St Andrews to Aberlour and Scotland Castles

A day of road tripping and exploring castles and the country side as we made our way from St Andrews to Aberlour.

2014-07-29 22 Dunnottar Castle

If you plan to see more than 3 castles, and you will as there are many in Scotland, then the Explorer Pass is the best value. It gives you entry to all of Historic Scotland’s properties for the duration of your pass – 3 day or 7 day options.

Our first stop was Arbroath and Arbroath Abbey. Founded in 1178 for monks of the Tironensian order by King William the Lion, Arbroath Abbey is famous in Scottish history for its association with the Declaration of Arbroath, in which Scotland’s nobles swore their independence from England.

The Abbey is a large ruin but you can still get a feel for its layout and size.  Some of the ancillary buildings are intact and from them you could get a good feel for the structural aspects – see the keystone in the below photo.

2014-07-29 03 Arbroath Abbey




The girls had a bit of fun dressing up in the grey cloth as worn by the Tironensian Monks.


Next stop was Edzell Castle and Gardens. The garden is the highlight as the stylised walled garden was created around 1604. Adorned with heraldic sculptures and carved panels, the architectural framework surrounding the garden is unique in Britain.


This time the girls dressed up in period costume and this time walked the garden and castle while Kerrie took photos.



IMG_41082014-07-29 08 Edzell Castle

An interesting fact is that in the gardens one of the hedges forms the Latin “Dum Spiro Spero” which means “While I breathe, I Hope.” Kerrie being the Latin Scholar pointed out that it is the same motto that was on my St Andrews Old Course cap and the motto for St Andrews Old Course – a suitable motto for golf!!!

Our final castle for the day was Dunnottar Castle. This is a privately owned castle and not part of Historic Scotland properties so not covered by the explorer pass. However the main feature of Dunnottar is its location and without paying we were able to go right down to the seaside and explore.

2014-07-29 14 Dunnottar Castle



The beach at Dunnottar was not quite the sandy beaches we are use to living in Asia.


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