Thursday, May 3, 2012 – Stonehaven

We woke up at around 8:00 AM and had breakfast with Linda composed of cereal and coffee. Once we loaded the car with our luggage, we followed Linda back to the Tesco so that we could get our mobile phones topped up. Once that was done we said our goodbyes and were on our way to Dundee area.

Glamis Castle
First on our list was to visit Glamis Castle, less than a 5 minute drive from Forfar. Its an impressive estate with a long, straight, tree lined road leading to the Castle. They don’t allow any photography inside the Castle which was a little disappointing. We did the tour, and didn’t hang around other than to take a few photos on our way out of the Estate. It was near lunch time, so we ate some sandwiches we had in the car which was actually breakfast and then headed off toward Aberdeen.

We jumped onto the A90 north and stopped in Stonehaven for lunch. We had fish and chips at a walk in place on the main street. It was close to 2:00 by this time. The weather was a little cold and wet. We walked around the town for about an hour, taking in the shoreline, the harbour, a museum and some emergency life boats on trucks used for oil rig crews in the North sea. They could hold up to 60 people. The museum was called The Tollbooth, which was pretty interesting local history, but we were pressed for time, so we couldn’t explore it like we would have liked. We wanted to get to Dunnotar Castle and it was past 3:00 when we left Stonehaven.

Dunnotar Castle
Dunnotar is situated on a rocky promontory jutting out into the North sea. It looked totally impregnable. Its located not far from Stonehaven off the A92. Most of the buildings are in ruins due to a seige by Cromwells New Model Army in the 1600’s.
It has a trail leading over a stream which turns into a waterfall down into a gorge on the south side of the Castle. This trail leads to a grassy meadow overlooking the gorge.
We climbed the long stairs down the gorge and back up again to enter the Castle and explore the numerous buildings. We had the good fortune to see some dolphins frolicking not far offshore. There wasn’t much to see with respect to artifacts, but the site is a natural fortification with some great views of the area.
Once we finished at Dunnotar, we headed back to the A90 and drove through Aberdeen hoping to find a place to stay, but by this time it was rush hour and it was difficult to watch traffic and look elsewhere for hotels at the same time. We passed through Aberdeen and ended up to the north in Inverurie at the Kintore Arms. It wasn’t very good. The wireless internet rarely connected, and was slow as molasses in January when it did. The food at the restaurant was okay, but not particularly memorable. We arrived there around 6:00, had dinner then off to our room to sleep.

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