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United Kingdom: Slains Castle

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Slains Castle | United Kingdom | Europe

[Visited: December 2006]

As soon as we reached the top of the muddy hill, we spotted the contours of Slains Castle sticking out of the flat landscape. As we walked closer we saw the wild sea crashing on the rocks under us, the white foam being pushed high into the sky and dispersed by the strong wind. Under a perfectly blue December sky with just a few scattered clouds, we reached the castle. As we got nearer, the contours turned into an actual castle. Or rather, the ruins, because not much more than walls remain.

Picture of Slains Castle (United Kingdom): Slains Castle seen from a distance

This is actually New Slains Castle, after the Old Slains Castle was destroyed by James VI because the owner, the Earl of Erroll, had participated in a rebellion against him. It dates from the late 16th century, and although it now looks like it had different styles, most of the castle was actually constructed in a rather short time span. The castle also served as inspiration for Bram Stoker who got his inspiration for the castle of Count Dracula from Slains Castle. The main forte of the castle is of course its daring location right at the edge of high cliffs rising out of a wild sea. The strong wind and the choppy sea, the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks and the screaming gulls, combined with the magnificent light of the late afternoon, made us enjoy the view and the spectacle before entering the castle itself.

Picture of Slains Castle (United Kingdom): Slains Castle seen from below

There is no real inside of the castle, since there are no roofs left. Together with the sounds and the views of the surroundings, it only adds to the eerieness of the castle. We walked up the round tower of the castle, with great views over the sea and the landscape, and explored the areas that once were halls and rooms in a very large castle. We moved to the other side of the castle, and saw the sun going down much earlier than we expected. Once again, we saw the contours of the castle, turning always darker, and eventually, as the sun cast its last rays of light around Slains Castle, we could only discern the outline of the towers and the outer walls. We left just in time to walk back to Cruden Bay village before darkness had completely fallen.

Picture of Slains Castle (United Kingdom): Main tower of Slains Castle
Picture of Slains Castle (United Kingdom): One of the towers of Slains Castle seen from below
Picture of Slains Castle (United Kingdom): Magnificent afternoon light on the walls of Slains Castle
Picture of Slains Castle (United Kingdom): Path leading up to Slains Castle and some of the surrounding landscape
Picture of Slains Castle (United Kingdom): Slains Castle from a distance with surrounding landscape
Picture of Slains Castle (United Kingdom): Moon looming over Slains Castle
Picture of Slains Castle (United Kingdom): Slains Castle reflected in small pond
Picture of Slains Castle (United Kingdom): Outer walls of Slains Castle seen from the top of the main tower
Picture of Slains Castle (United Kingdom): Crashing wave against a rock with seagulls just below Slains Castle
Picture of Slains Castle (United Kingdom): Slains Castle with ray of sun
Picture of Slains Castle (United Kingdom): Contours of Slains Castle just before sunset
Picture of Slains Castle (United Kingdom): Stairs leading up the tower of Slains Castle
Picture of Slains Castle (United Kingdom): Overlooking the sea from Slains Castle

Around the World in 80 Clicks

Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Slains Castle (United Kingdom). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Slains Castle.
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