As we arrived in Stonehaven I saw a huge ruined castle and vowed to visit.
On the day I had available to visit the castle it was raining, so I didn't bring the drone or even my phone, I just brought my main camera. I learned that the castle is called Dunnottar Castle (Wiki Link), and finding the path to the castle was easy.
On the way there I was thinking about some things people had told me, like the castle had been used in the 1995 Rob Roy movie, and that there were still, allegedly, undiscovered tunnels and all sorts of other neat stuff! Basically, I was pretty excited to see this place.
In the distance, I could see the castle and the meandering path that led up to it, after about a mile and a half, and by now, entirely soaked from the rain, I got to the main entryway - It was here 100 ft from the castle that they decided this location would be perfect for a sign that said tickets MUST be booked online and could NOT be purchased at the castle. Whomp whomp whomp...
Why that sign is not at the bottom of the path defies logic. (There may have been another sign, but if it was there - I certainly didn't see) It was at this moment the decision to leave my phone behind was questioned quite harshly. Had I brought it with me, I might just have been able to purchase a ticket online. Scotland is filled with ruined castles - we'll just explore the next one. Perhaps it's my own fault, I didn't even look it up before I went - I just went - I gambled and lost - I just thought it was a ruin - the idea that it was somehow a managed, for-profit tourist attraction hadn't even crossed my mind.
They say it was one of the most-secure castles in Scotland, They weren't kidding - The Captain was unable to circumvent the ticket booth situation, one way in, one way out, perhaps Rob Roy knew of another way in... I didn't waste my walk up there, and I did take some pictures of this particular castle, it was nice walk, albeit in the rain, but the castle itself was quite impressive.
Now although access to the castle was a little disappointing, a local artist had made some things that were installed around the harbour that did not disappoint.... I spent quite a bit of time looking at these detailed......creations.
These items include a Lighthouse, a bi-plane, and a few fishing boats, they were just interesting, I was quite taken with the level of detail - they were just neat to look at, but don't take my word for it, see for yourself, maybe you'll find them interesting too!
The Crew, however, were not too happy with the mooring though. The pier is quite noisy during the day with kids and people fishing off of the pier - and there's nothing wrong with that - it's just that the Crew just didn't like it very much - even though they had a steady stream of fresh new admirers!
The town appears very active with lots going on from sailing, swimming, paddleboarding to fishing to name a few. There are also a few beaches in the town, and they're all well-used by the locals and were very clean for such a busy beach, even the main harbour is clean enough to swim in! I can see why it's so popular, and I actually think it's quite refreshing to see so many people on, around, and in the water!
Most harbours we see are nowhere near that clean, there's almost always some end of a harbour that has garbage floating in it, a plastic bottle or something floating in it, NOT in Stonehaven. I saw not one bit of floating trash anywhere.
If you want to know more about Stonehaven you can check out this Wiki Link. If you were going there via boat, I'd call ahead (call the number in the pilot book, not the one on the internet - lesson learned) as I think their VHF is unmanned most of the time, but the Harbour Master was a pleasant and helpful dude.
So, we will be leaving in the morning as we have some favorable weather for a day before some super-crappy weather comes along. We're still going to be heading North, and still deciding exactly where, but by morning we'll be gone...