Scotland is well known by its castles, which are the main tourist sites of this green and mysterious country. There are enormous amount of castles on Scotland and our short visit didn´t allow us to visit all of them. However, two of those that we have seen, imprinted in our minds. Dunnotar and Balmoral.
Dunnotar stands on a rockface over the sea, surrounded by cliffs and wild sandy beaches. It is fairytale-like and really a must-see, even more if there is sun shining through traditional Scottish clouds and provides dramatic light to photograph. The castle is located near town Stonehaven approximately two and a half hour long drive on the left side of the road from Edinburgh through green Scottish mounds, full of sheep and Scottish cattle. There are almost none advertising boards by the road, which was refreshing. Even if you are accommodated in Edinburgh, a trip to Dunnotar is doable in a day and it is also worth it.
For Dunnotar we expected to enthuse us, but for Balmoral we were not so sure. Actually, we were not sure until the end if we should go see it or not. But we were curious how does the queen´s residency in the heart of Scottish highlands and Cairngorms national park look like? Luckily, curiosity prevailed – we really loved it there. The nature, trees, gardens, fairytale castle in the middle, almost no tourists. I totally understand the queen of England why she loves to retreat to this place. There you can really rest your body and soul 🙂 .
Trip to Balmoral castle can be arranged as one-day trip from Edinburgh as well. If you are short on time, you can see both castles in one day. It is doable without rush and hurry. You should only mind to come to the castles before 4 p.m. as they close at 5 p.m.