My day at Slains Castle

As Slains Castle is only a stone’s throw away from where I live, I couldn’t believe I had never been. I read up a few facts before I went there and found some directions about where to go, and what to do once I was there.

Here are some facts about Slains Castle:

  • Slains Castle is also referred to as Dracula’s Castle and Bowness.
  • The castle was built during the 16th century and was founded by the 9th Earl of Erroll.
  • Due to the Earl of Erroll conspiring against King James I it was demanded that Slains Castle be destroyed as punishment and it was burned to the ground in 1594.
  • In 1895 Slains Castle was thought to be the inspiration of Bram Stokers novel, Dracula and it was believed he would visit the castle quite often.
  • In 1925 the roof of the building was removed so that the new owner, Ellerman Lines could avoid taxes, which has led to its deterioration ever since.
  • The castle has now been left to nature, which is actually part of the appeal and makes for a popular and unique attraction!
  • Some people believe they could see ghosts on their visit to the castle, such as soldiers walking around and a horse and carriage.
  • There is a pub in Aberdeen of the same name on Belmont Street (as you may know).
  • Within the castle you can walk around each room. It is believed the castle had a great hall, corridors, courtyard, billiard room, kitchens, larders, staff accommodation and a library. Rooms that are still visible are stables, outhouses and all the towers.

There are two walks that you can take to the castle, you can park at the A975 car park where there will be a track to lead you to the castle OR you can park in Cruden Bay next to the public toilets on harbour street and follow through the track in the woods. I would wear wellies or shoes you’re not bothered about getting messy because it is VERY muddy!

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As I approached the castle I could see in the distance crows circling the top of the ruin. It was so eerie, I really started to feel the aura of the castle before I had even arrived.

On approach to the castle there were beautiful ravines that opened out onto the sea.

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Once I had got closer I could see the enormity of the castle’s size.

The castle was right on the edge of the cliff top, mostly because over time the land has eroded.

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Here you can see that the spiralled stairs that lead you down under the castle. Walking down creepy stairs in pitch black darkness leading you to who knows where is not advisable.

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As I walked through the building I could see the beautiful view of the North Sea though the gaps of where windows would have been.

Walking through what I believed was the corridors of the castle I could see huge open spaces, possibly rooms that lead into the castles towers or keeps. You could walk to the top, although they weren’t very high.

Round the back of the castle I was very careful as there is a straight drop from one of the back entrances. This was apparently where the tennis court and croquet lawn used to be before erosion took place.

img_5366From this point I could see the length of the castle and it was huge!

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I would highly recommend having a little trip to Cruden Bay to see Slains Castle, it was a very pleasant, yet eerie experience and I am so glad I went. After your visit you can go into Cruden bay to get a coffee or something to eat, if you really want to carry on the Dracula theme you can go to the Kilmarnock arms where Bram Stoker used to stay. If you do intend on going I suggest you are very careful as the castle is right beside many cliff edges, just be mindful of this and you should be fine.

Katie x

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