1st Oct – 26th Oct: 10:00 – 16:30
27th Oct – 9th Nov: 10:00 – 15:00
10th Nov – 18th Jan: 10:00 – 14:30
19th Jan – 1st Feb: 10:00 – 15:00
2nd Feb – 15th Feb: 10:00 – 15:30
16th Feb – 1st Mar: 10:00 – 16:00
2nd Mar – 31st Mar: 10:00 – 16:30


Dunnottar Castle, Stonehaven, AB39 2TL


+44 (0) 1569 766320


Ticket typePrice 
Adult ticket£7 
Child Ticket£3 
Family ticket (2 adults & 2 children between 5 and 15 years) £17 


Dunnottar Castle Gifts

Similar Castles

Medieval Britain: Newark Castle. Image courtesy of Wikimedia.

Newark Castle

Newark Castle is a 12th century castle by Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln.

British Castles: Corfe Castle.

Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle is a ruined castle on the route between Wareham and Swanage.

More to see in Scotland

Spynie Castle. History, Facilities and Opening Hours.

Spynie Castle

Spynie Castle was founded in the late 12th Century by the Bishops of Moray.

Scottish Medieval Castles: Linlithgow Palace

Linlithgow Palace

Linlithgow Palace was the residence of the monarchs of Scotland in the 15th-16th centuries.

Scottish Medieval Castles: Tantallon Castle

Tantallon Castle

Tantallon Castle is a ruined mid-14th-century fortress atop a promontory in Scotland.

Scottish Medieval Castles: Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle is one of the largest and most important castles in Scotland.

Books about Medieval Times