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.
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.
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.
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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